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.

 

De Tocqueville in Algeria Revisited

2009-11-15

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

“DeTocqueville in Algeria Revisited”. In the coming days I will be convening a panel of this title. Americans revere this 19th Century French lawyer aristocrat for what is referred to as a “visionary work” on US governance in the 19th century. Journalists, political scientists, theorists, politicians comment on our (USA) form of governance by quoting widely from the 1835 two volume masterpiece Democracy in America

In Algeria, the Frenchman is viewed rather differently. Alarmingly so.

Following on of his visit to the US and publication of his Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville was assigned to the recently invaded, richly endowed landmass on the northern coast of Africa--Algeria. His mission there? Assigned by France as a ‘membre d’une commission extraordinaire charge d’etudier le problem de la colonisation algerienne”, he was given the task of observing conditions in the newly occupied land and making recommendations to his government regarding its long term imperial interests in Algeria.

Based on his observations of the US during a relatively brief stay here, we know that Tocqueville was an extraordinarily astute observer of society and governance, also a prolific recorder. He applied these same faculties in two relatively brief visits to Algeria, in 1841 and 1846.

His remarks, in a series of letters, are available in an important 2003 (publisher GF Flammariaon, Paris) publication Tocquevulle Sur L’Algerie, compiled by Ms Selouna Luste Boulbina.

I received a copy of this book in 2007 during the early stage of my Fulbright professorship year in the North African state. I was startled of course, because the author’s view of Algeria was that of an avid colonist; such a contrast to what I believed was a humanistic “liberal” view of American society, a system praised for its egalitarianism, tolerance, etc.

Rather puzzled, I showed this book to a colleague, Hassane Sobhi, historian and sociologist at the University of Oran. Although I had seen no mention of Tocqueville among the numerous articles and seminars on French colonial experience I came across during my year in Algeria, Tocqueville is well known there. He is also despised.

“Le technicen du colonization”, spat my colleague when I made my first timid inquiry. He went on to elaborate on Tocqueville’s role in helping the French government devise their scorched earth and settlement policy in his country. He blamed Tocqueville for the depth of pain Algeria endured, and the atrocities executed by the French occupiers. Remember this man worked in Algeria barely 13 years after the arrival there of French troops, a presence with would become a 134 year occupation. So the policies that shaped the next 120 years of French rule in Algeria were fundamental. Algerians hold Tocqueville as responsible as the military generals for the crimes committed by their rulers over that period.

The coming conference (Middle East Studies Association, Boston Nov 21-24) panel will bring together Simone Fattal who has closely followed Tocqueville’s work and who sent me the collected letters Tocqueville sur L’Algerie, Professor Hassane Sobhi who elaborated on the French author’s work, and two other scholars who examine his writings more fully.

Such a critical examination in an American academic context is promising. It can lead to are reading of Democracy in America as part myth, since this French visitor was describing a system of government which clearly applied to only white European settlers. It can also lead us to identify how he applied his understanding of a “successful” colonization of America, to the French colonial policy.

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