Forthcoming

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

Nov 5, 2018 A report on two pstate NY races:--CD 19, and NY State Senate 42. From Egypt and Tunisia new films by and about women-- "Youm el-Setat" and "El-Jaida"

Sept 24 Do war memoirs really advance education? Attacks on BDS and Americans' freedom of speech continues.

Sept 17-- Sport stars and politcal dissent stemming from Kaepernick's actions. NY State's Sept 13 Primaries

Sept 10  Assessing Muslim Americans' ongoing fight for Muslim rights, and in the context of today's election cycle.

Aug 27, Where are Muslim Americans in the US administration's immigrant purge?

Aug 20 Celebrating achievements-- Sam Anderson and Rosemari Mealy. And still more published memoirs fro Middle East peoples

August 1- The inexorable struggle for Palestinian rights

July 2, WBAI Radio  Exploring EXILE in American literature:--  "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits", and "In The Light of What We Know".

June 25 EXILE in literature: a review of the novels "Cutting For Stone" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers".

June 18, The vicissitudes of Nepal's fledgling democracy. And a review of White House Ramadan "iftar" ceremonies.

June 11 The rentier economy of Jordan and current public protests. How the UK and US use Jordan. And celebrities' role in news.,

June 4 "Naila and The Uprising" a film memory of Palestinian resistance. And: why is Tariq Ramadan imprisoned?

April 30 How could detante in Korea affect other conflicts? And a look at our own role in plastic pollution.

April 23  The US mission creep into Syria, and more reviews of children's books about refugees. 

April 16  Why are Islamist rebels are being escorted out of the so called liberated areas, and where are they going? and a review of new Arab American memoirs 

April 9; Saudi Arabia's long and deep times with the US film industry. And we review the plethora of Arab women's memoirs

April 2 documenting war trauma. Do some war traumatized matter more than others? 

March 26 Iraq's neglected agricultural industry, and the persecution of Swiss-Arab Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan

March 19, Iraq today. And the legal challenges facing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

March 12,Commentary on the fall of Myanmar's Ang Sang SuKyi; and recent observations for Iraq.

Jan 8, 7:45 am Film review of "Land of the Pomegranates", and an introduction to the American organization "Muslimish"

Nov 27, Russia and Syria: commentary on this longstanding relationship in the current international scene

Nov 20. A look at the new crisis created around Lebanon PM Hariri's resignation. Comments on a culture that's infused and spilling over with sexual predators.

Nov 13 Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.

 

Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online www.wbai.org where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.

 

 

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

"Yesterday"

2011-09-12

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

I turned off my radio all day yesterday, Sept. 11, 2011. I didn't need to hear the memories and tributes and analyses underway. Neither did I want to participate in those memorials. Then I reconsidered. So I share this with you-- what I wrote and felt a decade ago today. bna 

 

Yesterday was Sept. 11, 2001. A Tuesday.

               I leave home 200 km beyond New York City for the three-hour drive into Manhattan. I make my way out of the quiet hills where I live, to drive into the metropolis to host my two weekly radio programs.

This Tuesday, I would not reach work.              

 

At 9:30 am, just an hour north of the city, I turn on my car radio. A panicked broadcaster’s voice is reporting the catastrophic event underway in the city.

I pull off the road to listen more carefully. It takes but a moment for me, to register the magnitude of this news. I find myself weeping uncontrollably over my steering wheel.

Cars slide pass me. Do those drivers know? Have they too heard? Do they also disbelieve the calamity we have entered? Are they rushing to sit with a friend, to turn on a TV to have real evidence?

Newscasters repeat: “All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are closed”. 

I decide to continue southwards in the direction of New York City. Sapphire’s apartment is along this New Jersey route; so is Kay and Salah’s. I will stop at Paulette’s house: hers is the first along my route.

