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**Watch the session at https://youtu.be/LiK23Ulhq4M**

Join this special virtual workshop about death for a space for open, caring conversation around end of life and grief that too often is not discussed in our society and leaves us feeling alone when we navigate the difficult process when our loved one passes.

  1. Behind the Lens: Exploring Islamic Burials & Muslim Americans | “Two Gods” Filmmakers Aman Ali & Zeshawn Ali
  2. Better Endings: The Islamic Perspective on End-of-Life Care | Dr. Ramy Saleh
  3. Relationship with Death Process & Wrapping/Body Washing | Abdur Rehman
  4. Dealing with Grief | Speaker TBA
  5. Audience Q&A

12 p.m. to 2 p.m. PST | Saturday, Aug. 21 | Join live session at https://mcceastbay.org/workshop (after you RSVP you will receive a private link to view the Two Gods film prior to this event)

Questions? events@mcceastbay.org

We hope that this event is not only a space for caring but also providing valuable information on how to be prepared for something we know is inevitable in all of our lives: death and loss. We will be joined by a series of experts in the funeral, Islamic, and end-of-life care spaces who will guide us through the conversation, provide resources and information, and open up questions to the live audiences. The session will also be livestreamed at https://mcceastbay.org/live

The event is hosted in partnership with the team at “Two Gods,” which is a PBS documentary film about a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer in New Jersey who mentors two kids and embraces life through the rituals of death. The film was an official Critics Pick by the NY Times.

About the Panelists:
Aman Ali is a writer and storyteller whose first feature film, Two Gods, was selected by NY Times as a “Critics Pick.” TWO GODS is a feature documentary film about Hanif, a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer in Newark, New Jersey, who takes two young men under his wing to teach them how to live better lives. Trailer  The film is a poignant mediation on faith, brotherhood and redemption. Two Gods is the feature debut of brothers Zeshawn and Aman Ali. Growing up as Muslims in America, the two always yearned to see interesting portrayals of Muslim Americans that were not political — stories that were personal, quiet and reflective. Learn more about Aman and the film he produced at https://twogodsfilm.com

Zeshawn Ali was born and raised in Ohio. He moved to New York to study film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he concentrated on directing and cinematography. He directed the short film Shallows and short documentaries for the 30 Mosques series, which were featured in festivals and publications across the country. He’s currently based in New York.

Dr. Ramy Salah was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, where he became more in touch with Islam and the community through the MSA. He finished medical school at UCLA and did his residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA as well. Dr. Ramy completed a one-year fellowship program at UCSF in Hospice and Palliative Care. He works for Sutter Health. His interests include Islamic bioethics, end-of-life care for Muslim patients, and he has an ongoing research project interviewing imams and Muslim chaplains around end-of-life care. You can reach Dr. Ramy at ramyysalah@gmail.com.

Abdur Rehman is a prolific volunteer who has volunteered to wash and shroud Muslims in the East Bay for more than a decade. A convert to Islam from Hinduism, he brings a unique understanding of the relationship to death and burial in both faith traditions. At mosques, Br. Abdul Rehman encourages Muslims to learn how to wash their loved ones after death lectures in his practical ghusl and shrouding workshop.

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY

An intimate documentary about faith, renewal, and healing, Two Gods follows a Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer in New Jersey, as he takes two young teenagers under his wing to teach them how to live better lives.

Inside a corner casket shop in East Orange, laboring amid the sawdust and the long pine boxes, casket makers work with mentors in the Islamic burial tradition. Hanif, a Black Muslim casket maker who finds spiritual grounding in his work, brings two boys from the local community under his tutelage; 12-year-old Furquan and 17-year-old Naz.

Hanif teaches Furquan and Naz the practices of Islamic burial rituals as they assist him with his work. Having formerly served time in prison himself, Hanif continues to grapple with past mistakes and new challenges, while his faith and community helps him guide his young charges on their own paths toward healing and embracing life.

Shot in a striking black-and-white, Two Gods explores the juxtaposition of grief and the rituals of death with the vibrancy and potential of adolescence. The documentary turns an empathetic lens on Muslim American stories, ultimately crafting a moving portrait of both the intimate moments and the complexities of the everyday Muslim American experience.

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