“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"


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 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.


Select Books

Scheherazade: Tell Me A Story

by Yousry Nasrallah, Director, Egypt
Reviewed by BN Aziz

Is this film a story about women in Arab society? Or about corruption?

Yousry Nasrallah’s 2009 film “Scheherazade: Tell Me A Story” is billed as a tale about women in Cairo. I disagree.

True, women’s lives define the narrative of “Scheherazade". But I wonder if the main message of this film lies elsewhere. The misreading of the story is important because, given prevailing images of women in Arab society, I fear that viewers in the West will walk away talking about abuse Arab women encounter at the hands of men rather than the deeper social message.

First of all, let me say that this “Scheherazade” is a powerful work and should be seen. Writer Wahid Hamed is to be congratulated along with director Nasrallah. It is a moving and brilliantly performed production, with first class acting. Shown in Egypt to wide acclaim, the film has also won several major international awards, another testimony to its excellence. Even so, New York audiences only had an opportunity to see “Scheherazade” this August, two years after its release, at the Africa Diaspora Film Festival.

In a panel discussion with the audience after the film was screened in New York, questions focused exclusively on the relation of Arab women to Arab men and their Arab society. The cultural stereotypical imprint of gender inequality in Arab culture, so deeply embedded in the western mind, threatened to dominate the dialogue. My co-panelist Ginan Rauf rightly asks: “If this were set in another place, would we not be able to see the narrative as a ‘story’ of individual lives rather than a portrayal of a culture?” She asks that audiences try to see the individual people in this story. Rauf added to our understanding with details about Nasrallah’s past work, his early training as an economist, his career in journalism and his wider philosophy. Nasrallah, she points out, has emerged as a major world director, with his special imprint.

Fellow panelist Aydin Baltaci widened the issues further with his comments on artistic strategies used by the director to achieve the dramatic effect. For him the main drama was the compelling and tragic story of three sisters who fought over the affections of a simple but opportunistic young laborer running their deceased father’s shop. Baltaci drew parallels between this and other well known dramas focused on the dynamic of three sisters.

Most of us agreed that, as portrayed in the stories told to heroine Hebba, a Cairo talk show host in “Scheerazade”, in the course of her live interviews with three women, men are domineering, cruel and selfish. All the women are engaged in a constant battle for their rights. We find no redeeming male anywhere in the story.

The three cases, relived through dramatic flashbacks, revealed by the women, each telling her story on TV, are threaded together by interludes where we witness the relation of heroine TV host Hebba and her ambitious husband, a not very successful print journalist. It is in these episodes, that the real plot of the story unfolds. Here the corruption of Egypt’s media industry is exposed. Hebba has been attacking politicians head on in her interviews, but under pressure from her husband re the danger (to his career) of these confrontations, she agrees to abandon this theme out of affection for her young, seductive husband.

Hebba continues the live TV show, but now focuses her investigations on the lives of women. The three women she chooses are bold and frank. Invariably their histories all lead back to the issue of exploitation by men, and their stories either finger prominent men in the capital or the corrupted system of family values. Although Hebba feels she is simply revealing these women’s private lives and not dealing with politics, her angry husband shouts back the truth: “Everything is political”. Meanwhile his career prospects are sinking.

The summary: three women, each from a different background, and with different experiences, find their lives are circumscribed, at one level or other, by the ambitions of men, and the wider culture of corruption in which they must operate. The women are abused—although all fight back—but the men are perhaps abused even more by their deep and direct involvement within the corrupt system, currying favor with officials and bosses, asserting their prowess.  In the end Hebba too cannot escape its grip on her marriage. For me this film as essentially a story about corruption in the male dominated society, and how, it reaches, by one means or another into every home, and into every marriage and thereby to every woman.

The redeeming message could be “women fight back, whereas men do not”, this even though women pay heavy price for their resistance. Nawaal Saadawi could have written this film. So I ask, why is it that so much good fiction, or pseudo-fictional stories on gender are produced by men?

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I wanted to highlight the capabilities of women scientists. Until now these capabiltities have been secret, under the surface.


Katsuko Saruhashi, Japanese Geochemist; 1920-2007

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem "Obama"poem (Arabic)

See poems and songs list

poem "Ramadan"
AbdalHayy Moore reads from 'Ramadan Sonnets'

See audio list

Book review
Michio Kaku, scientist and talk-radio host's
The Future of the Mind
reviewed by BN Aziz.

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Tahrir Team

Jad Abumrad
Read about Jad Abumrad in the team page.

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