maraahmed.com

un cahier perlé

May 14, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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i’ll be teaching in the fall :)

so it’s official. i will be teaching a class at Saint John Fisher College this fall. it will be called ‘through another lens’ and it’ll sit at the intersection of film, art, politics and poetry. the class will be part of the honors program and i will have quite a lot of leeway to use film in order to engage with world politics. we will be discussing borders, displacement, memory, identity, and alternative world views and philosophies. i will also be taking the students out of their classroom and into parts of rochester where new ideas, solidarities, and culture creation are happening. i’ve already approached some friends, pls let me know if u have other ideas. pretty psyched!

May 14, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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nakba vigil in rochester

there will be a nakba vigil tomorrow at 5pm, at washington square park (near geva theatre) in rochester, ny. activists from jewish voice for peace JVP-Rochester, from the local muslim and palestinian communities, and from Christians Witnessing for Palestine will come together to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the “nakba” or “catastrophe,” when 700,000 palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes and villages. i will be speaking there. pls join us and learn more.

May 13, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Write in Sareer Fazili

Pittsford friends, as we all know from the painful stories of racism we have heard recently, many things need to change in our schools. One of them is more diversity and POC representation on our school board.

My friend Sareer A. Fazili, a known leader in our community, is running for the Pittsford School Board as a write-in candidate.

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person’s name.

The election is May 21st. Please go to Barker Road Middle School between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM and WRITE IN Sareer Fazili.

May 13, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Seeing Ben Shapiro flounder might be fun, but far-right celebrities are no joke

had never heard of ben shapiro until this now famous interview (am not on twitter much). man seems to be a complete hack. totally agree with nesrine malik on not engaging with bigots and racists.

Nesrine Malik: There are broadly three ways to react to the shifting of the Overton window – the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. The first and most common is to move along with it, accepting new parameters and adapting to them. The second is to stay put but look through the window, acknowledging that things have changed while attempting to grapple with that. The third is to resist the movement altogether, to refuse to engage with any previously beyond-the pale-ideas, and reject any arguments to do so.
I tend to fall into the third camp…

[…] The belief that somehow giving more airtime to people will expose and vanquish them makes no sense. The whole “sunlight is the best disinfectant” argument no longer works. Sunlight simply provides exposure and nourishment. There is no middle ground with bigots, no matter how popular they are. With every attempt at “challenging” them, all we do is expand their stage that little bit more. More here.

May 10, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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The Attacks On Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Don’t Surprise Young Muslim People

For Kifah Shah, who splits her time between Los Angeles and New York, many of the reactions towards the two women remind her of growing up as a Muslim girl in a majority non-Muslim community. It’s also emblematic of a larger scope of intolerance and ignorance towards Islam as a whole: “With mostly white people, [life] after 9/11 were a mixed bag of curiosity and coded (sometimes blatant) racism: from being asked whether or not I’ll have an arranged marriage to being told my uncle was [Osama Bin Laden] to having teachers dehumanize Muslim lives by saying an entire city in Iraq wasn’t worth the life of one U.S. soldier,” she remembers, adding that seeing trolls target both Omar and Tlaib by questioning their patriotism doesn’t surprise her.

“The right has asserted pernicious ideas about whether or not Muslims in the U.S. subscribe to the idea of ‘America,’ because if they don’t, or if they question any aspect of it, then they must subscribe to some other ‘state,’” Shah notes. “This conspiratorial, baseless, and harmful lens has for a long while attempted to push Muslims into dichotomies of good versus bad.”

[…] Yusuf agrees. “The typical profile of a congressperson has been an older, cisgender, heterosexual, white man with money for as long as our country has been around,” she begins. “For [two] Muslim women — one Palestinian and the other a Somali refugee — to enter a space that this country has excluded women, people of color, queer people, immigrants and anyone else from is extremely significant.” It is no surprise that the system is not set up for them to succeed in that space, she adds. “There can be no question why their identities are at the forefront of every discussion about their actions and words.” More here.

May 8, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Race, Racism, and Relationship: Microaggressions and the Beloved Community

I will be co-teaching a workshop on ‘Race, Racism, and Relationship: Microaggressions and the Beloved Community’ tomorrow at 6pm at First Unitarian Church of Rochester. Will share some clips from The Injured Body: A Film about Racism in America, talk about Claudia Rankine’s work, discuss the inclusion of dance in the film, and the connection b/w oppression and breathing, and much more. Hope you can make it!

May 8, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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MIMESIS by Fady Joudah

My daughter
wouldn’t hurt a spider
That had nested
Between her bicycle handles
For two weeks
She waited
Until it left of its own accord
If you tear down the web I said
It will simply know
This isn’t a place to call home
And you’d get to go biking
She said that’s how others
Become refugees isn’t it?