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March 23, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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ballet in a studio

beautiful #shoot this #morning at #georgehall #dance #studio in #rochesterny

our #ballerina was the stunning María José Rodríguez-Torrado

the piece #choreographed by Mariko Yamada is meant to #subvert #ballet’s #restrictive #technique by introducing #freer #movement and more #perceptible #breathing

it also references María José Rodríguez-Torrado’s #puertorican #roots and #culture

shot by Rajesh Barnabas for The Injured Body: A Film about Racism in America. more photos here.

March 22, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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more politics in interfaith

i was invited by susan nowak, professor or religious studies at nazareth college, to attend a dialogue lunch with dr. rita george-tvrtjovi?, their guest speaker on christian-muslim theological exchange, as well as other faculty members and students. the conversation was lively. what i found most heartening was the recognition that there is a need to be more political in interfaith conversations. israel/palestine was mentioned and how dialogue is completely muted or non-existent in that regard. couldn’t agree more. that’s one of the reasons i cannot work within the constraints of interfaith. let’s see if it has the capacity to change.

March 22, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Human Rights Attorney to Trump: “Israel Is Not Interested in the Golan Heights for Security”

Noura Erakat: If we just pay attention to what Israeli leaders have told us, they don’t want peace. They don’t want a two-state solution. What they’re offering to Palestinians is a situation of permanent subjugation and derivative sovereignty, where they don’t control Jerusalem, where they can’t access their water, where they can’t access free movement, where there is no human rights.

And now if we thought that Palestinians, who are a stateless people, had any chance of achieving some sort of equitable resolution with the U.S. as broker, we can see that the fact that the U.S. is willing to declare Israel’s sovereignty over Syrian territory… there is no dispute over the Golan Heights. That is Syrian sovereign territory. If the U.S. is willing to stand by Israel to declare that sovereign territory as no longer occupied, by decree, then what chances do Palestinians have of achieving any kind of equitable resolution for themselves?

This just adds more imperative to a grassroots campaign, in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, in the form of legal cases, in the form of grassroots movements that are aligning in an anti-racist global movement and a global anti-fascist movement, in order to overcome diplomatic intransigence and the fact that their governments do not represent them. This is more fuel to the fire for people’s movements. And as we’ve seen, people do overcome. More here.

March 21, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Coping With The Persistent Trauma Of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric And Violence

“Post-9/11 there is a more concerted effort to demonize Muslims, to make us the other, sort of the foreign threat and the enemy,” said Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad. She’s the founder of the Muslim Wellness Foundation, which promotes healing and emotional health in American Muslim communities.
That message is what the 15- to 20-year-olds she counsels have heard their whole lives.

“Unfortunately for them it feels commonplace,” she said. “From extremely horrific events like what we saw happened in New Zealand in Christchurch to daily microaggressions and invalidations of their identity. And so I am very proud of how resilient American Muslim youth are. And I’m also very concerned about the onslaught and sort of daily erosion of their humanity.” More here.

March 20, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Radical White Terrorism

Nesrine Malik: There was something distinctly different about the response to this [massacre], in terms of the mainstream press and commentary. And the main distinction was that people immediately began, not everyone of course, but those that usually are not, sort of, the “thoughts and prayers” type contingent immediately tried to come out with tempering language and saying this is a terrible thing, but we must not allow this to chill us from criticizing Islam or Muslims. And I thought that was really unusual. I hadn’t really seen that before. It was a response that was usually restricted to the right-wing press in the U.K. in particular, but it had become a mainstream position along with the sympathy and the kind of condolences. There was an immediate chaser to that which is “but let’s not let this get in the way of legitimate concerns and criticism of Islam.” More here.

March 20, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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The Rudeness of Ignoring Email

i was one of the first people to latch on to email and use it effectively at work back in the 90s. later as more people came on board it became a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends all over the world. i still use email/messenger/whatsapp to communicate and find it surprising when people one knows don’t respond. why is that socially acceptable? or is it? it should be as boorish and rude as not returning a call or replying to a text, no? more here.

March 19, 2019
by mara.ahmed
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Lady with parakeet

Lady with parakeet, attributed to Sajnu, a master painter from Kangra, India. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, ca. 1820.