Recent Posts

With canvas and Quran, one artist aims to make Islamic calligraphy a universal language

By Kimberly Winston / February 11, 2020 / Comments Off on With canvas and Quran, one artist aims to make Islamic calligraphy a universal language

BERKELEY — Given her family history, Salma Arastu may be one of the last people you’d expect to be helping to modernize Islamic calligraphy. Her Hindu parents fled their home in Pakistan, resettling in India during the nightmare of mob violence between Muslims and Hindus when the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947. Arastu…

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‘Defense ninja’: One Muslim woman’s journey to empowerment

By Hallie Golden / January 13, 2020 / Comments Off on ‘Defense ninja’: One Muslim woman’s journey to empowerment

When she faced harassment, Fauzia Lala couldn’t find training that would allow her to protect herself with both actions and words, so she founded her own self-defense school. Now, she helps dozens of other women. Fauzia Lala was sparring with a teenage member of her tae kwan do class a few years ago when she…

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Ethical fashion? These women offer a new pattern.

By Sarah Conway / January 8, 2020 / Comments Off on Ethical fashion? These women offer a new pattern.

Some critics voice concerns they never act on. When Hoda Katebi couldn’t find the kind of fashion company she wanted to do business with, she created it herself. How is her vision of a humane workplace playing out? This is not the way Hoda Katebi set out to change the world. The daughter of Iranian…

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Chicago Co-Op Empowers Immigrant Women, Refugees

By Maria Ines Zamudio / January 7, 2020 / Comments Off on Chicago Co-Op Empowers Immigrant Women, Refugees

The war in Aleppo, Syria, destroyed Safiya’s life. Her husband, son, mother, brothers and sisters were all killed in the war. Safiya managed to escape with her remaining four children to Jordan, where they lived for three years. Then, in 2016, the family made Chicago its new home. Despite the trauma of war and grief,…

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Giving Deeper Thought to Arab Heritage

By Stephanie Russell-Kraft / January 3, 2020 / Comments Off on Giving Deeper Thought to Arab Heritage

A grassroots effort to learn more about Arab culture has developed into a larger community in three continents. NEW YORK – The topic might be the economics of making baklava or the history of pistachio farming; a Syrian poet, or what it would take to create an Arab luxury brand. On a chilly Sunday evening…

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‘Trauma is inherited and we can’t heal unless we learn’

By Aida Alami / November 13, 2019 / Comments Off on ‘Trauma is inherited and we can’t heal unless we learn’

MEE speaks to Somali multimedia artist, Ifrah Mansour, about her play, ‘How to Have Fun in a Civil War’ and her work on intergenerational trauma Ifrah Mansour was five years old when civil war broke out in Somalia, in 1991. Her family had just returned to Mogadishu from Saudi Arabia, where she was born. An estimated 350,000 people died by…

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Arabic with a Jersey accent

By Zahra Hankir / September 26, 2019 / Comments Off on Arabic with a Jersey accent

Immigrants are reviving Paterson, N.J., from its difficult past. It was nearly 6,000 miles from the family and friends he left in Egypt a year ago to the park bench where Ismail Mohamed sat puffing on a cigarette, surveying a block lined with Middle Eastern restaurants. But it felt very much like home. A mile…

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Humanizing the Arab World in America

By Hallie Golden / September 24, 2019 / Comments Off on Humanizing the Arab World in America

Playwright Yussef El Guindi is determined to confront U.S. laws, rhetoric and fears tied to Arab-Americans. SEATTLE – When terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Yussef El Guindi stopped writing. The Arab-American playwright’s career had only just started to take off, but stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy,…

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A Muslim woman comic walks into a bar: Changing perceptions through jokes

By Aqilah Allaudeen / September 18, 2019 / Comments Off on A Muslim woman comic walks into a bar: Changing perceptions through jokes

Satire is often used to educate and broach tough topics. As negative perceptions of Islam persist throughout the U.S., some Muslim women are trying a softer way to build bridges: comedy. It’s intermission, and the Comedy Clubhouse is buzzing with conversation. Young people in business attire or hipster T-shirts have refreshed their drinks and are…

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A Black Minneapolis Artist Brings Hidden Communities to Light

By Aida Alami / August 21, 2019 / Comments Off on A Black Minneapolis Artist Brings Hidden Communities to Light

Bobby Rogers’s art finds beauty and creativity in unseen communities, from black Muslims to Minneapolis gang members to faces of police brutality protesters. Three years ago on a hot summer day, Philando Castile was shot and killed by police officer Jeronimo Yanez in Falcon Heights, a St. Paul suburb near Minneapolis. Bobby Rogers had recently…

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