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Baghdad Sky early spring, 2015 

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

photos taken by surviving-life-diary-by-farah

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Rheim Alkadhi | Iraqi-American

Approximations from the archive of Amal K, who Left Kuwait at that time | 2013 | Latched pasteboard boxes, mounted prints on archival “rag,” pencil inscriptions, dimensions variable.

Nearby and encased in glass, rest a series of photographs taken during the desert exodus, entitled,Approximations from the archive of Amal K, who Left Kuwait at that time (2013) by Rheim Alkadhi. Although the photographs have been acquired from the private collection of Amal K., Alkadhi has mounted them on archival rag boards and inscribed them with titles herself. In an “Approximate view of a moment within an expulsion,” an eighties-looking car appears in the foreground, presumably full of family members as it makes its way across the desert. Behind it emerges a pickup truck, similarly packed with passengers, with another white car behind it, filled with even more passengers. All of the faces appear blurry; viewers can only distinguish the basic silhouettes of heads and bodies, a simple shape of a steering wheel, and the only part in focus—a man’s left arm dangling out of the driver’s seat window. The grainy texture of the photograph evokes an intense heat; the desert sun shines in the background, and a dusty, unsettling haze materialises all around.

Most striking however are the empty frames of missing photographs in Alkadhi’s sequence. While reiterating the exhibit’s main themes, they nevertheless ignite the viewers’ imagination. What happened to those specific moments in time? What did they capture? Does anyone remember? Will we ever know? Certainly these questions relate to El-Khalidi’s central question, “What happened on August 2, 1990?” which prompted her interviews with the Open Sesame generation. Yet Alkadhi’s work does not attempt to present us with answers, but rather, propels us into the realm of uncertainties.

Those personal pictures recalled the mass migrations that happened within weeks by Palestinians in Kuwait, and the dislocated bodies and objects that were never allowed to return.

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In northern Iraq, where soldiers are battling the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, one fiery singer is on a mission to stir up patriotic sentiment.

Crimson-haired Iraqi performer Helly Luv has a recording contract in the U.S., but she didn’t want to shoot her latest video in Hollywood.

Her track, called “Revolution,” is a tribute to the ethnically Kurdish soldiers known as peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS. So she took a video team to a front-line village, as bullets flew and battles raged.

“Yeah!” she tells me. “We shot the video right there, and it was so crazy.”

The video features a bejeweled Helly Luv — herself Kurdish — dancing in a traditional peshmerga outfit, and in a tank firing a shell.

“Rise up, ‘cause we’re so much stronger as one,” she sings in English. “Breaking the silence as loud as a gun. Brothers and sisters, we all come from one. Different religions, we share the same blood.”

In Iraq, A Kurdish Warrior-Diva Sings Against ISIS, Despite Threats

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Almasjid Alaqsa this morning after The Zionist forces have entered the mosque 
They hit women , they are not allowing to men under 50 age to enter the mosque only men who slept yesterday at the mosque are now trying their best to protect our mosque 
المسجد الأقصى صباح اليوم بعد أن إقتحمته القوات الصهيونية بذكرى خراب الهيكل المزعوم ، ضربوا النساء وحراس المسجد ، لم يسمحوا لمن عمره أقل من خمسين عاما من الرجال بالدخول للمسجد ، فقط من إعتكف من الشباب ليلة أمس يقوم الآن بحماية المسجد الأقصى المبارك 


2016 Election Guide for Muslim Americans. Who Deserves Our Support?

According to the Pew Research Center, there are nearly 2.8 million Muslims in the United States, 2.3 million of whom are American citizens and have a political stake in the future of this country. For a lot of us who feel that our identities have become so politicized over the recent decades, we can’t help but be more and more aware of who our leaders are and what they’re saying about us. It’s important for Muslim Americans now more than ever to decide who will serve our best interests, if at all, and who we should vote for.

The focus of this post will be on the two most prominent Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - because both appeal to minority voters like us through their inclusive economic and social policies. Using this as the foundation, Muslim Americans must now assess which contender exhibits more overall sensitivity to the issues we specifically find important. This includes topics such as surveillance, prisoner rights, the Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Palestine, Iran, drone strikes, and more.

US Foreign policy is particularly significant because many of us have personal and emotional relations to the countries of our parents and/or grandparents. America’s increased interest in the Islamic world also has deep implications for both Muslims across the globe and Muslim Americans at home.

It is therefore important to recognize that our vote doesn’t just affect our domestic lives but also the lives of Muslims worldwide who are profoundly impacted by US foreign policy. If we want any positive change then we must take this election and our participation in it very seriously.

I’m going to try my best to include a lot of issues that are relevant to Muslim Americans. Please contribute to this post if I am leaving anything out. I also recognize that there are many non-Muslim Americans, non-Muslims, and non-American Muslims who care about these topics so this post is also for you.

Lastly, I will also match both candidates up to every issue as much as possible so you can compare and contrast their policies. Other than that the structure of this post is pretty self-explanatory once you read through it.

Overall it’s up to you to decide who you want to support but wallahi exercise your right to VOTE.

I.) INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN, INVASION OF IRAQ, MILITARY INTERVENTION, & DRONE STRIKES

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

II.) PALESTINE & ISRAEL

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

III.) IRAN

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

IV.) SURVEILLANCE &  PRISONER RIGHTS

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

Additional Links/Information

How To Vote in the 2016 Elections

Voter Registration + Primary Elections 101

Don’t abstain from voting. This is a very flawed form of “political activism” and is actually advantageous to candidates who are more problematic than others.

Vote in the Primaries! There isn’t just one stage of voting!

VOTE!!!!

I hope this entire post shed important insight on the two currently prominent Democratic candidates and allows Muslim Americans to make an informed decision on who they should vote for in 2016. Again, if I have left anything out then please contribute to this post. 

And remember- go out and vote!

Looking Back Congressman Bernie Sanders Was 100% Correct in his Thinking on the First Iraq War, Even Though Nobody Seemed to Give His View Much Appreciation as Evidenced by the Last Slide

Al-Mustansiriya University - Baghdad, Iraq

The university was established in 1963 on the site of the Mustansiriya Madrasah which dated back to 1227 CE

I know Eid is a time of celebration, but I ask you to pray for the 200+ innocent Iraqis killed by Isis bombings on Eid and the dozens more that were wounded. As usual they targeted Shi'a majority areas. I don’t really care if you’re still in denial when it comes to Shi'a genocide and targeted killing, but I ask you to pray for their souls as human beings and for my entire country because everyone is suffering.