Saturday, January 19, 2019

Film: Timbuktu - Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

LinkTV allows you to stream the movie Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014) for free until January 24, 2019. It's available on iTunes and Amazon.

Clip from the movie:

  • Timbuktu's director: why I dared to show hostage-taking jihadis in a new light by Danny Leigh, The Guardian, May 28, 2015
  • Abderrahmane Sissako for Beginners by Basia Lewandowska Cummings,, May 27, 2015
  • Saturday, December 15, 2018

    Saturday, December 08, 2018

    Suggested Reading List from "Girls of the Crescent"

    Habeeba Husain profiled Girls of the Crescent in the 2018 November/December issue of Islamic Horizons. Sisters Zena & Mena Nasiri founded Girls of the Crescent in 2018 to promote materials in public libraries which represent the variety of experiences of Muslim girls and women. On December 7, 2018, I downloaded its suggested books and searched for them in the online Georgia public library system PINES. I created a public list for the books Girls of the Crescent recommended which are available in the PINES-participating public libraries. I used to create a list for the books I couldn't find in Georgia's PINES. A few books are not in either list.

    I hope library users in my state of Georgia would request these materials. Remember, if your branch library doesn't have a book you want, you can request the branch library to retrieve the book from other participating libraries. You can do this online with a PINES account or at the circulation desk. Also note that some public libraries don't participate in PINES, particularly those in Atlanta.

    I've reviewed children's books on this blog.

    Sunday, June 03, 2018

    Favorite Quotes: Carlos Ruiz Zafón on War in "The Shadow of the Wind"

    Lucia Graves translated Carlos Ruiz Zafón's La Sombra del Viento as The Shadow of the Wind.

    Nothing feeds forgetfulness better than war, Daniel. We all keep quiet and they try to convince us that what we've seen, what we've done, what we've learned about ourselves and about others, is an illusion, a passing nightmare. Wars have no memory, and nobody has the courage to understand them until there are no voices left to tell what happened, until the moment comes when we no longer recognize them and they return, with another face and another name, to devour what they left behind. (p. 428)

    I don't know Spanish, but I think I've found the passage in the original text:

    Tuesday, May 08, 2018

    "Negroland: A Memoir" by Margo Jefferson

    I'm sharing a few thoughts on Margo Jefferson's Negroland: A Memoir.

    An idea which struck me was her insistence that contemplation of suicide is a civil right or privilege which blacks in America should seek to earn:
    But one white female privilege had always been withheld from the girls of Negroland. Aside from the privilege of actually being white, they had been denied the privilege of freely yielding to depression, of flaunting neurosis as a mark of social and psychic complexity. A privilege that was glorified in the literature of white female suffering and resistance. A privilege Good Negro Girls had been denied by our history of duty, obligation, and discipline. Because our people had endured horrors and prevailed, even triumphed, their descendants should be too strong and too proud for such behavior. We were to be ladies, responsible Negro women, and indomitable Black Women. We were not to be depressed or unduly high-strung; we were not to have nervous collapses. We had a legacy. We were too strong for that. I craved the right to turn my face to the wall, to create a death commensurate with bourgeois achievement, political awareness, and aesthetically compelling feminine despair. (pp. 171-2)
    I've never been very good dealing with people with depression, and I criticized Jay Asher's Th1rteen R3asons Why.

    Here's a passage on housing segregation in Hyde Park, the home of University of Chicago, in the 1960s (p. 147):

    Here's a passage about the mental price Margo Jefferson paid as a child trying to navigate the rules of race, gender and class which had been imposed on her and how her adult life has been an attempt to become "a person of inner consequence." (p. 156)

    Favorite Quote: F Scott Fitzgerald, "The Last Tycoon" - "learned tolerance, kindness, forebearance, and even affection like lessons"

    F. Scott Fitzgerald never finished the novel The Last Tycoon. Elia Kazan directed a 1976 movie based on the novel. Amazon produced one season of a series based on the novel.

    From p. 97, a description of  "Hollywood studio manager Monroe Stahr, clearly based on Irving Thalberg (head of the film company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), whom Fitzgerald had encountered several times." (Wikipedia)
    Like many brilliant men, he had grown up dead cold. Beginning at about twelve, probably, with the total rejection common to those of extraordinary mental powers, the "See here: this is all wrong -- a mess -- all a lie -- and a sham --," he swept it all away, everything, as men of his type do; and then instead of being a son-of-a-bitch as most of them are, he looked around at the barrenness that was left and said to himself, "This will never do." And so he had learned tolerance, kindness, forebearance, and even affection like lessons. (emphasis in original)

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    The British Mosque: An Architectural and Social History by Shahed Saleem

    A mosque is more about process, argues Saleem, than it is about the finished product. It is about the often slow, “iterative” business by which a community defines its needs, finds a site, raises money and commissions a building. 
    Mosques, he says, are “vehicles for the dynamic reconstruction of tradition” and their conservatism can be explained as a reaction to both racism and homesickness for countries of origin. 
    His own preferences do, however, become clear, in a non-traditional mosque that he has himself designed in Bethnal Green, London. He also likes the abstractly Islamic Cambridge mosque, now being built to the designs of Marks Barfield, architects of the London Eye. And, surely, the future of mosque design should indeed be about finding a British Islamic way of building to stand alongside – rather than copy – those of the Mahgreb, or Turkey, or the subcontinent. Just don’t expect this transformation to happen quickly.
    I have not read the book. Find it in a library near you.