March 20; 7:45 am, B Nimri Aziz begins a new 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.
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" --a profile of 5 Palestinian car racers. Orther segments are from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Damascus 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.
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
"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.
- Reviewed by
The boundaries of inventiveness are continually being challenged and breached in literature. How glorious. The latest such outbreak is in the writing of Monica Ali. Brick Lane, Aliís first novel, is a complex and satisfying piece of writing. Only recently, 5 years after its publication, I sat down to read this young womanís work. What a thrill.
I knew that since the appearance of Brick Lane, Ali achieved wide recognition. But this book still astonished me; it is more than the work of a good storyteller. It is a multi-layered story with a new kind of heroine, a British immigrant, a woman, a Muslim. (Aliís characters in this novel are only excelled by those of Hanif Kuraishi.)
Brick Lane invites us to taste immigrant experience in full splendor. This novel blends fantasy, family conflict, letters from a sister in
, and the ever so slow maturity of our heroine Nazneen. Nazneen had an inauspicious birth in the homeland, and was taught to ĎendureíÖ everything (at times infuriating for the reader.) When swept into a marriage that lands her in Bangladesh , she clings to that philosophy. Nazneen tolerates a failed husband Chanu who, although clumsy and pompous, clutches a commendable philosophy. While this does not bring him success in London , he speaks some truths. England
Following the downturn of Chanuís fortune and the emerging independence of Nazneen, we meet a host of believable, refreshing characters in the
council estate where Nazneen resides. Each one, whether a forlorn family doctor and his wild wife, neighborhood women who range from the naÔve to the cunning to the dreamy, her own truculent daughter, her hapless lover, fills in the British immigrant landscape. London
Perhaps in an attempt at political reality Ali has Nazneen stumble into an organizing meeting of local Muslims. One the surface they represent hope... and danger. This may be Monica Aliís attempt to acknowledge real threats faced by disillusioned British Muslims. The eventual collapse of the group may be the authorís way of ridiculing immigrant Muslim leadership. Or it may serve to send our heroine elsewhere.
The heartwarming letters to Nazneen from her sister Hasina in
may be another message from the author. Hasinaís compassion tells us that humanity survives there, even though it may be missing from the lives of Bangladeshi in the Bangladesh . If Hasina can overcome what has befallen her at home, surely there is redemption for Nazeem. UK
Our Muslim author also skillfully weaves the reality of migrated Islam. The people of Brick Lane are not pious Muslims (not at this point in the story), but their prayers and practices are ever present, in fragments, in a vague memory of home, in terms of habit, constantly interrupted by unimportant daily preoccupations. All religion-related episodes in the story tell us that everything in this arena of their lives is unsettled and unreliable. Nevertheless, our heroine can and does finde meaning.
by Monica Ali
Truth is a pathless land. If you are following someone else, you'll never find it.
- a poem.. a song..
- "These Words", by Lisa S. Majaj
poem from the chapbook These Words Flash
- Algeria: Qur'an Recitation
Algerian Sahara , by Sufi brothers
- Book review
- Khaled Hosseini's
And The Mountains Echoed
reviewed by BN Aziz.
- Tahrir Team
- Read about Maysoon Zayid in the team page.