- Published on Sunday, 06 January 2013 00:00
Today, more Americans are studying the Arab world than ever before. Enrollment in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies classes in US universities has skyrocketed in recent years. Even K-12 teachers are showing an interest in learning more about the Middle East, which should come as no surprise given the never-ending stream of sensational news coming from the region. Although 9/11 and the recent Arab uprisings have played a role in this surge in interest among teachers, so too has the need to understand their Arab and Muslim students.
- Published on Saturday, 24 November 2012 00:00
Youth and minority groups are significant parts of America’s social fabric. Their impact has been felt, especially in recent years, within the political arena where their participation was hailed as one of the success stories of the 2008 presidential election. In an effort to foster continued engagement of youth minority groups, the first annual Pakistani American Youth Conference: Future Leaders Coming Together event united Pakistani American youth from different backgrounds to discuss leadership and community issues.
- Published on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 11:27
When Michael C. Hudson and I began penning an article on the foreign policy implications for the Middle East under the next presidential administration, we wanted to underscore an issue neglected in a campaign season defined by the economy. Soon enough, our issue and region of choice were brought to the forefront by the shocking deaths of American diplomats in Libya and the rapid spread of small-scale but dramatic demonstrations outside US embassies throughout the Muslim world. It is an unfortunately sensational storyline. Featured are an anti-Semitic/Islamic fraudulent expat, a soft-core porn director, and a preacher of vitriol on the one hand, and opportunistic politicians maximizing the anti-Western sentiment of their (in some cases overly-militarized-thanks-to-the-West) followers. Add to that an exploitative Republican presidential candidate, significant Islamophobia, and a deleterious 24-hour news cycle, and we have a production nearly as distasteful as the film that started it all.
- Published on Saturday, 08 September 2012 08:29
In the era of comedic news broadcasting and political critiquing comes a comic, armed with the political wit, who breaks down the worst stereotypes known to America: Arab-American Dean Obeidallah. Half-Palestinian, half Sicilian-American, completely Muslim, entirely New Yorker, Obeidallah is no stranger to the often mapless navigation that comes with forming not just American identity, but one that also involves certain characteristics that are very often marginalized in mainstream media today.
- Published on Friday, 07 September 2012 15:40
“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time. And, ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down—they are truly down." Those were the nefarious words of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950 as he spoke to the Women's Republican Club of Wheeling, West Virginia. He also claimed at that time to be in possession of a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who were employed in the State Department. With just a few words, and after three unremarkable years in the Senate, McCarthy rose to national fame by asserting that the threat to America came not so much from communist forces outside of the country, but by agents already embedded within. Of course, in the end McCarthy was never able to prove any of his dramatic charges.
- Published on Friday, 07 September 2012 15:09
“Are you listening in Michigan and Ohio?” asked Bill Clinton during his notable speech at the Democratic National Convention this week. He wanted to ensure that Ohioans heard him loud and clear when he announced the “job score” that came out of the auto industry restructuring enacted by President Obama at the start of his term: “Obama, 250,000. Romney, 0.”
- Published on Saturday, 01 September 2012 12:23
It’s not that national party conventions are entirely irrelevant. Amidst all the pomp and circumstance are significant theatrical displays that reveal forged alliances, potential cabinet picks, and stymied aspirations. But because the party’s nominee is already a given before convening, and no longer decided by debating delegates at the time of the gathering, national party conventions have lost most of their technical and practical usefulness. Other norms, like lobbying on the physical lobby floor of the Capitol Building, have also become rather obsolete in our matured political system. We may have thought that contending for fair voting rights across class and racial lines was also among the remnants of politics past. But on the same day that Mitt Romney was soliciting Americans for their votes, a federal district court had to strike down a Texas law that would impose “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and minority voters. That was just the latest development in a nationwide battle over voting rights.
When the Muslim community in America reaches a point of finally talking about the issues of radicalism that face Muslim youth, that’s a sure sign that we’ve progressed. Surely, intolerance...
Continuing my look (aslan-media-columns/above-the-fold/item/336-poignant-crowd-sourced-film-recreates-the-palestinian-experience#.UYHBECvEpn8) at the use of crowd funding in the Middle East, in this post I turn from entertainment to the media, specifically citizen journalism.