un cahier perlé

May 18, 2019
by mara.ahmed

interfaith iftar

interfaith iftar at the islamic center of rochester this evening. always lovely to see all our interfaith friends, of course, but how i love my muslim community. warmth, kindness, and wonderful generosity. such an honor to break our fast with everyone and then pray and eat together.

muna, shabnam, ayesha, halima, obaida, fatima, husain, samiha, navaira, wegdan, munye bhai and of course my daughter mimi ?

May 17, 2019
by mara.ahmed

my art at link gallery, city hall

my #art series ‘this #heirloom’ at the #linkgallery at #cityhall
this #exhibition celebrates APAA’s 10th #anniversary exhibition, ‘embracing our #heritage’ and will be on display may 7 to june 17
along with my work, art by #japanese american artist rie maywar and #korean american artist jina park is also on display
lovely opening reception today that my daughter was also able to attend. 

May 17, 2019
by mara.ahmed

Lateefa Spiker’s art

Lateefa Spiker lives and works in London. Her reflective work is rooted in the spiritual traditions that underwrite traditional Islamic art and investigates the relationship between order and chaos, the contingent and the finite, and beauty and spirituality. Her particular approach to art was further enhanced by the time she spent in Cairo, Morocco and Spain.

May 16, 2019
by mara.ahmed

Talking Forever (For Palestine & Dareen Tatour) by Naomi Shihab Nye

Say it again, resist times ten.

Those who were not politicians,

who were going to school or tending the rooms,

shops, libraries, kitchens, mint sprigs drooping in a can,

changing diapers, wiping spittle from chins,

chopping onions, snipping cucumbers from a scratchy vine,

we would have done anything for you, Palestine.

But all we knew to do was talk, talk, to everyone who already agreed.

Sign petitions, phone representatives, write checks,

wear keffiyehs tied around our necks, demonstrate,

feel hopeful that President Obama might (in his vast intelligence)

really stand up for you — what else could we do?

Talk to those who didn’t already agree? But who were we?

“If they knew our stories, they wouldn’t do these things to us,”

my Palestinian grandmother said, when she was 100 years old,

after being tear-gassed in her own room by Israelis.

She wasn’t angry – we were.

Dareen, trapped in her house for using the word “Resist” – she was there

and we were everywhere else. Easy to punish her, Israel had

no trouble trapping, oppressing, squelching, giving another name.

Pressed down for so long, those without influence over weapons or borders,

easy to ignore, refute, blame, always blame, changing the story,

inverting the facts…and they DID know the story, Sitti,

because everyone told it, Dareen told it,

Mahmoud, Fadwa, Edward, Suheir, Anton, Sharif, Nathalie, Lisa, Lena,

Khaled, Salma, Raja, Fady, Aziz, everyone told it, kept telling it,

talking forever, but the checkpoint lines got longer, pressed,

the sad orchards smaller, looming wall more riveted with cries,

the way a nightmare compounds, spinning out swirls of

hallways, blockades, locked doors, prison cells…

the powerful kept saying, Give the oppressors more money,

they are a democracy,

and the sleeping person shouted from the nightmare, Wake up!

Just let me wake up!

May 16, 2019
by mara.ahmed

nakba rally

at the nakba vigil yesterday, where palestinians, jews, muslims, and christians came together to commemorate 71 years of the nakba or catastrophe whereby 700,000 palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948. i talked about palestinian poet dareen tatour who was harassed, house arrested and imprisoned over a period of three years for writing a poem titled, ‘resist, my people, resist them.’

May 14, 2019
by mara.ahmed

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

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

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.