9/11

Discovering “Little Syria”—New York’s Long-Lost Arab Neighborhood

By

The seven of us stood in the parking lot of the office building across the street, and Joe opened the zippered cover of his three-ring binder full of painstakingly collected photographs of the old neighborhood gathered for the exhibition. As he began reading aloud an oral history from Marian Sahadi Ciacci—“A Syrian who married an Italian!”—it felt like a religious occasion, a conjuring out of almost nothing of an entire world gone by.

Read More

10 Years Later: An American Muslim Looks Back at Iraq

By

Ten years on, as the experts who pushed for a disastrous war remain experts, it remains unclear why it ever happened. Was it just racism? Who, after all, does not plan for the day after a war? I plan out what I am going to do when I drive up to New York to see friends and family. Maybe the rest of the world decided to move on while we floundered about, amazed that just because we dreamed something, it could not come to pass.

Read More

Are Muslims Nuts?

By

For many Americans, the Muslim world is dangerous. It is a place mired in the thick sludge of the past, peopled by exotic and prickly foreigners who, at any slight however real or perceived, fly off into a mad rage. It is irrationality’s last refuge, a museum shop of medieval horrors that has somehow survived the rest of the planet’s transition to the 21st century. Recent events might seem to only confirm this assessment. A fair-minded observer might plausibly ask, “Are Muslims nuts?” Although, to be entirely fair-minded, for the thousands who did protest against “The Innocence of Muslims,” well over a billion and a half did not.

Read More