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.

 

Articles

Algerian Agricultural Experiments in the Sahara
2006-04-01
by Barbara Nimri Aziz
Soufi from the River, Soufi from the Sand

Who else but we built our domes?
Who but we preened these poems?
To whom else do sand dunes yield
A land aglow with golden jewel?
Come,
See a rare pride.
Come,
See how this sand breathes sand;
How these brown arms
Render harsh earth so supple.
How these brown arms
Lift away trouble.
Come.
See, from sun’s hot rays of El-Souf
light enters any dark crevice.

Bubakar Murad
(Translation: Rachida Mohammedi)

At the entrance to a private experimental farm near the city of El-Oued in the Algerian sahara stands a modest statue of an early settler of this oasis: the ‘rammaal’. He is neither a camel trader nor a herdsman, although El-Oued is home to both. Rimal means sand in ‘arabic’, and rammaal is the humble farmer and sand porter whose muscle and plodding determination made El-Oued’s early date palms grow. Far removed from today’s mechanized farming, this figure, weighed down by the sack of sand on his back, is an evocative regional symbol. Far to the north of ElOued, Algeria’s hills and plains overlook the Mediterranean, from Tlemsen on the western border with Morocco to Annaba bordering Tunisia in the east. Covered by rich loam and fed by seasonal rains, they are Algeria’s most productive agricultural regions, but they comprise only a sliver of a country more than three times the size of Texas. After Sudan, Algeria is the largest country in Africa.

Almost 90 percent of Algeria’s area lies south of the Atlas mountains, where the land ranges from arid stony plain to shifting seas of desert sand. In many of these arid regions, however, the potential for agricultural production exists: they overlie one of the world’s underground water sources, the Continental Intercalaire. This 600,000-square-kilometer (231,600 sq. mi) confined aquifer spreads beneath much of Algeria, Tunisia and Libya; it is second only in size only to the Ogallala aquifer of the central United States.

For decades, the full agricultural potential of Algeria’s inland expanses have been overlooked in favor hydrocarbon exploration, and gas and oil today account for some 60 percent of the Algerian government’s revenues and one-third of Algeria’s gross domestic product. Much of Central and southern Algeria, populated by barely three million of the country’s estimated 32 million people, has remained hardly more than a scattering of oases.

But that is changing. Rural development is receiving increasing official support as the Algerian government recognizes that arid-region production not only helps move Algeria toward food independence, but also helps check the expansion of the desert and staunch the flow of young people from rural to urban areas of the country.

El-Oued is an obvious place for the expansion of agriculture.

For the complete article with photographs go to: www.saudiaramcoworld.com

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