Athens: Graffiti

11 Sep

“I like writing to you.”

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Photo: Iason Athanasiadis

Alexander manuscript: I’m sorry, from where?

9 Sep

“…spreading from Istanbul to the west and from the city of Trebizond east to Mongolia, Persia, Sumatra and China…”  My emphases of course.


“Muharram In Manhattan”

9 Sep

“I find that tears can heal the communal body as they would an individual body, in that tears garner the potential to cleanse us of the toxins named fear, shame, doubt, anxiety and guilt, that reside in the crevices of our minds, hearts, and souls. In fact, these very emotions of inferiority are what permits these modes of domination over us to begin with, and it is tears that grant us the space to heal from them.”

Whole of Shereen Yousuf : Decolonial Practice of Majalis and its Potential for Communal Healing.


Tiranë? Mmmmmm…dunno…

8 Sep

Nobody hold your breath yet:

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The mountains that cover almost all of the surrounding country are beautiful, but I don’t think there’s more than a night of one’s life that should be haram-ed just in the capital.



A poem for Ashura, Agha Shahid Ali

4 Sep

Iraq Transitions As U.S. Forces Withdraw After 8-Year Presence

Karbala: A History of the “House of Sorrow”

In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Husayn will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.
—Edward Gibbon

Jesus and his disciples, passing through the plain of Karbala, saw “a herd of gazelles, crowding together and weeping.” Astonished, the disciples looked at their Lord. He spoke: “At this site the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) will one day be killed.” And Jesus wept. Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain … And Jesus wept. And as if the news has just reached them—fourteen hundred years after the Battle of Karbala (near ancient Babylon, not far from the Euphrates) in the year A.H. 61/A.D. 680—mourners weep for “the prince among martyrs,” Hussain, grandson of the Prophet and son of Ali (“Father of Clay”) and Fatima (the Prophet’s only surviving child). Memorializing Hussain on the tenth of Muharram (Ashura) is the rite of Shi’a Islam—so central that at funerals those events are woven into elegies, every death framed by that “Calvary.” For just “as Jesus went to Jerusalem to die on the cross,” Hussain “went to Karbala to accept the passion that had been meant for him from the beginning of time.”


Zainab’s Lament in Damascus

Over Hussain’s mansion what night has fallen?

Look at me, O people of Shaam, the Prophet’s only daughter’s daughter, his only child’s child.

Over my brother’s bleeding mansion dawn rose—at such forever cost?

So weep now, you who of passion never made a holocaust, for I saw his children slain in the desert, crying for water.

Hear me. Remember Hussain, what he gave in Karbala, he the severed heart, the very heart of Muhammad, left there bleeding, unburied.

Deaf Damascus, here in your Caliph’s dungeons where they mock the blood of your Prophet, I’m an orphan, Hussain’s sister, a tyrant’s prisoner.

Father of Clay, he cried, forgive me. Syria triumphs, orphans all your children. Farewell.

And then he wore his shroud of words and left us alone forever.

Paradise, hear me— On my brother’s body what night has fallen?

Let the rooms of Heaven be deafened, Angels, with my unheard cry in the Caliph’s palace:

Syria hear me

    Over Hussain’s mansion what night has fallen

    I alone am left to tell my brother’s story

    On my brother’s body what dawn has risen

      Weep for my brother World, weep for Hussain


Reprinted from The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems by Agha Shahid Ali. English translation copyright © 2009 by Daniel Hall. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.


NikoBakos’ Nasty-piece-o-work Croat-watch

21 Aug

So nice when they revert to form.

From Independent:

“A senior Croatian diplomat has been suspended and recalled to the country from Berlin for Facebook posts which have been described as “racist, xenophobic and homophobic”.

“Alongside images of sandy beaches on the Adriatic coast, Elizabeta Madjarevic wrote in English: “Pure and authentic Europe. Just white Europeans as it used to be only 30 years ago in the whole [of] Europe. One would think this is no longer possible but luckily it is.'”

Croat istock-907591300

Where and when — judging from dress — are these photos from?

21 Aug


Women in Attic costume


Dropolitisses sitting


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Palestinian woman Ramla 1930s

Waiting for readers’ guesses:

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