When is it time for forgiveness?

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

fedwa wazwaz
When we see people oppressed, trampled on, violated, and their loved ones murdered, “forgiveness” is one of the first words that often comes to hand. There are thousands of memes and stories that urge people to forgive. Indeed, popular wisdom informs people that the anger they carry is only damaging to them. Offload it, we’re told, and everything will be fine.

Forgiveness can be a positive force, of that there’s no doubt. But we must distinguish between a harmful “instant forgiveness” and a helpful, spiritually satisfying “sustainable forgiveness.”

Real, sustainable forgiveness rarely comes quickly, and it cannot be forced, compelled, or coerced. A sustainable forgiveness certainly isn’t about quickly offloading anger, which often forces victims to deny their reality –putting them in the same position that they were in when they were first victimized.

Indeed, there are many steps on the path toward sustainable forgiveness. This kind of forgiveness doesn’t emerge straight away from victimization, and it certainly doesn’t ascribe to “forgive and forget!”

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Shine a light on Gaza

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“He said: ‘Here is a she-camel: she has a right of watering, and ye have a right of watering, (severally) on a day appointed.’” (Qur’an 26:155)

I begin this blog or article with a passage of the Qur’an. I enjoy this passage as it gives you insight in looking at problems – what to look for so you are not swayed by deception.

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There are many dangerous forms of oppression from physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional forms of abuse.  At times, when solving problems, we stop at who is doing the violence – in the last 5 cases that stirred our interest.

Yet, numbers and statistics can be used to lie, and an uninformed mass or crowd can be utilized as a tool to excite and rationalize all sorts of violence and/or oppression against the violent other.

Instead, I have argued in the past that peace is defined by the presence of healthy boundaries. What do I mean by healthy boundaries? Healthy boundaries that allow people a path to the watering place, to life, to grow, to build and to nurture.

Do these boundaries exist in Gaza or in the Occupied Territories?  Let us stop asking who is doing the violence and ask a more important question, do Palestinians have a right and a path to the watering place?

I will continue to this blog later.

For now, visit and share this page:  Gaza BlackOut

Intellectual Immersion of Children

By Omar Alansari-Kreger

The truth is that people want to be heard without listening to each other.

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What is the best way to arouse permanent intellectual curiosities? There is no simple remedy. Ideas that support concepts are embraced through an individually driven learning style. We can practically assume that people learn on their own terms, but how do we provoke that great intellectual awakening? It ultimately begins in childhood. Our earliest memories are indeed the most impressionable to us. Children surrounded with books, globes, and maps of the world have a greater chance of early intellectual immersion. A world of total convenience has turned us into creatures of vanity. When something is easy and accessible, there is this underlying reticence to absorb its knowledge.

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Film Challenges Perception of Palestinians

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Palestine: Why the Caged Dove Sings
Thursday, July 13th at 7 pm
Film Society of Minneapolis
St. Paul’s Screen #3 at St. Anthony Main Theatre

filmOfficially, the narrative around Palestinians is they want to destroy Israel and hate Jews, and if one searches hard enough, one finds some voices expressing such views.

However, the situation is not about feelings or views of people, but about boundaries and a justice denied.

Palestine: Why the Caged Dove Sings is set for a premiere screening today.  The film allows people on the ground to speak about their pains and everyday struggles.

Sabry Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American activist, who created the film in his travels back to Palestine in 2014.  He interviewed and documented the reality of Israeli occupation in candid easy going conversations with people on the ground.

Wazwaz was inspired by documentaries like Five Broken Cameras. He wanted US citizens to see what is really going on in Palestine and felt that he could use his camera as a way to expand understanding. The film includes powerful interviews and demonstrates how Zionism is not Judaism.

Wazwaz explains, “I wanted to show people, mainly the American people, the difference between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism is the blueprint behind Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinian Arab Christian and Muslim populations. It is no different than apartheid in South Africa and segregation here in the U.S. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. No people should be living under different laws based on their religion, race, gender, etc. All people should be living under same laws and have equal rights.”

Admission is $10. Proceeds will support the Anti-War Committee.

Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US.  She was the chair for the Interfaith Relations at Islamic Center of Minnesota.  She has completed training in restorative justice at the University’s Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.  She was a 2008-2009 policy fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  She is a public speaker and writer and lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

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A case for light rail

By Omar Alansari-Kreger

Who wants to waste away idling in traffic after waiting through three traffic light cycles at a highway intersection?

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Out on the roads, Minnesota nice turns to Minnesota ice. Year after year, more people take to the roads in cars that consume finite resources leaving behind nothing but non-renewable waste. Little is done to investigate and expand alternatives to the car culture. In the Twin Cities, outside the core inner city area, it becomes quite the challenge to have life without the car. The suburbs are a case in point. They were made and inspired by and for the car culture. It should be no surprise why to most Americans, convenience is measured in miles as opposed to blocks. We are generally inclined to accept the car culture as an unavoidable fact of life. Car ownership is best defined as costly arriving at a great economic burden to the average American. This is especially true to those of us living strictly on borrowed credit or from paycheck-to-paycheck.

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Eid Mubarak or Blessed Festival of Fast Breaking

Blessed Eid

 

 

 

Eid Al-Fitr or Festival of Fast Breaking comes right after a pillar of Islam called the Sawm in the Holy month of Ramadan.  The day begins with a special congregational prayer followed by a short sermon.  People are dressed in their best clothing, and children traditionally receive new clothing as well as other gifts.  Food, holiday congratulations, and festivities such as rides, balloons, and other fun activities for children follow the prayers.  The holiday lasts for three days during which people usually visit or invite each other.

 

 

Eid Mubarak or Blessed Return!  May God, All-Mighty, and Majestic accept all of our good deeds and efforts during the month of Ramadan.  May God grant us His enabling grace to take the lessons and reflections with us throughout our lives so that we may benefit and receive benefit.  May God increase us to be more conscious of Him and grateful for all the blessings that are too numerous to count.

Check out the following Calendar for Eid events taking place around town.

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If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

Why do we heal?

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

The possibility of healing creates a choice for each of us.

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I’d like to encourage us not only to value healing, but to look forward to healing. And in so doing, I’ll bring together the narratives of psychological healing and faith, which dovetail in important ways. In a lesson by a spiritual teacher who talks about the prophetic mirror, it comes very close to what Randi Kreger, the author of Stop Walking on Eggshells, writes about mirroring. Both can help us clean our internal mirrors so we can better reflect the light.

When I was first trying to heal myself—from my childhood in Jerusalem and Chicago—I was directed toward a white-male privileged projection of what strength is. But going there isn’t really true healing, not even for a privileged white male. The most important part of healing is to grapple with our vulnerability.

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Promoting the faculty of reason

By Omar Alansari-Kreger

Rage is an unhealthy agent for change because it fails to deliver ideas that make renewals, reformations, and renaissances possible.

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Youth reminds us of the long lost idealisms we once had. Too much reality will make one cynical which ruins visions that support a better world. Protesters gather in the streets by the millions worldwide knowing little about what they are protesting. Our time is consumed with obsessions drawn over shallow concepts of self. Support of a cause is supposed to provide vindication for a purposeful life. It is based on a theoretical assumption that things will come to pass because we are in immediate need of them. Few exercise any interest whatsoever in critical thinking in order to fully grasp the basis of a cause and what it entails.

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Security is a human right for all

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Security is a two-way street. None of us can be secure at the expense of another’s insecurity.

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What is security and how do we find it?

A sense of security—in our families, our homes, and our communities—is a basic human need and a human right. None of us is ever completely safe from the unpredictable dangers of our world. At any moment, a storm might blow up, or another driver might lose control of their car. But we do need to feel reasonably protected in our relationships with others, both near and far. We need to feel that the other drivers of this world are staying in their lanes.

What is reasonable protection? Does our security mean building an enormous Humvee, or blocking other drivers from using the road? The concept of “security” can easily become distorted, driving us into an aggressive “security” that makes us progressively less secure.

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The value of the Little Free Library

By Omar Alansari-Kreger

A culture of ignorance is preserved through the refutation of knowledge, just as a culture of knowledge is preserved through the refutation of ignorance.

