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.

 

Border Crossing Amman-Iraq ”Detained Again !! from Mohammed, Last of Iraqis Feb 12/08

2008-02-18

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

"Detained Again !!" testimony from just one Iraqi leaving his nation, only to be returned - Mohammed, Last of Iraqis.

I'm writing this in Jordan, Amman, queen Alia airport, it's 8:15 am now and it has been 18 hours since we arrived and still waiting to get back to the great Iraq….I'm still waiting to get back to my country and my home after being rejected by Jordanian intelligence for no reason at all; when he interviewed us he asked us why do you want to get to Jordan? I showed him our invitation to UK and my wife's British birth certificate and told him that I want to travel to UK and my wife wants to issue a British passport from Amman, he asked me where would you stay in Jordan?

I showed him the deed of my father's flat in Amman, then he wrote something and asked me why didn't they let you in last time you came to Amman? I told him I don't know, they haven't told me anything. He asked me again then why do you insist on getting to Amman? I smiled and told him" I told you I want to get to UK and this is possible only through Jordan because the British embassy in Syria doesn't give visas" he told me ok, wait outside ………..it has been 18 hours without food or water...and there is no one to buy anything from…I'm ready to pay 100$ for a sandwich and a bottle or water or at least let us go back home.

They say the Iraqi airplane will arrive at 2 p.m. but from past experience I don't believe that will happen, I believe it will be later than that.

I don't know what to say or feel, I need sleep, I need a sofa or bed, my body is aching from laying on the ground and sitting on the metal chairs, I'm hungry and thirsty….I'm angry, so sad and so so tired, I just want to scream.

I didn't think that I will go throw this experience again…..It's so devastating, it destroys my soul and body, it kills me to see these real, classy and good original Iraqi men and women laying and sleeping on the floor for no mistake they have committed…only because of our original sin …..the sin of being an Iraqi...I remember how these Jordanian pigs used to welcome us before when we were in power…..and when we became weak and in need to get in their country they humiliated us and refused us…I remember how we used to welcome them….I remember how they studied in our universities not only for free but the government was giving them a salary in US dollars when majority of Iraqis haven't seen the dollar or dreamed of holding one…I remember how Iraq used to give them oil for free!! I remember how nice we used to treat them in our universities and in the streets…and I see how they are paying it back to us….things will change and we will be strong and powerful again if god wills….Iraq is great and real Iraqis are greater….it's only the era of idiots controlling a great country and I wish it will be over as soon as possible….it's like someone who doesn't know how to ride a horse and he rides on a mustang, that's how our puppet politicians controls Iraq.

I can't watch this old professor who studied in the USA and worked for many many years in Canada and USA and got back to Iraq to help in building the country he always loved, he got back to Iraq to rebuild it and here he is laying on the floor because he wanted to have a vacation with his daughter and see his other daughter whom he haven't seen since 5 years…

In the airport jail there are three small rooms….one was occupied by men only (men who came without their families) and the two other rooms are for families…we (the detained Iraqis) arranged them like this….In my room there are: a brother and his sister who got a scholarship in an American University and wanted to go to the US…the professor and his daughter…two women who were delegated from the Iraqi government bank (Al-Rafidain Bank)….a Christian girl who wanted to go to the Pharmacy college in Amman because all her family lives there, she was in Baghdad to finish her high school.

In the other families room there are a stewardess in the Iraqi airlines with her two children!! Imagine they didn't let a stewardess that worked on our plane to get to Amman, she was even wearing the uniform!!.....a women with her two children who are students in a primary school in Amman.

In the men's room there are about 13 men, 6 of them are delegated from the ministry of anterior, and one of them is a big merchant and the rest I don't know much about.

It's 9 am now….we are so thirsty ….it has been 19 hours and they didn't brought any water to us…if any one wants to drink water he must drink from the WC tub….the WC was so dirty and I can't believe that anyone can drink from that…we told them we want to buy water and the pig officer replied someone will come soon to take your orders just wait…we will bring you breakfast by the way!!

I told him I don't want your food or water, I don't want anything from you…I want to buy my food and I want to buy my water…you either let me go and buy or send me someone to take my order, he said someone will take your order soon, just wait.

In our room we were chatting all the night we couldn't sleep because it's so hard to sleep in conditions like this…the floor is so dirty and the blankets are dirty too in addition that so many people were using it! People that you don't know how are they or how dirty they are or what disease they have…there is one pillow in each room, it was the treasure at that time…although you can see how clean it is!?