Before restarting the car, I open my cell phone and call my office--the radio station. Silence. All lines are cut. The building from which we broadcast is barely 500 meters from the World Trade Center. Somehow I do not expect it is in danger. I need to join my colleagues at work doing what journalists must at such a time. I switch my car radio to 99.5 fm. Ahhh. We are sending out signals. I hear the voices of colleagues: Jose, Sally, Burnard and Deepa. They sound calm, trying to make sense of the terror in the streets below them.

I wish I were there. Not for the news scoop; there is no scoop on this. Our experienced announcers will use their voice to help our stunned public through this. I want to be with my colleagues to capture the immediacy of this calamity. That's one job of a journalist, especially broadcasters, in a moment of crisis.

               At 20 kilometers from Manhattan I reach the top of the hill, “Mountain View”. From here, one can make out the far-off skyline of Manhattan. I always find it a breathtaking spectacle; seeing the peaks of identifiable city buildings is reassuring somehow. On this unhappy clear morning, reaching this crest on the road, I slow the car, and I gasp. Something is missing. No sign of the two highest towers, those at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. All I can distinguish in that vicinity is an enormous cloud of smoke seeping skyward. I begin to weep again.

It is clear I cannot proceed across the George Washington Bridge so I abandon any idea of reaching the radio station. I exit highway 4 and within a few moments, pull into Paulette’s drive. On her television I witness the catastrophe. All channels--news, food, drama, marketing, sports, history-- replay clips of the planes crashing into those buildings, then the softly, dropping towers, crumbling, sinking to the pavement.

I pull out my phone again. Still no connection with the station. I try the home of a colleague living in lower Manhattan. Nothing.

I manage to reach my family in a far away city; next I call the guests scheduled for tonight's broadcasts. The shows will be cancelled. Of course.

               I return to the TV. Paulette and her son and I hardly speak. As I watch the spectacular images (a spectacle indeed) of the impacting planes and the collapsing buildings, I feel sick, weak, stunned. Inside that inferno and among the fuming rubble, thousands of women and men are being incinerated, pulverized. The replays go on. And on. Each cycle takes but a few moments. But this rumble begins to deepen, to build a story and a fear and boundless anger. I know it will last a generation. I glare at the TV screen, wanting this to be just a film I can shut off.

               Every week, when I arrive into the city, I park my car uptown, then take the subway train to our downtown office, passing through the World Trade Center. Along with millions of commuters I exit the subway train that terminates under that maze of towers. I pass through the busy mezzanine and out to the street to walk to the east end of Wall Street. This subway station is now a mass tomb.

Those two towers are--were--so colossal; I have always been aware of their immensity. They dwarf everything around, even the 19-story building where I work.

That was yesterday.

Today, the day after, our radio station is not broadcasting. Neither are other communications centers in the neighborhood. Was our transmitter damaged, the electricity cut? Were we forced to evacuate?

               My thoughts shift from the dead and dying to the future, not a distant future, but to the coming weeks and months. Already newscasters are speculating that the perpetrators are Arab. This catastrophe is bound to affect Arab and Muslim Americans. It is going to bear down on every one of us, wherever we are in the USA. Not because of more terror attacks here. But because the authorities will launch a hunt. Expansion of intelligence activity across the country is inevitable. But I could not imagine the universal ramifications that would ensue.

After earlier, less horrific incidents, The US Congress had hastily passed an anti-terrorism law; the negative effect of on our civil rights is already apparent. Most Americans were unaware of this because the immediate target of those laws was one community—US Muslims and Arabs.   

New regulations were put in place, here and abroad. Congress had already granted greatly expanded power to our intelligence agencies and the civil liberties of our people had already suffered.

Thirty hours have passed since that morning.    

Tuesday night I drove home, mournfully, slowly, silently.

Any neighbors I meet volunteer child-like threats: “we’ll get them”; “wipe them all out”. They are afraid.

All of us are afraid for our future, the future of this disneyland of democracy and all the stuff we strive to possess, stuff that we take so for granted, for ourselves. I think; suddenly we all feel vulnerable in this invincible land. I know Americans will answer with revenge, not reflection. This frightens me most.

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