Forthcoming

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 www.wbai.org 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.

 

A love story? A cure? Atonement?

2015-10-07

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

 Today’s story begins with a minor bureaucratic procedure but it ends with a human encounter that begs telling. Let’s start with the death of Robert and the survival of his elderly mother. After Robert died three years ago, his mother reregistered her house from his name (his father’s) to hers, the surname she’d adopted when she remarried. This simple act would have far reaching ramifications that would change her life, sort of. 

Robert, who’d lived with his mother for the past 20 years was 63 when he died. Yvonne was 86 then and things looked rather bleak because she was now living alone and because of a recently diagnosed illness. Not long before his death, Robert noticed mental difficulties his mom was experiencing. She was awaking at night believing strangers were trying to enter their home or wandering through the rooms. Robert had new locks and a security system installed.

Yvonne was not comforted. Recognizing what he thought were signs of Alzheimer’s, Robert attended a local Alzheimer’s support group to learn how best to help his mother. An additional problem for Robert was own health; he himself was dying of cancer and he knew this. Unable to work fulltime for the past year, his visits for medical treatment were increasingly frequent.  

While struggling with his own debility Robert accompanied his mother to a geriatric specialist; she indeed showed symptoms of dementia. Yvonne completely rejected this diagnosis and refused to take recommended drugs. Barely a week later, before Robert could resolve the matter, he collapsed and was hospitalized. Within three days he succumbed to his cancer. Relatives of Robert’s (from his father’s side, all living faraway in Georgia, Texas and California) converged in New Jersey for his funeral. Here they learned about Yvonne’s prognosis and discussed what might be done. Neighborhood friends met too, and we arranged to cautiously monitor Yvonne’s health. Meanwhile she insisted on remaining in her home, alone.

On the surface Yvonne had an undistinguished life. Born in France, she married an American after World War II and moved to the US where her son was born. When Robert was barely four, his father died. Yvonne rented a place near her son’s grandparents and they helped care for him while she went to work. She often talked to me about her good paying office jobs in New York City. She supported herself and her son most of her life.

Until a few days ago Yvonne she had never spoken about living in North Africa. Robert was seven when she left New Jersey to work for a US company in Morocco. Perhaps because of her skill in French and an expectation that Morocco might be more like her homeland, she thought it would be a good move. Robert went with her.

Two years later both were back in the US. Yvonne eventually remarried; unluckily, this partner too died after a few years. Robert and his mom were alone again. Little seemed to have changed. A hardworking single mom, Yvonne was able to buy a house for Robert and her. She resolved not to remarry; she continued to use the name of her second husband although their house remained listed in Robert’s name. If anyone needed to locate Yvonne by her first married name, it would be difficult. Who guessed she’d be the object of a search?

Six months after Robert’s death Yvonne’s was managing well alone but relatives expected they’d soon have to decide about her long term care. Friends living nearby were keeping a close watch over her. Discreetly exchanging news about Yvonne, we noticed that her Alzheimer’s symptoms seemed to be retreating. Not only was Yvonne’s health not worsening; she appeared to have regained her energy, good humor and mental balance. How could this be?

Visiting Yvonne a few days ago when her phone rang, I learned a possible reason for her recuperation. I heard her curtly ask the party to ring her after an hour; then she returned to me, shyly announcing, “I have a boyfriend”. Without my urging she quietly explained what was happening, pausing only to retrieve from the next room a small photo album this friend had recently assembled for her.

All the photos were of a smiling, tall man with a full head of hair—let’s call him Alan. In the early pictures he was in military uniform, usually posed beside an aircraft of some kind. Decade by decade they showed him aging, until the most recent snap at his current 83 years, still tall and proud. Sixty years earlier Alan was an American pilot stationed in Morocco, Yvonne said. They’d met there and fallen in love. They planned to marry but he withdrew his promise citing family obligations in the USA. She was heartbroken and as she recalled the episode to me I could see some lingering sadness.

Both returned to the US, she with her son to resume her suburban life and office job, he to marry and raise a family while continuing his military career. They had no contact, although now he claims he desperately tried to find Yvonne. For half a century, he told her after he’d finally traced her whereabouts, he’d never forgotten her. Only when Yvonne registered her house under the name by which Alan knew her, he succeeded.

“He betrayed me”, she said, and explained she was not very receptive when he first reached her at her home. That was six months after Bob died. Alan composed this album of snaps documenting his life and after that, when he insisted on visiting her, she could not resist.

He came to see her a second time to drive her to his home in North Carolina to meet his whole family. He’d been completely honest with them, Yvonne says. She found Alan’s wife cordial, although his grown children refused to meet with her. The final pictures in the album include two snaps of Alan and Yvonne and one with him and his wife.

Alan phones Yvonne every day, sometimes more than once. They talk for a long time. She can’t believe this. She can’t understand his wife’ generosity (or is it tolerance?). As she fingers through the small album, she smiles and talks about what he’s told her of his past 60 years and the details of his search for her. I don’t know if Yvonne is deeply happy about what’s happened. But I think this reunion does explain her improved health.

You tell me: a touching love story? A temporary cure for disease, or exploitation by a scoundrel trying to atone for a 60-year-old mistake?

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