“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"


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.


Nepal and democracy? Please Donít Disturb My Himalayan Holiday.


by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Do we need an ex-US president to observe today’s election in Nepal to make it noteworthy?  Or will violence attract outside attention?

Either way, international media has all but ignored Nepal’s aspirations as a republic. A major democratic struggle is underway in a nation needing its hard-won and gallant uprising, a revolution that started in 1990 and has been stumbling along since then, to become relevant to the Nepali people.

Dismissal of today’s zoo porn election is widespread among Nepal’s citizens. The same applies to our international community, it seems. Whereas Maldives Island with a voting population of just 240,000  received extraordinary global attention in recent days, Nepal’s 12 million voters are essentially overlooked. Could that be because the major contenders are Maoist or Marxist-linked parties? In what little news we have in the international press you’ll find excessive attention to Nepal’s Maoists in all their manifestations, while the real issues confronting this Asian nation of 27 million are largely ignored.

Especially Britain, India and the USA have essentially abandoned democratic aspirations there, first with the guerrilla war that led to the fall of a one party Hindu monarchy, then with multi-party elections that gave Maoists the leadership in two out of five governments since 2006.  (Britain and the USA armed the king in his ultimately unsuccessful fight against the insurgency, with possibly half of the estimated 13,000  Nepalese victims of the conflict killed by Nepal’s troops.)

To be sure, six years after they entered government, the nation’s leftist parties and their leaders have squandered political opportunities afforded by the rebel successes. The public is justified in its disappointments; many people I spoke to on my most recent visit to Nepal say they’ll not vote. Voters declare they are confused by the number of parties and disenchanted with new candidates as well as present leaders.

Public disgust may doubtless be behind some of the violence preceding today’s election. But more than squabbling parties are to blame for the languishing state of the country and the despondency of its people.

First let’s recall the extraordinary efforts that paved the way to this democracy. Starting in 1990, tens of thousands of Nepalese erupted in opposition to injustice and misrule. Costly protests led to important reforms: —multi parties, freedom of association, an open press. But those remarkable transformations left the nation with neither essential economic changes nor a constitution. A suffocating class system remained undisturbed, gender inequalities stood, the monarchy was still the final arbiter, and corruption continued.

The successful guerrilla insurgency led to a cease fire in 2006, the inclusion of Maoists in the political process, and, finally, astonishingly, the end of the 240 year old abusive (Hindu) monarchy. A republic was created and Nepal seemed to be destined for better things.

Those early accomplishments were never really welcomed by the very powers who champion democracy so vigorously elsewhere. Nor by their ally India who helps shape regional geopolitical strategy. India’s grip on its landlocked northern neighbor with its history of weak leadership and corruption is more frightening and oppressive than any left-leaning Nepali administration.

Western interests behave as if nothing changed through the early years of protest, the Maoist movement (it prevailed across rural Nepal) and the anti-monarchy push. Income from tourism was only marginally affected, allowing foreign trekkers to still satisfy their needs undisturbed by political turmoil. So could tens of thousands of NGOs (domestic and international) personnel based in Kathmandu. While they justify their existence with ideals of alleviating poverty and inequality, development agencies work against real revolution, they hold tightly to their privileges while turmoil swirls just outside their gated communities.

Nepal’s huge NGO community is less essential for change among the poor than to maintain a middle class; they offer the appearance of progress, they patronize businesses serving them, and they absorb educated Nepalese who cannot or do not depart for even more lucrative posts abroad.

The top heavy, often superfluous, and not very effective NGO establishments in Nepal may be a major barrier to effective governance as well. When Nepal’s  administration confronts a problem, NGO’s quickly arrive to address issues, even if they rarely facilitate solutions. Overdependence on NGOs and the role of these charities in fostering and maintaining corruption is part of the nation’s dysfunctional state. That is an issue which needs to be addressed by courageous and sober leadership.

Today’s election cannot offer any hope of basic economic reform. Underlying the impotence of the revolution is the absence of a constitution for this infant republic. Essentially Nepal has no government; it still awaits guidelines from a constitution. Today’s election is to elect 601 men and women, representatives not to parliament but to a Constituent Assembly. The last CA, in place for four years, failed. And no one I met in Nepal believes that a new body of 601 members can be effective.

Nepal needs brave, really inspiring leadership. If he or she appears-- and it won’t happen in an election, it will become a model for many struggling nations worldwide.

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Well, sometimes the impossible takes a little longer!!!!!!

Lynne Stewart, Dec.31, 2013

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem "Claims", by Lisa S. Majaj
from the chapbook "These Words" by Lisa S. Majaj

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poem Qur'an Surat Mazzamil
Huzna Majid, NJ student, reading

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Book review
Laila Lalami's
The Other Americans
reviewed by BN Aziz.

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