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What is the best way to counter ignorance in an Age of Insanity? Decades ago, whoever thought that bastions of information would be largely ignored and neglected by the masses? We are all too accustomed to googling our curiosities into thin air without grounding our inquiries in something substantial. This is indicative of a dystopian world that was predicted by Aldous Huxley about a century ago. His was a reality in which libraries would be teeming with books but few exercise any desire to read them. A world where books are viewed as decorative artifacts and not as resources for enlightenment.

Shortly after moving into the Longfellow neighborhood of south Minneapolis, I started to notice miniature library stands, known as “Little Free Libraries,” displayed on the front lawns of various houses. As a direct result, a trend was created and local businesses combined with community centers to begin adopting them. They are now commonplace and seem to have caught on in the suburbs. Whenever I encounter a free library stand, I cannot help wondering what it contains. It’s hit-or-miss. A pessimist could be inclined to dismiss the effort altogether by brushing them off as a repository of dime novels, nothing more.

Continue reading at Star Tribune..

Omar Alansari-Kreger, of Minneapolis, is a Muslim-American, a writer, and a social activist.

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Decline of the great American experiment

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

When vanity overtakes liberty, the concept of freedom becomes nothing more than a fairy tale.

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What if you woke up one day and realized that your nation and way of life were nothing but lies? Everyone seems oblivious to the obvious. We carry ourselves as drones mesmerized by promises that never bear long term fruit. In the United States, freedom is sold as an element interchangeable with our national identity. It is widely believed there is no other nation in the world that enjoys the same degree of freedom and liberty. The fact of the matter is that as a nation, the United States is based on a timeless idea. Naturally, we carry a great sense of hope in the maximization of our shared potential. The basis of which has evolved into the multicultural edifice of the nation. Definitively, what did the United States mean to our founding fathers? Did they imagine that three hundred years after the invention of the Great American Experiment it would become the world’s premier empire? Each generation is tasked to relearn and redefine the ideals of its past.

There is this assumption that history has a mind of its own and that in one way or another, it is bound to be repeated. Ironically, the United States has transformed into that same monolithic edifice its founding fathers sought to defeat.

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Beyond shame, violence, and terror

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

One form of social-control shaming has been the humiliation of Muslims in an attempt to get us to transform into something “more American,” more comfortable, and more familiar.

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Faith, as I’ve said before, is about accepting ourselves as humans and turning to God to help us grow, heal, and be nurtured. This isn’t possible if we feel ashamed of who we are, of our core identities.

Oppressors—who are often themselves suffering from unacknowledged shame—don’t fight us just physically, but also psychologically.

The path to faith and healing is the path to knowing yourself. The more you know yourself, the harder it is for you to be recruited against another person.

When we talk about shame, we often think of public reprimand.  Yet, that is the least destructive of shaming as you know who is doing the shaming and can respond. For example, President Donald Trump’s shaming is faced with strong responses by many groups.  The worst of shaming is the insidious and hidden type which leaves a person or group conflicted of their perception of reality and undermines one’s ability to respond.

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Adopt refugees, children, & families fleeing war to make worlds of difference

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

Rather than focusing on simply raising awareness on the pain and suffering of persons displaced by war, why not take one step further? What if families across Minnesota were encouraged to adopt refugees and displaced persons from around the world as their own?

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Look around the Twin Cities and you will find highway billboards with pictures featuring sad-looking dogs. An appeal is made to the inner humanitarian in us all to act on an injustice. The world is becoming an inferno with no end to the madness. In Syria, Aleppo was recently recaptured by forces loyal to a tyrannical war criminal, yet we continue to stand idle as atrocities unfold on our newsfeeds. Women, children, and the elderly made a last chance escape out of Aleppo hoping to find sanctuary in neighboring Turkey. The sad truth is that a great deal of Syrian civilians will never make it to safe ground under an unrelenting clout of civil war. Here is a proposition we should all consider, what if those highway billboard signs began featuring the tearful faces of Syrian children in addition to other war-battered peoples? On the surface, the main idea would be directed toward raising awareness generally.

