Susan Sontag on Compassion

“Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question is what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing “we” can do—but who is that “we”?—and nothing “they” can do either—and who are “they”?—then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.”

Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (May-September)

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a testing time for all of us across the globe. Fortunately for us book … More

A Feminism of One’s Own: Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat

Alifa Rifaat’s stories are situated within an Islamic framework that allows her to create a feminism of her own. Since Islam and empowerment are often misguidedly placed in contradiction to one another, it’s easy to see why Rifaat is not a household name.

The Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge + Unapologetically Muslim Reading Challenge? Yes, please.

This may all seem too idealistic to some but nonetheless conveys a crucial message about the role of the artist and what cultural and literary representations can offer in the ongoing debates about the so-called “problem” of Muslims in the Anglophone North Atlantic.

George Eliot & Virginia Woolf on Happiness

“Happiness,” Woolf writes, “is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paper-knife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.”