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.

 

Arab Women, Muslim Women Provide Infinite Possibilities (for Your Debate)

2015-12-03

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Do you remember one reason Washington gave for invading Afghanistan in 2001? It was to liberate women. Watching pictures of ill-treated Afghan women, previously uncommitted Americans heartily joined the cry for war. (No possibility of doing that in Saudi Arabia. Or Egypt. Since no good friend of America would suffer that kind of liberation.)

Hidden from war headlines are hundreds of millions of women from Japan to the USA fighting for justice within their legal system, for parity in media portrayals, for equality in the office, and for respect in their own homes and bedrooms. They include Arab --or if you prefer, Muslim—women. And don’t forget Christian and Buddhist, Jewish and Hindi and Shinto. Even non-believers shouldn’t be excluded? (You might ignore Ms. Twakkol Karman, Yemen’s Nobel Peace Laureate because presently she and her people are being besieged and bombed by American ally Saudi Arabia.)

Anyway, Egyptian women seem to receive an excess of attention. Maybe it’s because they’re so numerous-- half of Egypt’s 80 million-- or because they’re so glittery, or perhaps because Egyptian feminists are especially outspoken and creative, or because Egypt has a vigorous literary and film industry that takes on issues with boldness and skill. A powerful film emerging from this trade is Yousry Nasrallah’s 2009 feature “Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story”. It’s playing again in New York, double-billed with a new release, “Private Revolutions”. Both films explore the lives of women.

“Private Revolutions", a documentary by a European team directed by Alexandra Schneider, focuses on four individuals during the 2011 revolt, and later. Schneider revisits Cairo to learn the fate of each of them following the ouster of the elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government and the re-imposition of a military dictatorship. “Scheherazade” is a fictional tale set in modern (pre Arab-Spring) Cairo, the work of two men, the renowned director Nasrallah and writer Wahid Hamed, and some very fine actors.

Schneider’s documentary will seem more credible because we know these are real people with apartments and neighbors. But both films are bigger-than-life dramas. “Scheherazade”’s four women are no less credible; indeed the scriptwriter says this story was inspired by true events. The central character here is Hebba, a TV host and a modern woman recently married to a seemingly progressive man. Confronting her nation’s social realities, journalist Hebba decides to profile three women on her show and in the course of these interviews exposes widespread misogyny and corruption at high levels. Her truth-telling goes too far, upsetting her husband’s career, and when she finds herself a victim of abuse, Hebba emerges more determined. She enters the debate with her own personal experience.

Schneider chose four Cairo activists for “Private Revolutions”. Each woman is struggling for recognition and for freedom, some in her local community, others within the national campaign to oust a corrupt government and install a true democracy. The filmmaker caught them at a promising time in their careers when each exhibits a thrilling confidence on camera…at first. Their candor is extraordinary and Schneider makes us really care about each woman. When the filmmaker revisits Cairo after the restoration of military rule, two of these women are unavailable; one has vanished and another rebuffs the director.

Fictionalized or documented, both films portray a slice of the multifarious life of contemporary Egypt-- portraits of “women who fight back”. All the women here will touch you and provoke you. South Asian, African and Arab women are already deeply engaged in the ‘challenges’ portrayed here. But Western women may only grasp these characters as unfortunate products of exotic, troubled places. (I hope not.) If we are honest, we in the US and Europe can recognize that we share a great deal with the eight women we meet through these films.

Today the women’s movement globally is weak and fragmented, fragmented by culture and war, and by class. Western women’s patronizing narrative of Third World women has alienated many; this applies especially to their view of Muslim women. If western audiences see the women in these films as only Egyptian, or only Muslim, the gulf between us will grow wider. And the value of such films will be lost.

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With visible breath I am walking. A voice I am sending as I walk. In a sacred manner I am walking. With visible tracks I am walking. In a sacred manner I walk.    

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