Nowadays, it is all too easy to block out a world of sad, but inconvenient truths. We have the ability to remove, block out, and unsubscribe from trends that are unsettling to us. That is nothing but selective attention which desensitizes us to a reality of ominous truths. Rather than focusing on simply raising awareness on the pain and suffering of persons displaced by war, why not take one step further? What if families across Minnesota were encouraged to adopt refugees and displaced persons from around the world as their own? Does such a proposition carry too much controversial baggage? It is all too sensible to argue that human lives are invaluable; therefore, society should mirror that all too universal standard. There are many different ways to adopt refugees and displaced persons fleeing war zones. There is the traditional method of direct adoption; this is where one child or family is brought into the United States through programs of state-sanctioned sponsorship.

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Localizing the rule of law to end Syria’s civil war

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

Here is a proposition well worth considering: what if a moderate majority rebellion unified around a cause based on universal respect for the rule of law?

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What is the best way to achieve a practical peace in a seemingly endless conflict? The Syrian Civil War continues unabated with no hindrances. The more information obtained, the more perplexing its reality. In Syria, each faction has paramilitaries that allege loyalty to a sectarian cause. Alliances are made with foes in order to marginalize a common enemy for tactical gain; hence, the battle lines are always changing. The carnage of Syria’s Civil War has proven one thing: there are no winners, only losers. Assad’s regime claims to be waging a war against foreign terrorism. Its campaign is best rendered as one of wonton repression that accepts nothing but unquestioned loyalty to the regime. There will never be a lasting peace under policies of state-sponsored terrorism. Torture combined with a longing for retribution is preserved by a thirst for revenge; both are timeless and destructive.

As an outsider looking into the Pandora’s Box of the Syrian Civil War, I cannot help but to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of informational resources that compete over its portrayal. It seems that each source is fighting its own war of legitimacy only to leave an observer lost and disillusioned with the facts as they are. Complexity is achieved through the diversity of opinions. It becomes highly unfathomable to imagine a world without either.  A man can make an opinion just as opinions make men, but are opinions alone truly indicative of intelligence, impartiality, and reason? Each perspective that has covered the Syrian Civil War is exclusively motivated by its own narrative.

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Refugees, an undeniable element of the American dream

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

It seems rather reasonable to argue the United States owes the millions of people it has displaced, directly or indirectly, amnesty through a program of refugee resettlement.

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Wherever there are immigrants, there are refugees. The United States is a nation of immigrants, but is it also a nation of refugees? The Puritans were one of the earliest European settlers that arrived in the New World. They fled the Old World to escape bigotry and persecution for their beliefs. They found solace at Plymouth Rock because it offered a place free of bigoted persecution. Therefore, would that make the Puritans America’s first major batch of refugees? At the time, issues surrounding the drama of immigration were not there because as a nation, the United States was nonexistent.

It cannot be stressed enough. The United States is a nation built on the bedrock of immigration. It can be argued that every major wave of immigrants were the refugees of their time. They escaped subsistence by means of serfdom. The foundation of the nation is supported by the promise of providence; a staple of the American Dream. The United States is a grand experiment ceaselessly working toward its optimization. It is the civic responsibility of every generation to impartially define the American Dream. Each definition can be used as an existential nuance to repatriate its foundations to the present.

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Boycotts are a form of free speech

By Nigel Parry, Engage Minnesota

“Boycotts are a form of free political expression and free speech. They are a peaceful way of making your voice heard in a situation where no one is listening.”

nigel

Dear Representatives Bud Nornes and Chris Swedzinski,

The HF 400 Israel Boycott Bill you have introduced is a bizarre piece of legislation, actually forcing Minnesotans to support a state that routinely and grossly defies international humanitarian law, and which is conducting the longest military occupation in history.

I lived in the Palestinian West Bank for 4 years before I came to America in 1998, and let me tell you it is a shameful thing to live in a country in which you regularly get to see children gunned down (always outside of stone throwing range, i.e. no self-defence excuse is valid), massive bombardments and displacements of already battered civilian populations, and straight-up racist land theft.

Israel’s parliament most recently voted to legalize the confiscation of Palestinian homes to give them to Israeli Jews. This level of naked racism is the opposite of what America stands for.

Trump’s current Muslim ban affects 213 million people in the seven listed countries. That’s without counting the people from those countries who live amongst us, now scared to leave the country in case they can’t return.

The Statue of Liberty is weeping as you turn away people trying to flee from war. You don’t target entire races or religions or ethno-nationalist populations to fight terror. That is obviously going to have the opposite effect.

