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.

 

Eid Al-Adha

2007-12-19

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Eid Al-Adha from one’s neighborhood

In the Maghreb and across the globe, the spirit of Islam waves through us.

From New York—“I got your message and my best friend's message from Turkey this morning. Without these messages I wouldn't know if it was Eid today. You reminded me my childhood eids. Thanks. I can imagine the warm feelings everywhere.” AB

 

“This is so inspiring, I'm glad you're there to witness and be a part of it. And, yes I love the Algerians, especially their recitations. It's truly amazing that when we look for the Muslims we can find them anywhere we are in the world. May Allah bless you with success on this journey and inspire you with new vision.” AA

 

Dec. 19. 2007 Eid morning here in an Algerian neighborhood; awaking to fajr prayers and knowing that virtually everyone around me and across the nation is in prayer. The Algerian communal morning recitations, led by the president on TV at Jamiyeha Djedid near Bab Eloeud in the capital, has its 'Algerian' character, a spiritual music I’ve enjoyed nowhere else (except a trace of it among Tibetan Buddhists).

 

You can grasp it on our Tahrir web page in ‘prayers’—Algeria Qur’an recitation. (It is national rather than particular to Ghardia.) The rhythm and simplicity carry, I believe, the sufi tradition that, despite what others may believe, is very strong in Algeria, as in Morocco, etc. Enjoy it.

 

Algerians are one of the most 'religious' peoples I have encountered. The hadiths are widely known and invoked, and discussed in regular conversations. One feels a deep, deep love for the Prophet Mohammed. Love with knowledge.

 

The children are excited about the sheep in their apartments awaiting the sacrifice. I feel the joys of the children and the determination of the families, across all the neighborhoods, despite everything and economic difficulties that "C'est la fete".

 

I turn on the TV after my prayers and watch the broadcast from Mecca, touched by the exaltations of the pilgrims realizing their lifetime dream. The on-camera commentators are surprisingly profane in contrast to the landscape of ‘realizing’ pilgrims in the beyond. It reflects how private and divine the hajj experience is. (Many other Arab stations are broadcasting pop songs or talk shows and Al-Jazeera, true to form, has some ‘talking political heads’.)

 

Algeria TV, after the prayer traditionally visits hospitals and old age centers to talk to children, veterans and others without families nearby. It is always touching and I think really shows the depth of feeling for this holy day, the only program I like on Algerian TV. Festivals are especially meaningful to the old and the young.

 

best to you and your families for a joyous Eid

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