Prescribed by his Islamic faith to pray five times a day, Mazen Materieh often prostrates himself on one of the prayer rugs in the basement of his corner store. When he is done, he returns to his perch behind the counter, where he sells liquor, lottery tickets and pork skins — all forbidden by the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.
Too often, news stories portray people of faith at extremes. They’re either totally righteous or totally hypocritical. In most cases, I think all of us fall somewhere in the middle. Brachear manages to highlight contradictions in what people believe — and what they practice — in a way that just seems, well, real.