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.

 

Gaza: No Anniversary

2009-10-30

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

I cannot fail to remember Gaza. I do not need the latest report of a human rights organization to evoke the images. I do not need the UN’s Gladstone Report, or the anniversary of the latest massacre, or an appeal for funds to repair a hospital, or the day of solidarity coming up January 1, 2010—a New Year. Gaza is part of our lives. A shameful part. Occasionally we see an image, if we search, and only if we search, of a bandaged body, or a crushed shell of a home, or a grave. I cannot imagine this endless year that a million Gazans have lived without us. They are still waiting. The name Hamas chills the public, and any sympathizers withdraw into a corner in their confusion and shame. Last March I took part in a series of short presentations at Brecht Forum in NYC called “We Are Gaza” organized by my colleague Fawzia Afzal-Khan. A lot of passion filled the room and the audience along with the performers seemed self-gratified. They had dared to be part of this memory—for indeed it takes courage in the US to openly declare in Amreeka: “We are Gaza”. A five-page account of current statistics circulated. Grisly statistics; I remember them. A month ago, a friend circulated a series of poems from Gaza penned by Atef Abu Seif. It’s called “A Dead Life: Stories from the Time of Gaza”. Here are two.

There used to be five of us. He was not the first to be born, or the last

He was not even in the middle

It was not his luck to be firstborn, to be indulged most

He also was not the last to arrive, the final cluster on the wine and sugar crystallized.

He was not the symbol of glad tidings, where middle is best

His birth did not suggest anything in the history of the family.

Yet, in spite of all that, he was the most spoiled and closest to our parents’ hearts, most privileged, most rewarded.

It was Joseph, whom we envied for the space people made for him in their hearts

We did not throw him in the well and we did not sing at his departure. We cried!

Now we must live without our jealousy, give up part of our nature, and we must accept that we have become four.

A Different Morning

This morning is different. No jets in the sky. Even the sun was late in rising from its bed. And the sound of guns can no longer be heard at the outskirts. Ambulances that did not sleep all night settled down to rest. Even the sun woke up late from its bed in the east. Children, contrary to their custom, did not fill the streets with the noise of their games; nor did the hawking of the women carrying their baskets on the way to market. Also, in the alley in our quarter, the kiss will not appear that two small lips will draw on the cheek of the mother standing in the doorway saying her last good-bye to the son on his way to school.

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quoting Poet Alexander Pope.

Ali Mazrui, professor of African Studies

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem "We are Born with Names" by Marian Haddad

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