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.


Where Do All The Flowers Go?


by Barbara Nimri Aziz

"Are you the journalist who visited our class at Al-Aquida?” she asked me.

The inquiry came from a grown woman I did not know. We were attending our national conference of Arab American Writers ( so I assumed she had an interest in literature penned by our talented community in the US.

Unable to recognize the woman, yet aware of how eagerly she was awaiting my reply, I turned my gaze to her name tag-- not the family name but her personal name. “Lamia”. This popular Iraqi name for girls began to stir my memory.

On my first visit to Iraq gathering material for an article on women’s outstanding role in that country’s public life and their advances in education, I visited a girls’ school in central Baghdad. Yes, it was Al-Aquida. And Lamia had been a 12 or 13 year old student then. 

How well I remember the encounter: the proud headmistress; crowds of self-assured girls speaking fluently in English; the brightly lit orderly computer room; the expansive tree-lined yard; a row of arches supporting the portico that extended around three sides of the school building.

Lamia and a number her schoolmates spoke with me in 1990. They were so hopeful.

The following year, I returned to Iraq and I revisited al-Aquida. This time things were different. Very different.  The American-engineered and policed UN sanctions regime—a brutal global embargo against 20 million people that would go on for 13 murderous years—had begun. Although the blockade had been in effect only seven months at that time, life for Iraqis was already transformed. Added to the blockade was a military defeat, the routing of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, and 42 uninterrupted days of bombing across the entire country. It was a well planned US-led campaign to slowly crush Iraq and reverse its development.

The nation gradually, painfully, unraveled, taking millions with it. Perhaps 2 million perished; an estimated 4 million became refugees; most of those who remained in the country silently sank into penury. That was before the 2003 American invasion that finally dislodged Baath rule, set off waves of sectarian strife and destroyed what infrastructure and pride the Iraqis had managed to maintain during the debilitating embargo. (What figures we read of the deaths, destruction and flight to safety of others are those calculated only since 2003.)

On my second visit to Al-Aquida in 1991, no one in Iraq knew what the US plan for the country was. But the schoolgirls’ shock, anger, and wounded pride surely captured the sentiments of most Iraqis at the time. I wove those youngsters’ comments into an audio documentary: “Iraq; How Can I Forget?” which I then produced for radio broadcast. In those children’s voices, you may begin to grasp their poignant, young experiences. Take a moment to listen to that program; you can download it from our webpage:

More extensive details of that vicious UN blockade are recorded in “Swimming Up The Tigris: Real Life Encounters in Iraq”. Finally published in 2007 from University Press of Florida, my account is one of a mere handful of English language sources documenting that overlooked and shameful period of world history.

Lamia told me that she and her family left Iraq only in 2006. I don’t know how they managed to remain in their homeland for that length of time and what finally pressed them to leave and to begin a new life elsewhere. It is bound to be a harrowing tale of overcoming obstacles few others can even begin to imagine.   

As a student of literature, Lamia will surely acquire the tools and inspiration to tell us that history. Whether in memoir, film, music or in fiction, the world, especially our younger citizens, need to hear Iraqis’ own testimonies.

Thankfully perhaps, I won’t be around when my once young, bright Syrian friends turn up somewhere else in the world to recall our joyful yet naïve early meetings together in Damascus.

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Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem Darwish: "Sonnet V" read by translator Fady Joudah (English/Arabic)

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poem Algeria: Qur'an Recitation
Algerian Sahara , by Sufi brothers

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Book review
G Willow Wilson's
The Butterfly Mosque
reviewed by BN Aziz.

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