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.

 

Select Books

The Butterfly Mosque

by G Willow Wilson
Reviewed by BN Aziz

With a title like Butterfly Mosque, I thought, this book promises something special. It was Sally, a young member of our RadioTahrir team who introduced me to the name of its American author, Willow Wilson. Recently Wilson reappeared with the publication of yet another book, a fantasy adventure novel Alif, The Unseen. I decided to revisit her 2003 memoir.

Butterfly Mosque is not the only autobiography of a young woman’s foray into the Arab world. Nor is it a unique record of religious conversion to Islam. (e.g. Yvonne Ridley who documented her experience a decade ago after her captivity by Afghan rebels.) What makes Butterfly Mosque exceptional is its intimacy. Because Wilson’s entry into Islam and Egyptian culture is woven into her love of Omar, a young man she meets early on and eventually marries.  The story is told in terms of culture rather than politics or religion.

The ‘butterfly’ of the title implies gradual metamorphosis and indeed this is a story of someone who emerge into maturity without any special preparation. We know from her account in the early chapters about her carefree almost naïve (typical American?) college years. She wasn’t even a religious skeptic, just a young woman who decides to take up a job offer in Egypt.

In my recent interview with her (to be broadcast in March, 2013) Wilson explains how quickly the book came together from an assembly of emails with her family and friends in the US during her early months in Cairo, and her exchanges with them about what was happening to her. Yet this is more than a collection of letters; there is a real writer’s hand at work here.  



Find Us on Facebook
Find Us on Facebook

It is only in the dark that we see the stars

Martin Luther King Jr.

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem Darwish: "Sonnet V" read by translator Fady Joudah (English/Arabic)

See poems and songs list

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

See audio list

Book review
Khaled Hosseini's
And The Mountains Echoed
reviewed by BN Aziz.

See review list

Tahrir Team

Robert E. Meyer
Read about Robert E. Meyer in the team page.

See Tahrir Team

WBAI Online

Select Links