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.

 

The Poetry of the Square

2011-02-05

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Cairo, February 4, Friday’s “Day of Departure”. We awaken to what we expect will be a tense, although possibly inspiring day. Millions are expected in the streets of Egypt’s cities. Millions will converge at Tahrir Maidan.

After Wednesday and Thursday’s confrontations and violence, no one knows what will transpire today inside Egypt. Will the thugs return? Will the military protect peaceful protesters? Will media be completely shut down?

Watching Al-Jazzera (Arabic) live from Tahrir Sq, the maidan is already crowded at 8 am; protesters have set up an audio system now, and we have people announcing their dreams. Not slogans; poems.

A young man uses a hand amplifier to announce his composition; he pauses for those around him to echo his words. This ‘protest poet’ has bandaged head; he pauses after every line to consult the small piece of paper in his hand. Some verses sound slightly poetic to me; how poetic, doesn’t matter. It is the poetry of this Egyptian moment that counts. 

American-Egyptian poet Sharif El Musa was in Al-Jazeera’s English studio yesterday, invited to comment on his country’s experience. It was Thursday, so the images of Wednesday night dominated the interview. Musa recalled the previous day when millions had assembled in the streets: “It was poetry” Musa observed: images we all witnessed, the raised Egyptian faces, their arms aloft, the stark messages from their throats and on posters. Many around the world will know the wall which has been scaled during these days—a proud, defiant time, glorious self-aware moment.  

It was poetry. I completely understood. Watching Egyptian brothers and sisters, I had felt something was missing in their journalistic remarks. However sympathetic the reporters were, they were unable to recognize the poetry of a revolution. They may have felt it. Surely some could.

Yet, only El Mousa said it. He characterized what is so deep, yet so simple. (The non-Arab, English language Al-Jazeera host did not grasp El Mousa’s point and so did not take up this profound observation. A chance missed.)  

This morning, Friday: people gather in streets and squares. Al-Jazeera Arabic hosts may be taking a morning off to prepare for this day. At 8 am, we watch footage images of Wednesday clashes repeated on the screen while anchors take calls from people around the world; most callers I can identify came from Egypt itself, also many from Saudi Arabia.  

I wonder about the western coverage; are they more drawn to the violence? can they possibly feel the poetry of this? The western media and Al-Jazeera appear to be clearly on the side of anti-government demonstrators. They finally interview some Egyptians in the street who are with their besieged government. Those statements do not come off with the same conviction and poetry of the pro-democracy voices. Those risking their lives speak a more gripping and moving experience-- a love, a determination, a vast, vast risk. 

Then for the first time, since January 25 when I began watching the events from Egypt, Al-Jazeera broadcasts music behind the images of today’s revolution; the music is mid 20th C, Egyptian orchestral that we associate with Um Kuthoum; some instrumental, also vocal. The singers and lyrics will be well known to Arab listeners, words surely patriotic, composed for another era, but a parallel moment.  

Accompanying the music are the touching, inspiring, images from the week: water cannons, wounded, resting fighters in the square, banners, hand scratched placards, the flag, the flag, the flag, transformed by their bearers into face paint, into hats, sweaters, armbands. A single person stands against a wall, alone, with his banner’s corners tied around his neck, the flag billowing in front of his chest, his two hands clutching the loose ends pulling it to and fro, the billowing of the cloth moving in and out as if it is his very breath. Bandaged warriors rest, and do not cry out in pain or frustration; quiet, doctors and friends tend wounds, gently not in panic. The tenderness is palpable. Men clean the square of stones and debris from last night using sides of cardboard, pushing, pushing away the debris. In preparation for another day. A man chops into the pavement to manufacture stone missiles for his compatriots.  

I do not feel sad. Nor pity. How can I when I witness such dignity. Surely the president sees these images; he must be weeping, more than I am.  

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Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem "Grandfather's Farm" children's playsong; Arabic

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poem Ya Rabbi Mustafa
praises to the Prophet, from Nazira CD, female voices

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