Welcome to my blog.  Meeting Leila has forever changed my life.  I see through new lenses how I can be a part of making a difference.  I hope this can be our meeting place, where I can share my stories and hear yours. Each one of you has the power to make a difference. It's about giving a hand up, not a hand out.

Prize Winning Books by Arab Writers

I’m the moderator for two book clubs at Alif Institute here in Atlanta. To see all they have to offer go to www.alifinstitute.org The evening group is reading Sharon and My Mother-in-Law, about living under Occupation while caring for her mother-in-law during curfews that lasted 42 or more days at a time.  One of you is bound to lose it from time to time! I lived with my mother-in-law for six years. I empathize. Did you know that Palestinian families living in the West Bank and Gaza are kept inside their houses for as long as six months at a time? And that only one member of the family is allowed to leave once a week for two hours to buy groceries? Because houses are bulldozed down regularly, the family might have many relatives living with them. How would you cope with 10 or 12 people living with you, several with children, all unable to go outside for months at a time? I’d be emotionally distraught. How about you? Our previous book was House of Stone by Anthony Shadid. A quote from him appeared in the convention booklet. “I was an ADC intern many years ago and it’s an experience I doubt I’ll ever forget. I learned a lesson that has guided me and my journalism since then, and is that being right is a relative term, and most importantly that no voice should be silenced.”  


So much to see, so little time!  Have you visited the Tate Modern in London?  First of all, it's free.  I'd never heard of such a thing.  All you could wish for in two buildings with several floors and free. In my attempt to shake loose from the Impressionists and Abstract art, I have begun looking at the most modern I can find to jar me into now.  I've found it.  When I describe it to you, you make think me mad as well.  An African artist, now well known, makes huge wall hangings, lovely to behold, from aluminum bottle caps.  I've seen his work in Australia and now here.  From a distance it appears spun from gold.  An India artist uses human hair woven like strands of knitting wool hanging in every pattern you can imagine from auto bumpers. Another artist uses tools like levels to create linear statements about the beauty in work.  I have so much to learn. How about you?  Do you like art?  Do you go to museums or art openings?  Do you introduce your children to the world of creativity using whatever is at hand?  

The Benefits of Travel

Dear Readers, sometimes while in the middle of social justice issues it's refreshing to have a change of scene and thought.  I'll be sharing some reactions to all I'm seeing. I spent my birthday in Russia at the Hermitage Museum and was told by the guide that if I stopped at each painting for less than a minute it would still take me three years to see all the artworks in its 1057 rooms.  It's like Versailles but not as flashy.  That evening I attended the ballet Cinderella brought up to the 1920s, with incorporated modern dance.  It was stunning.  The costumer selected for the dresses the same color in different intensities.  The dancers, when in a line, shimmered like reflections on a lake.  I was captivated. The streets were abustle with activity, the citizens looked happy or focused, the shops were inviting and the architecture preserved.