Thursday, August 04, 2022

"The Great Muslim American Road Trip" Once Again Demonstrates that Unity Productions Foundation Is Worthy of Support

I am a long-time supporter of Unity Productions Foundation. I've blogged about its productions numerous times.

I just finished watching the series The Great Muslim American Road Trip on United States's Public Broadcasting System. The series presented vignettes of Muslim life in North America through the lens of Mona Haydar and Sebastian Robins, a married couple, who traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles on the famed Route 66.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Lessons for Muslims from "Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation" by Kristin Kobes Du Mez


Kristin Kobes Du Mez provides answers in Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation to those who wondered why the vast majority of self-identified Christian evangelicals supported the publicly vulgar & openly sinful Donald Trump for President of the United States in the 2016 election cycle. Historians like Du Mez and Kevin Kruse claim that the answer to this apparent dilemma lies in decades of United States history. While Kevin Kruse emphasized oligarchs' fear of organized labor and social welfare programs and communism, Du Mez emphasized the misogynistic, white supremacist messaging in support of overseas imperialism and domestic patriarchy. I encourage readers to benefit from both books. I encourage Muslim readers to ponder the following questions:

Friday, June 17, 2022

Recommendation: Bahram Rahman, "The Library Bus," Gabrielle Grimard (illustrator)


Bahram Rahman's The Library Bus is an excellent means to introduce to Muslim (and non-Muslim!) children the value of reading and the harms gender discrimination causes.

I hope this book is eventually translated into all the languages spoke in Afghanistan and nearby countries and published and distributed widely.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Recommendation: "While I Was Away" by Waka T. Brown


While I Was Away by Waka T Brown is a memoir of the author, who was raised in Kansas and had only visited her parents' homeland of Japan for short periods of time. At age 12, her parents sent her to Japan for five months to study in a regular elementary school and live with her maternal grandmother.

I recommend this to any child whose families send them away from their familiar surroundings to another country to bond with relatives or learn a language. In fact, even adult college students going for study abroad programs should read this. In my experience in study abroad programs, a surprising number of students don't perform well because of homesickness and failing to deal properly with the difficult and embarrassing situations Waka encountered.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Recommendation: "Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear" by Mosab Abu Toha


I'm not going to pretend I have put enough effort into reading Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear, a collection of poems by Mosab Abu Toha (Twitter), to write a review. Professor Mosab is a Palestinian from Gaza. As I've mentioned in another blog entry, poetry uses a language which requires the use of brain regions which for me are quite undeveloped. Nevertheless, I'm recommending this book for a few reasons:

  • When I did put effort into thinking about the poems, Mosab's words rewarded me.
  • I listened to an interview and found Mosab to be engaging. He has another virtual interview May 14, 2022 in which you can "meet" him.
  • The published volume includes photographs with thoughtful captions and a written interview with Mosab.
  • I don't want anything to do with any activist in USA, especially Muslim, who thinks supporting Palestinians incurs too high a cost.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Recommendation: "I Am the Night Sky & Other Reflections by Muslim American Youth," by Hena Khan (editor)


Hena Khan (Twitter) edited I Am the Night Sky & Other Reflections by Muslim American Youth, an anthology of stories, poems and drawings by Muslim youth in the United States.

Being a grumpy, past middle-aged male, I don't do deep dives into most Young Adult literature, much less literature written by young adults.

Nevertheless, the attempts by the book's authors and artists to express their inner lives as they navigate a difficult time are worth exploring and may benefit others, especially younger readers.

The publisher Shout Mouse Press looks like it has a lot of cool titles.