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.

 

Arab Women: this month, this year, this century. Who am I missing?

2013-03-01

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

March: women’s history arrives with a rush of media specials, awards, new books, lectures, performances.

Every year I welcome these occasions. It’s so essential that we revisit and celebrate our accomplishments—individual achievements, transformations by whole communities, legal gains, fresh insights, newly uncovered ‘herstories’-- and further our goals.

I happily share today’s celebrations of my global sisters. This energy propels me towards my Arab peoples, my Arab sister. Today ‘Arab woman’ is subsumed into the wider exotic identity, that of Muslim woman. OK, we are part of that world. (As an anthropologist I accept the ever changing boundaries of social identity; sometimes they narrow, sometimes they broaden. I’m OK with this.)

So, Arab or Muslim, where are we in today’s ‘herstories’? In the celebrations; in the national archives; in the films and awards? In the victories?

Here are eleven sisters-- Etel Adnan, Azizah AlHibri, Intisar AlWazir, Nawal ElSadaawi, Tawakkul Karman, Hala Maksoud, Mai Masri, Fatima Mernissi,  Asma Mahfouz, Alice Nashashibi, Helen Thomas. Some are revolutionaries; others use their pens to change and inspire. Film is the medium of another’s message; the next organizes the city’s cultural center; her sister teaches law.

I haven’t included the promising generation of young professionals—comedians, actors, journalists, novelists, lawyers, activists, teachers. I know they’re there. Somewhere. I have to believe they will emerge from unseen corners, from unpublished manuscripts and quiet meetings; that they will flourish and take the risks every leader must. (Even if it means martyrdom.) And when she does, she makes proud not only her Arab sisters, but all women. She benefits all of us.

The many I’ve overlooked: I need to know them. Tell me their names; write me a few lines of herstory, and we’ll share them in our next blog. On the radio too.

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