Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

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

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

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.

 

Gather little children...

2012-12-16

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

There is surely nowhere in the world, from the open Mongolian steppe to a cramped lane in Gaza City, where people do not know the sound of children in school. Itís a dear sound--  half-finished sentences and jostling little bodies, high pitched singing and new friendships, uninhibited yelps and teachersí gentle proddings, a row of chatting parents waiting outside at the end of the learning day.

However undeveloped a place, universal education exists across our globe. So while we may not be familiar with a college campus or a multiplex cinema, we know the place where our children begin to learn. In this tender setting, little ones make their first venture into the world.

Whether our own children have long ago moved on, or if we live in a bustling city or on a quiet country lane, our days are somehow marked by children setting out for school. 

The primary school I know best and whose children I recall so vividly today happen to live in Nepal. The buildings sit on the edge of Kathmandu city near Balaju bridge, off noisy Nayaa Bazaar. A poor neighborhood by some standards but itís the most important place to the 400 children who have begun their learning here. These Nepali 2nd graders are surely the same height, with the same bright eyes, the same pitched squeals exchanged with playmates, the same shyness, the same small fingers gripping a bright crayon as those little boys and girls at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut.

The events in USA last week make those sounds across the globe more precious today. As we connect them, maybe grieving Americans can better understand the silence of little Palestinian and Pakistani and Iraqi corpses.

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a poem.. a song..
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