The United States itself boycotts several regimes, and not only boycotts, but actually has sanctions against other countries, e.g Iran. The only reason that Apartheid was banished from South Africa was because of boycotts. That’s why the US itself boycotts and sanctions countries—because it works.

Boycotts are a form of free political expression and free speech. They are a peaceful way of making your voice heard in a situation where no one is listening. What you are proposing is nothing less than Minnesotan state control of Minnesotan people’s consciences. This is the opposite of what any state or federal body should be doing. It is utterly contrary to the First Amendment.

Instead of writing laws to pander to a foreign regime that cares nothing about international law or human life, perhaps you could instead remind the Israel lobbyists that urged you to pass this absolutely shameful and embarrassing piece of legislation to actually make peace with the Palestinians.

Of course, you must be aware that Israel has all the power in this situation, with the fifth most powerful army in the world, an army utterly free of moral constraint, and merrily funded to the tune of $3.2 billion a year of US taxpayers’ dollars, about to increase to $3.8 billion annually. It’s a first world country folks, it doesn’t need any charity, let alone that giant military basket of death it regularly dips into. Israel isn’t threatened. It is the threat. You have this entirely backwards.

All you do when you silence people, with measures like this, is encourage them to stop talking and start fighting. Blessed are the peacemakers, not the war mongers, nor those who pander to oppressive regimes.

Your responsibility is to the people of Minnesota first. Stop pandering to Israel, remove this Constitution-defying legislation from the table, and act to reign in the Frankenstein monster we have done so much to create.

Sincerely,

Nigel Parry can be reached via https://www.linkedin.com/in/nigelparrydesign

There is a hearing on criminalizing BDS.  Contact your Representatives:
Date: Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. Tuesday,
Place: Senate Building, 95 University AVE W, 55155

Senate File 247: “Israel Boycott”
This is the Senate Committee on State Government Finance and Policy and Elections.

Committee Chair Mary Kiffmeyer, R, District #30, representing Big Lake, Elk River, Otsego.
Mark Koran, R, #32, Cambridge, Isanti, Lindstrom, Rush City
Jim Carlson, DFL, #51, Eagan
John Jasinski, R, #24, Faribault, Owatonna
Susan Kent, DFL, Woodbury, southern Maplewood
Carolyn Laine, DFL, #41, Columbia Heights, Fridley, St. Anthony
Carla Nelson, R, #26, Rochester
Scott Newman, R, #18, Hutchinson, Glencoe, Litchfield
Ann Rest, DFL, #45, New Hope, Cyrstal, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley, Plymouth
Torrey Westrom, R, #12, Morris, Sauk Centre, Gleenwood, Breckenridge

 

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Guilt, remorse, and getting beyond the self-help placebo

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

“O God! Grant us enough fear (of displeasing Thee) that it may serve as a barrier between us and our sins. . .and grant us enough faith that it may help us to face the misfortunes of this world easily.”
–Prayer of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings.

fedwa wazwaz
It’s important to distinguish between two very different emotional processes: guilt and remorse.

We sometimes think of the two as interchangeable, but in truth they are very different. Guilt is connected with control, obligation, and fear. When you’re feeling guilty, you’re being shamed and disempowered. At times, this shame can be personal, part of a private controlling force. But often, guilt is part of a broad societal shaming.

For instance, Muslims have been pressured, for the past sixteen years, to feel guilty for the horrific events of September 11, 2001, as well as other violent attacks. We’ve been put on the guilt-track, where we need to constantly excuse, explain, apologize, and apologize for a crime that took us by surprise as it did everybody else.

Indeed, this guilt denied American Muslims the space to grieve. We, too, needed to share with the rest of the community the process of loss. We, too, needed to work through our sorrow and fear.

Instead, we were roped by a feeling of guilt and shame, and a burden to prove that we were not guilty. But in this case, there is nothing we can do to prove we’re not guilty. Still, the president’s executive order evokes September 11 when suddenly revoking permanent residents’ access to their homes, jobs, and lives.

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Meet Hend Al Mansour

By Hend Al Mansour, Green Card Voices

“I found that in America, I could blend in. There’s a history of immigration, there are people like me here.”

