The low heat rises from the radiator and into the palms of my hands flat against the grate. Rubbing the sleep from eyes, I return my glasses back on the bridge of my nose and take an extra minute to look out the window.
Sometime after the call to prayer but before any hints of daybreak, I feel her hiccup for the first time. The sliver of moon still glows and so does the green neon sign from the bakery across the street. If the windows were open, the smell of fresh-baked Turkish bread would be floating through.
As I sit here writing this, I'm on our balcony off the kitchen. The school kids are breaking for recess and kicking around a soccer ball, their shrieks coming from the middle school across the street. I have laundry pinned to the line – linens and pillowcases. The October noontime sun is strong enough to dry them quickly. The fall weather has come to Turkey but the concrete sides of our apartment building still radiate the heat of the day.
My mom and I decided to try making this sesame brittle, or shirini konjedi (literally: sesame candy) as it's called in Farsi. It was so simple and came together quickly and easily! I found myself meandering back to my parents' pantry throughout the day to sneak a few pieces.
While the US president boasts of new religious freedom initiatives, the travel ban is still in place, effectively and indefinitely preventing 7 countries from entering the US, calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of billions of people. It's been like this for 2 1/2 years. The number of refugees being admitted into the US this next year is predicted to be set at zero, which will hurt the most at-risk persecuted Christians.