MMW, Book Reviews, and Paris

It’s about time for an unsolicited update on the goings on in my life and of this blog:

I called the previous post my last guest post for Muslimah Media Watch because I’ve been offered a regular position on their writing staff. I’m scheduled to make bi-weekly posts. I’ll continue to post poems and a few random things on this blog, but the bulk of my heavy writing will probably go to MMW, at least until I figure out how to balance schoolwork and personal writing more efficiently.

That said, I also have a series of reviews in the works (it’s been three months since I posted my rubric, I got a little lazy). I’ll finish Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me by tonight and have the review up in the next week or two (insha’Allah). I’ve also have drafts of The Circle(Dave Eggers), Women in Shari’ah (‘Abdur Rahman I. Doi), and Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat (Hal Herzog) in varying stages of completion. In general, I give books a 15-year window, meaning until the end of the year I won’t review anything published before 2000 and next year I won’t review anything published before 2001. I chose such a small window because older books tend to already have a lot of material written on them. It also helps me narrow my scope; I’d be writing from sun up to sundown if I review every single thing I read. I’ll make exceptions for books I find particularly interesting.

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the tragic events in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, Mexico, and Japan. Some of these events were natural disasters and others weren’t. Some occurred in the Occident and some occurred in the Orient. Regardless of what happened where, each and every life lost was a valuable one. I’ve noticed, however, that Paris received a huge amount of media attention while the other areas seemed left out. I’m not trying to diminish what happened nor am I trying to equate with the other events, but I am deeply disappointed in the western world. Time and time again it seems we only mobilize for those who are like us, or we are only horrified when something happens in a place that doesn’t usually get hit. Such behavior seems to say an event only matters when it is a anomaly. I know it’s hard to be sympathetic when attacks happen over and over in the same place, but we’ve got to fight our growing insensitivity and support all of the countries, not just the popular ones.

Everyone I know in these locations is safe, alhamdulillah, but how many people can say the same? How many people have lost their friends, their spouses, their teachers, their fathers? How many people lost arms, lost eyes, lost mobility? How many people while wander around for days looking for scraps to eat because they’re lost their homes? If you pray for Paris, please also pray for the world.

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