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 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.


Who Says Culture is Not Political? Take the Case of Turkey


by Barbara Nimri Aziz

A striking example of culture serving a political position is Turkey today. Take a look. Before Turkey joined in the NATO campaign for regime change in Libya, the US public was regularly reminded of President Erdogan’s rude treatment of the Israeli president, and Ankara’s daring warnings to Israel. Reference to Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party was usually prefaced with the US-pejorative label --‘islamist’.

 Two years ago, when Turkey partnered with Brazil to bring about a promising agreement with Iran regarding pulling back on its nuclear program, the plan was swiftly rejected by USA and its allies. Then Turkey was unfavorably featured in the West for its support of Palestinians’ right of self-determination.

Today all that has changed.

Reference to any Islamic character in the JD Party is now whited-out. Have you noticed how many high profile international policy conferences are now taking place in Turkey?

 Turkey is ‘in’.

And culture? Well to confirm this new face of Turkey, in case you say you don’t follow international affairs, look at a forthcoming film festival and newly announced student exchange program. For the first time since I can remember, I find announcements inviting us to join a summer exchange program in Turkey. It’s sponsored by something called, appropriately, International Program for Democracy and Peace-- likely a US-government funded project.  

What awakened me to the energy going into a makeover of Turkey’s image here is a forthcoming film festival in New York. April 27 to May 10, our global media center—New York-- will treat us to festival unmatched in its scale—screening 29 films by Turkish directors.

Many of these films are co-produced in Germany and elsewhere in Europe where a large community of creative Turks reside and where ample funding is available. Turkey itself is home to a productive film industry tapping abundant Turkish talent, from writers to directors and actors. In Europe Turkish talent is already well regarded. But the industry made little impact in the US, even among the so-called intellectual elite.

This will change, in part due to the coming film festival.

One can only explain the lavishness of NY’s Lincoln Center project on Turkish films with a specific aim to help plant Turkey on American consciousness as a place of creativity and modernity. Our Turkish friends are ‘good guys’ now.

Turkey attracts some American tourists of course, but that’s of a different order. Boat rides on the Bosporus, photos in front of Sultan Ahmed Mosque and purchases of ceramic tiles and rugs do not change American acceptance of a country the way that films can, and do.

Twenty-nine films, all from one country! At the celebrated Lincoln Center in New York! This is not a marginal event. And it will surely be the launch of a wider campaign to cleanse our general image of Turkey, its perceived ‘islamist’ leaning, and its pro-Palestinian policy. As the program director announced of the event “an extraordinarily rich cinematic tradition that, despite the growing importance of that country on the world stage, has remained largely unknown to even the most dedicated American film goers.  “despite”? - well they are going to fix that.

Don’t get me wrong about these films and Turkish talent. I am on record for my devotion and admiration for Turkey’s TV dramas, translated into Arabic and distributed worldwide where the industry has spawned a new emotional attachment of Arab peoples to Turkey. (We discussed this on Radio Tahrir Jan. 31st 2012; see

Two years ago a friend familiar with Turkey’s TV industry informed me that the huge promotion given to Turkish productions over Arabic language networks was not accidental; he suggested it was in fact engineered to ‘penetrate’ the Arab consciousness—in the service of a wider political agenda. My associates in Syria, witnessing how Turkey has gone from ‘special friend’ to foe in a matter of months, charge their neighbor with using Syria to break into the entire Arab market and into its diplomatic circles. Indeed we now find Turkey at the table of important Arab League and other regional policy meetings regarding Syria and Libya. Yet not at the Palestine peace table, we note.

So go to the festival. Appreciate Turkish talent. Turkish filmmakers and writers are in the forefront of raising important social questions about justice and values across the Middle Eastern. In my opinion, the themes of their films express genuine and worthy social and ethical statements. From Turkish productions I’ve viewed in the past 4 years, I consider they are equal to and often surpass the output and quality of the Arab film industry.

All I am saying here is: let’s not pretend these films and festivals and the rapid spread of Turkish TV into Arab households is not part of Turkey’s new favorable position vis-a-vis the current US, European and Gulf Cooperation Council political agenda for the area.


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