When Hend Al-Mansour was diagnosed with cancer, she realized that life was too short to leave one’s dream unfulfilled.From an early age, Ms. Al-Mansour pursued a passion for art but was aware of her limitations in terms of freedom as a Saudi Arabian woman. She decided to heed her parents and become a doctor. During her medical career, Hend had been growing more and more dissatisfied with the lack of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and began to contemplate moving.In 1997, Ms. Al-Mansour seized the opportunity to move to the United States through a fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. During a medical exam, it was discovered that she had cancer. Having such a life-changing experience, Hend decided to become a full-time artist after completing her fellowship.Today, Hend’s work references identity and gender politics in Arab society and in Islamic teaching while her style pays homage to Arabic and Islamic art forms. She has participated in regional, national and international art shows. Hend co-founded the group Arab Artists in The Twin Cities and was a member of the Arab American Cultural Institute in Minnesota. Ms. Al-Mansour lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband.

Tea Rozman Clark, has a Ph.D. in Oral History.  She is the Executive Director of Green Card Voices and a 2015-17 Bush Leadership Fellow.  Green Card Voices is sharing the stories of the nation’s 40 million immigrants through their website WWW.GREENCARDVOICES.ORG

Educate:  If you are a teacher we encourage you to use their resources!

Host a Touring Photo Exhibition: If you are interested in having a photo exhibition at your location or organization, please contact Tea at: info@greencardvoices.com.

Share Your Story:  Green Card Voices are touring the country looking for compelling stories to tell about immigrants from all walks of life. If you are interested in sharing your story through their website, please introduce yourself to them so we may contact you about upcoming opportunities.

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If you like this piece, share it on social media.  We invite you to join us in this project on our social media sites.  We welcome your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a commentary, podcast or photo story. (For more information, email engageminnesota@gmail.com.)

The African-American Women Behind the Heroes

By Jimmy Jones, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Yet neither of these men could have soared to the heights that they did without the passionate, persistent, consistent, and competent help of women who just happened to be African-American.

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For African-Americans, the annual time period between Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on January 15th and the end of February is bittersweet. This is because we hear quite a bit about Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of Black History for about six weeks, only to be shunted aside again on March 1st of every year.

Nevertheless, we rightly remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a genuine American hero. So was recently departed astronaut and senator John Glenn, the first American in space.

Yet neither of these men could have soared to the heights that they did without the passionate, persistent, consistent, and competent help of women who just happened to be African-American.

In John Glenn’s case, the full story of these women was finally told in the book “Hidden Figures,” written by Margot Lee Shetterly and released as a Hollywood film with the same title.

(more…)

Academia, a World of Rude Awakenings

By Omar Alansari-Kreger, Engage Minnesota

Is the core curriculum offered at colleges and universities changing so much as to necessitate an aggressive rise in annual academic tuition?.

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During an interview on Errol Morris’s First Person, Christopher Langan, a man reported to have the world’s highest IQ at over 200, described academia to be a cold and heartless bureaucracy. “A breeding ground for parrots,” he exclaimed! Year-by-year, tuition continues to skyrocket with no end in sight. According to statistics collected from the website collegedata.com, the annual cost of private college tuition in 2016 stood at an average of $32,405. For state residents enrolled at public universities, the average cost was marked at $9,410 annually. Finally, for out of state residents attending public universities, the total cost for one year’s worth of education approached $23,894. Such figures are rather overwhelming which leads to a critical objection which arrives in the form of a question: how does academia justify the soaring cost of academic tuition? Is the core curriculum offered at colleges and universities changing so much as to necessitate an aggressive rise in annual academic tuition?

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It’s not just conservatives. We’re all being duped by “fake news”

By Hani Hamdan, Engage Minnesota

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Media is now more about manipulation than ever before.

The buzz these days is about fake news and how it apparently had a role in the election of Donald Trump. I worry, however, that a portrayal of fake news as being somehow proprietary to conservative websites is misleading, if not disingenuous.

Minorities, including Muslims, have been subjected to a barrage of hair-raising news warning that white people are basically out to get them. Every single incident involving racist remarks, letters, attacks, graffiti, salutes, conferences, flags, posters, or associations is amplified to the tenth degree by people who cannot care less about minorities.

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