Passing the Drum (video)

[Video Link] The 30 Days Ramadan guys have put out a wonderful new short film in their series of profiles on Muslim life in America. This one was directed by Zeshawn Ali, and focuses on a father-son legacy of music, in Brooklyn. Snip:

Mohammad Boota walks the streets of NYC walking Muslims up with a dhol drum during Ramadan - a rich tradition he inherited from his family in Pakistan. He came to America in 1992 and spent 9 years saving enough money to bring the rest of his family over. Now, fully reunited with his family, he rekindles the bond he has with his son over their love for drumming.

As you watch, remember that these are the regular people the NYPD and DHS want to surveil all the time, every day, solely because of their heritage.

You can subscribe to the 30 Days Ramadan YouTube channel for more great videos like this.


  1. “When I play alone, I feel fear and pressure of the audience in front of me.  But when I play with my dad, in my mind all the people just disappear.  I feel so relaxed, and I play really well as well.”

    That was extremely touching!  Very nice.  Thanks for posting this video.

  2. That’s very cool. The son should focus on playing for the drum, not for the approval of the people. The people’s approval will be there, but the drum can’t do anything without his focus. He and his father both played well.

    Isn’t this kind of thing better than all the complaining posts? Do we really need more stuff to whine about?

  3. Not meaning to be disrespectful to the religious traditions of others, but this drummer is disrespecting the rights of non-Muslims to peace and quiet.  I’m sure that those who think the film’s subject matter is “touching” and moving, don’t live on any of the streets this drummer is walking on.  I practice my faith indoors so as not to disrupt the lives of others, so why can’t others do the same? No, this is not inspiring at all but only points out how NYC’s current noise ordinance needs to be updated so as to ensure that the rights of all NY’ers to that precious peace and quiet, especially at night or in the early morning hours as they prepare for a noisy day ahead, is protected. 

    1. I thought the video said he does it in a limited area called “Little Pakistan.” Presumably, most of the residents there don’t mind it? And even appreciate it?

  4. I don’t need to do anything; the noise maker needs to stop.  Triple-glass windows, AC running all night and in the mornings and a white noise machine doesn’t stop the drumming from permeating through the walls.  It’s a terrible feeling to be jarred out of deep sleep for what? This is not a religious necessity, nor is it something that’s been happening in that neighborhood for a significant period of time.  The drumming may be nice to him and those who grew up with the practice, but the truth is that the noise is disruptive , hurts the body and builds stress.  There are many people in the area who have lived here for decades before it became “Little Pakistan” and continue to do so.  Just because the area has seen a recent influx of newcomers originating from Pakistan,doesn’t mean my neighbors, many of them elderly, have no right to peace and quiet.  How presumptuous of the film’s subject to impose his practices on my life and disrupt the little sleep I get, with his noise.  Why is it that certain neighborhoods can impose fines of $200 for unnecessarily honking one’s car horn but I should be expected to just put up with someone drumming loudly while walking down the street, practicing a custom that was unknown in my neighborhood until relatively recently? I no longer have the right to peace and quiet? 

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