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March 15, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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On this Jummah

Thinking of my Muslim community, all over the world today. Those being bombed in Yemen and Palestine, those being brutalized in Kashmir, those who continue to be occupied in Afghanistan and Iraq, those fighting for their rights in Algeria and Syria, those being detained in concentration camps in China, those who are victims of hate crimes in the West or violence unleashed in the East and continue to mourn their dead. This is hardly a complete list. The numbers are staggering. The wars on our bodies and minds are never-ending. Sending love to you all on this heartbreaking Jummah…

March 15, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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pls say it

i am tired of speaking in feel-good generalities. i am tired of the handwringing without the will (or desire) to make connections. it’s not enough.

Zulkarnain Banday: A well-coordinated terrorist attack on two mosques in #NewZealand, that has left more than 49 dead and 30+ injured, is the manifestation of media-peddled rhetoric against Muslims that started with the so called ‘war on terror’. The media not only enabled the Islamophobia but introduced it in the mainstream discourse. The Islamophobia industry is not an abstract but a deliberate strategy in which billions of dollars are pumped in each year to enable hatred and vilification against Muslims and Islam.

March 14, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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borders, migration and I/P

yesterday i spoke at a rally organized by Jewish Voice for Peace Rochester in support of Ilhan Omar and then gave a talk about migration and borders at Spiritus Christi Church.

in my presentation i urged people to imagine a world without borders. it’s not a fantasy because for the rich and privileged, a borderless world is already a reality. migration only becomes a crisis when poor people are on the move. somehow we don’t use the word ‘migrant’ for wealthy americans who choose to retire in puerto vallarta.nation states contained inside hard borders organize the world based on racialization and colonization. they divide people and produce a global pecking order. this is how rich states protect their interests – by facilitating the movement of capital and the theft of resources across borders, but keeping those who are affected by that pillage and violence out.

a world without borders must be part of any struggle for justice and equity. it certainly has everything to do with I/P.


March 13, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Shehzil Malik’s feminist art

Pakistani illustrator Shehzil Malik began producing feminist graphics as a form of “catharsis” – a counterweight to the gender inequality she sees in Pakistan. This artwork encourages women to step out and own public spaces. Check out here.

March 8, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Hushidar Mortezaie’s work

Alex Shams: What does an American flag mean to an Iraqi-American woman who was forced to flee her homeland because of it, or a Yemeni woman whose homeland is daily bombed by US weapons? Indeed, claims that Muslims are “part of America” too often fall into the trap of reifying American exceptionalism, muffling (very much needed) critique of US policies both at home and abroad and instead trying to fit into a “model minority” slot.

Enter Hushidar Mortezaie, an Iranian-American fashion designer and visual artist whose work offers a stunning counter-image to Muslim-Americans dressed up in nationalism.

His poster “We Are One” depicts an Afghan woman surrounded by flowers, bomber planes, Persianate architectural embellishment, and the word “Peace” in various languages.

March 8, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Mashrou’ Leila: the Lebanese indie band championing Arab gay rights

The band won’t abandon their Arabic hits. At gigs abroad they see fans who don’t speak Arabic attempt to sing along with eyes closed and no idea what they’re saying. “In the current political climate, the fact that people could relate Arabic not to Islamic fundamentalism and terror, but to learning phonetics and going to a concert, it’s a kind of political victory,” says Sinno, smiling. “And it’s moving.” More here.

March 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Rally in support of Ilhan Omar

Pls join Jewish Voice for Peace Rochester this Sunday and be seen and heard. “We, the members of Rochester JVP as well as the broader Rochester community, stand by Ilhan Omar and her right to critique the influence that Zionism has on US politics. Join us as we deliver our petition to congressman Morelle and rally outside his office to demand an end to Islamaphobia and malicious mis-appropriation of anti-semitism.” More info about the rally here.

‘We should consider why it is so much easier for some to believe that a young black refugee Muslim woman who wears hijab is motivated by anti-Semitism in her criticism of a lobbyist group, rather than by a desire to end warfare and the pain of refugeehood?’ Read more.

You can also sign this petition here.

March 7, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Sophie Calle’s work

Sophie Calle (born 9th October 1953) is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. Her photographic work often includes panels of text of her own writing.