Forthcoming

Nov 20. WBAI radio 7:45 am 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.

 

Select Books

Zeitoun

by Dave Eggers
Reviewed by BN Aziz

I first saw this book in the airport before I was about to depart New York for Damascus. The name "Zeitoun", olive, is a popular word in Arabic, and the a common Arab family name. Still I did not realize the importance of the story until a year later when I actually took it in hand to read.  

Dave Eggers is now a widely known because of his authorship of this book, and the earlier biography/novel “What is the What”, which I am currently reading.

It seems that Eggers has introduced a most effective, convincing way to tell the dramatic story of his subjects. Extensive recording of a man’s life story, then lightly fictionalized. "Zeitoun" is the account of an American family over a two year period. It is a simple family, as unremarkable as so many millions in the landscape of American history. Abdulrahman Zeitoun has a wife Kathy and four children, the oldest of which is a boy from her first marriage. Together this ordinary couple run a family house construction and repair business. Their days are full —driving children to school, supervising workers, meeting deadlines, bar-B-Q’s in the yard, visiting extended family.

Then hurricane Katrina emerges and heads into their neighborhood in New Orleans. Kathy departs for higher ground in another city with the children;  Zeitoun remains in New Orleans to board up houses of neighbors and secure his own properties.

He is an un-heroic fellow who finds he is needed by neighbors, abandoned animals, and three other men in the neighborhood who also remained through the storm. When Zeitoun goes missing after a week, his wife begins to worry. So does his brother Ahmed in Spain.

Zeitoon and his fellow survivors are incommunicado, have been picked up by federal authorizes. For looting.

The tension created by these two locations—Zeitoun in the flood and then in prison, and his family in a distant cit, frantic about his welfare-- is moderated by flashbacks of Zeitoun and Kathy’s early lives in the US, and his youth in Syria, his brothers and his father at sea, his own wanderings around the world, ending up, almost by chance in New Orleans. Compared to his earlier life, the domestic scene they inhabit in the US is rather uneventful.

What makes the book special for me is Eggers’ presentation of the life of the man Abdulrahman Zeitoun, both his heroism in the storm, his determined prayer and belief in himself, his day to day offhand description of his treatment like a caged animal. First we experience Zeitoun and Kathy’s Islam as a very ordinary matter woven humbly into their common American days; then we experience the devastating Katrina hurricane as a calamity; and finally we are confronted by the behavior of federal enforcement authorities during the storm. I read many criticisms of the blunders of authorities, the racism behind the inaction, the incompetency, the priority given to ‘security’, the corruption pervading reconstruction of the city. I watched Spike Lee’s critical film of the affair in “When the Levies Broke”.

Only in this book, in the almost understated words of Zeitoun, do I feel the outrage of the whole affair, especially the caging of American and denial of their rights by the faceless, cold men and women who our government trains in the name of to ‘protecting this land’.  But neither author Eggers nor Zeitoun use such harsh words. They just give us the facts.

One congratulates Eggers on his writing and his respect for people that allows them to entrust  their story to him. For me, an anthropologist, Eggers illustrates the best in social and political documentary.

 "Zeitoun" was published in 2009 by McSweenys.com

 

 



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Ahmed Shawki. Egypt.

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem Popular Palestinian Vocal
traditional song of The Homelands, Arabic

See poems and songs list

Flash
poems
poem Qur'an Surat Al-Qadr, 'Night of Destiny'
Quranic recitation by women is as much a gift to the divine

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Book review
Remi Kanazi's
Poetic Injustice:Writings on Resistance and Palestine
reviewed by Sami Kishawi.

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2004 co-producers
Read about 2004 co-producers in the team page.

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