Friday, December 11, 2015

you are home

... in the midst of Trumpolitics, it's heartening to hear world leaders like Trudeau say "you are home" as a welcome to people whose homes and lives have been demolished (indiscriminately among all religions). Just imagine the overwhelming relief and sense of hope at such a greeting.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Here is to you, Adel Termos: my hero and the hero of humanity

Islamaphobia is one of the reaction ISIS depends on - to showcase a world war against Muslims, to create victims out of fear, to give an excuse to propagate hate, to embolden injustice. We are masters of our own actions, whatever we believe in. There is so much courage, good, and grace - here, there, everywhere, around the world.  That humanity is enough to #StandAgainstISIS.  
Here is to Adel Termos;  a hero of humanity.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


 Look at the numbers going vs. the numbers invited ... go USA, land of the free and the home of the brave!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Humanitarian Pope

A Pope who reaches out and touches people of every faith, the marginalized, the poor, the forgotten, the voiceless - what an uplifting example of humanity and humility. Love and prayers to you Pope Francis, on this Eid; along with so many, I am inspired and humbled.

What a Remarkable human, who I would place in the same category as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King etc. I have been impressed by his unapologetic, nondiscriminatory, and broad humanitarianism from the very beginning of his papacy, but last night I was moved again when I heard him, from St. Patrick's Cathedral, wish Muslims a Happy Eid, and stand in solidarity with the families of the hundreds of people killed in the stampede in Mecca. 

And he asks ordinary people for their prayers.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi ... my hero

but more importantly, hero of thousands of men and women, in her courage against the worst of the worst, that is the gruesome Taliban (and ISIS and its ilk).

The irony ...

The Saudi Arabian government's barbaric crimes against humanity (e.g. sentencing a teenage activist to be crucified), their record on human rights (beheading, flogging, stoning), their passive stance on a humanitarian crisis (let Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Europe deal with the physical presence of refugees) ... are staggeringly deplorable. And yet the UN just appointed Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to chair the UN Human Rights Council’s panel of "human rights experts". Outrageous!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

These images ...

... and just images - imagine how those children are actually feeling - fleeing from one terror to another ...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

No Mr. Trump ...

... you are not morally obligated, but you could choose to be "obliged" by conscience.

Friday, September 18, 2015

To the Trump and his extreme-anti-Muslim supporter

"We have a problem in this country." Correct. But it is called ignorance-driven bias - and its unquestioned acceptance as reasonable behavior by some. Now that is indeed something to "get rid of."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tick Tock Clock

What is telling is that so many Americans (irrespective of political standing, age group, religion, etc.) actually do ‪#‎StandWithAhmed‬
Encouraging, loud and clear!

Monday, September 7, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter Logic

The media has a big role in not getting it right. When people say black lives matter, they are not saying that all other lives do not matter. No, indeed, that is not the message. Since black lives are a subset of all lives, saying "black lives matter" not only does not exclude "all lives", it actually necessarily implies that all lives do matter. It's simple logic. Of-course all lives matter, but there is a critical issue in front of faces that must be recognized and that is why #blacklivesmatter is important to talk about - this is a good article that puts it in perspective.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

MIA in a humanitarian crisis - Gulf governments; Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain

MIA in a humanitarian crisis unprecedented since World War II - 6 of the richest Gulf governments;  Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.  According to Amnesty International, they have offered 0 resettlement places to Syrian refugees.  None of these 6 governments are signatories of the UN's 1951 Refugee Convention, and none of them are innocent bystanders in the the civil way that has led to this humanitarian crisis.  It appears that palaces built on oil and gold are too blinding to see human suffering.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What Proper Papers??

"A Syrian family in the Keleti train station in Budapest. Hungarian officials were not letting migrants without proper travel papers take trains to Germany."

What papers?? These are refugees - seeking refuge from their fellow humans! They left behind everything, carrying only their children and their courage - they have no proper papers! The looks on their faces should be enough. I see my own 2 children in every one of these precious faces. Come on now! And also rise to the occasion Saudi Arabia and the other 5 oil rich countries who have given homes to exactly 0 refugees!!

What We Can Do To Help Refugees Right Now

5 Things You Can Do To Help Refugees Right Now

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Grandmother

I came across a poem by Maya Angelou, "Our Grandmothers," and felt the embrace of my own Nanu (maternal grandmother).  "I go forth alone, and stand as ten thousand."  What an empowering example of love, warmth, and tenacity...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why Muslims Bristle ...

... when told that more should speak out against terrorism.  

In a nutshell, many feel that in being asked, they are in a sense, being forced to take ownership of something they don't think belongs to them;  terrorism.

Certainly there may be other complexities, cultural nuances and biases, but perhaps if we could change the language and say, "hey Muslims, let us stand up together against terrorism."  The "us" is more powerful than them, as is "together" more powerful than "you."  

Worth a try.  For peace.  For humanity.

Likewise, it behooves pragmatic Muslims all over the world to accept the situation and reality as it is, and speak/ write/ shout out loud against the atrocity being carried out in the name of Islam.  Sometimes silence is golden, but at this time, pragmatism is meaningfully powerful.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I Know for Sure ...

... inspired by Oprah's book of the same title.  

What I know for sure is that focusing on the "present" moment is the best present I have given myself, every moment.  Tomorrow's concerns and yesterday's annoyances cannot grab a hold of my mind because, here I am. Giving myself the present of being "present".

Eckhart Tolle's "Power of Now" is a great influence.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

As Time Goes By ...

... a great Britcom series that I am happy to watch/ rewatch whenever I catch it on PBS.

... and an apropos statement of reflection since it's been about 10 years since I started blogging.  Blogging allowed me to log my thoughts and unravel conflicts in my mind.  This was a time before Facebook - I made friends of like mind from around the continents.  I had just completed my PhD and moved from NYC for a teaching job to a new and small town.  I was ambivalent at best.  I was about to turn 30 and thought I was leaving behind some magical youth and whatever glory came with that.  My 20's had been a time of intense personal growth in the form of self-reliance and the ability to stand up for my choices and values in life.  It was empowering, heady - and permanent. But my 30's have given me what can only be earned with reflection, perspective, and experience.  Humility.

As I am about on climb up to the 40th year of my life, neither youth nor glory hold any magic. What is magical is that I have a loving husband, healthy feisty children, warm friendships, a meaningful career - to show for it and to continue to grow with.  What is magical is the personal space I have been able to make with Life and my Creator.  What is magical, is the peace that is never far from the surface.  What is magical is that I am alive with Love.  That is enough.