I was talking with that professor who I really admired for the science and experiences he have. He is so educated and classy….I asked him if you were living in the USA and you career was going well why did you get back to Iraq? He said" first of all my mother was crying every time I call her and she was begging me to get back…and when the revolution happened in Iraq and Ahmed Hassan Al Bakir became the president…the Iraqi government asked the scientist to get back to Iraq and help in rebuilding it…they asked each one personally…so I got back and as soon as I got back they asked for me in the governmental palace…as I went there they said thank you so much for being the first to respond to the call of the revolution…….." he stopped and his voice chocked when he said that last sentence…I looked at his face and I noticed his eyes were filled with tears and he was looking so sad, I immediately remembered my father who was in UK and was working there in the 80s and wanted to get back to Iraq. when my mother asked him why he answered her" simply because my country needs me, I must get back to build my country."

…..he stopped talking for about 15 minutes and he changed to another story, the story of his threatening, he said" one of my neighbors have left Iraq and left his home, we live in a neighborhood controlled by AlQaeda and because he is a Shiite he decided to leave his home and head to Jordan before he is threatened, so he left his house and asked me to look after it…one day I saw some people trying to break into his house I went outside and told them stop what are you doing, he said this house is mine now, the prince said so, I laughed and told him are you Muslim?

He said sure, I said don't you know the Quarn verse (to the religious people, don't enter houses that aren't yours unless you ask for permission and greet its owners* this is a translation for the verse it might not be so accurate but I tried to give the meaning*)…and I told him let me talk to your prince…an hour later he came back with someone and he begun yelling and cursing and he hit me then I called the awakening and they resolved the issue…few days later I received a poem written on a paper that says (don't you think we forgot you or will forget you, we will kill you and if not then we must be dead).

I told him then why didn't you leave Iraq? He said I'll never be afraid of such low lives, it's my country and I will never leave it, I left everything for it, and I'm not afraid, when god wants me to die, I'll die no matter what I do.

It's 10:15 am they finally brought a small bottle of water for each one and the breakfast (fried chicken!!) and someone came to take the order I ordered some chocolates, water and pizza (which the only alternative for chicken) I paid the guy and the rest were discussing what they want, and the bastard officer said "leave them, they are acting like young stupid kids, they will never decide" that's when I said enough is enough….I told him "why do you say that…I don't allow you to talk like this about descent Iraqi men, he said can't you see it has been a long time and they haven't decided what they want yet, I told him" can't you see that they don't have Jordanian Dinars! Can't you see that you don't accept Iraqi Dinar! Can't you see that they only have 100$ banknotes!! Can't you see the way they have slept the night! I'd like to see how will you act when you sleep like this…then I turned around and left him.

It's 1:00 pm they asked us to get ready because the plane has arrived, we carried our handbags and waited for the plane which to my surprise came at time. We reached Baghdad and I was feeling some happiness because I'll be able to sleep on a bed, on my bed in my home without humiliation I reached home at 6 pm.

Now when I review my writings I feel so much pain and very very sad , it was a different thing last time when they didn't let me in, I was going for a vacation and this time it was to secure my future and try to make my dreams true, last time when they didn't let me in I immediately went to Syria and I had so much fun that made me forget what happened and it's effects, but now….oh now…I'm so sad, I'm so sad, I even don't have the mood to write a letter, I feel my chest is getting narrower on my heart everyday and my lungs are getting smaller every minute…when I open my bags to put my stuff back I feel the failure with every jeans and shirt I put back…I feel the disappointment every minute, a stupid low life intelligence officer destroyed my future and killed my dreams, a legal dream of having a secure safe future, a dream of becoming a dentist in a place that appreciate science and doctors, not trying to kill each one of them….a dream of trying to have a normal life and live like the rest of the world do….not living as a prisoner in my home…where there is no place I can go without endangering my life…and even at home I'm not sure of my safety…a stupid officer made me sleep on the floor and starve me!! A stupid officer prevented us from seeing our families whom we miss so much…a stupid officer destroyed our dreams….

this is what happened in one day…this is a story for one person…just imagine every day how many stories like this happens…every day…can you imagine? This is a serious issue….I don't know what the Iraqis are made of to stand these crisis? What happens every day in that cursed airport is something so important, where is the media from all of this? It really requires the media attention, the light must be spotted on this issue and I'm ready to help as much as I can to expose the truth. http://last-of-iraqis.blogspot.com/2008/02/detained-again.html

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