This is a bit of a mixed post – I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve enjoyed over the course of this year, and would recommend to others:
- Palestine Online Store: The Palestine Online Store seeks to make products from or about Palestine, particularly informational resources, more widely available. While the focus is on informational resources (books and documentary films), other products such as apparel, handcrafts, and solidarity items are also featured. Many of the items featured at the Palestine Online Store are actually fundraisers for grassroots organizations.
- Muslim Hands Sponsorships: For a small amount every month, you can make such a big difference in someone’s life. Someone who is in desperate need – an orphan in a war-torn country; an elderly person who has no family to be with; a student trying to find a bright future…we often hear about these parts of the world and the terrible things happening there – but how often do we get the chance to actually do something for them? We have so much going for us in this country, and we often take that for granted. I think its important for us to share what we have, if we can.
I urge you to think about becoming involved in one of these sponsorship programmes. Even if you can’t afford a sponsorship on your own, do it with someone else – 2 or 3 or even more people. It doesn’t matter how many of you it takes to make up the amount each month…what matters is that you’re contributing, no matter how small the amount.
It’s not about what you can “spare” – it’s about what you can GIVE. and I think most of us – if we tried – could give a little to this cause every month.
The link is for the international website, which has details about the various sponsorships available. You can contact the South African branch for more details if you’re in SA. If you need additional contact details for the SA branch (in Cape Town), I can send those to you as well.
- The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey by Muhammad Ali: Muhammad Ali’s memoir focuses largely on his spiritual evolution from his childhood to his years as a boxing star, through fatherhood and into his role as a Parkinson’s disease advocate and peace activist. Ali’s simple prose is sprinkled with his boxing poetry, some read by Davis and some read by Ali’s daughter Hana.
- “Closer than Veins” by Outlandish: new album by the European hip-hop group whose previous hits include “Walou”, “Guantanamo” and “Aicha” (i love that last 1 ). The 1st single from this album is “Look Into My Eyes“, which is based on a poem expressing the plight of those suffering from America’s foreign policy with regards to Israel and Palestine. You can preview the album at Musica Digital. (The link may not work – if not, just search for it on the site)
- Al-Jumuah magazine, Sept 2006 issue: Was my first time getting this magazine, and I was very impressed. The theme of this particular issue is “Coming of age”, and the articles cover topics very, very relevant to our generation (and those younger than us). Some of the topics are:
- “The Muslim Culture of Crisis”,
- “Overcoming the challenge of lust”,
- “Lowering the gaze” (a huge challenge in today’s world, especially a country like ours – this article should be especially useful, with summer time coming soon),
- “Sex and the Single Muslimah”,
- Adolescence and sex education,
- Birth control and Abortion in Islam,
I found the articles to be extemely well written; they aren’t written in a juristic or Fatwa type of tone. Instead, they are more discursive and educational, as well as encouraging. Practical application to today’s environment and challenges is so important, and they cover these aspects well.
They seem to understand that effectiveness lies in connecting with your audience, talking *to* them – discussing, explaining, etc….in a way that is not authoratitive – a way that isn’t like you’re scolding or treating the young reader like a child.
The majority of us are well-educated and intelligent, and I think their approach is very respectful of that fact. We’re addressed in a way where we are considered mature and educated individuals.
I really recommend getting the magazine, so look for it if you’re in an Islamic bookshop (which is where I got mine), or anywhere else you may find it for that matter.
I think publications like this can benefit us a lot, whether its through education, debate, or getting us to think about things which we are often too scared to talk about.