Category: Charity

  • What is wrong with the ‘Islam and the West’ discourse

    First things first : I am happy that Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London. Nothing could be cooler than having someone who shares your last name become the Mayor of a global city. This incident has been commented upon, quite a lot. Well meaning people point out that this is an indication that the […]

  • More Charity and less Philanthropy?

    More Charity and less Philanthropy?

    Do we need more ‘Charity’ (unorganized, personal giving) and less of ‘philanthropy’ (organized, scientific philanthropy)? While scholarship in the last 25 years of so indicates that there is a growing trend towards philanthropy, we are witnessing new arguments that what we need is really more ‘charity’. Bureaucratized and ‘scientific’ ways of giving don’t really work. […]

  • Do we need accurate data about Nonprofits in the US ?

    Last weekend, I attended a conference / brainstorm hosted by the American University, in partnership with the Urban Institute. Titled  ‘Nonprofit Panel Data Symposium,’ the two day event attracted some of the top brains in the country, working in the nonprofit/ civil society sector. As a young scholar who is interested in the sector and […]

  • Top ten books I read this year

    I read a lot of books this year. Like a LOT. Part of the reason is that I am preparing for my prelim exams (part of the PhD process) where you prove to your committee that you know your stuff. Additionally, I presented a few papers at a few conferences, many of them outside my […]

  • Is there a ‘rational’ way to Discuss Immigration Reform?

    America is a country that equally loves and hates immigration. With public opinion on this issue being divided, it does not look Americans will reach a consensus on what is good for the country, anytime soon. If history is any indicator, then this question has not been settled in the last three hundred years. So, […]

  • Why you should be Skeptical of Media Pundits’ Commentary

    Are the pundits (or experts) on TV actually making us more ignorant? I am starting to wonder if all this explosion of ‘experts’ around us is really helping us understand the complex issues in front of us, or are they ‘dumbing down’ things, in order to reach us, and in essence not really helping us […]

  • What can Islam offer to the World? Part 1

    Most often, when journalists write about Islam, it is in connection with something negative. As Edward Said argued, many years ago in Orientalism, there is a tendency in the Western academia and media to focus on the stereotypes of Islam and the Muslim world, at the expense of the ‘reality’ that exists in the Muslim […]

  • Why argue against a $100 million campaign?

    I don’t believe in kicking puppies. On the other hand, I believe that every worth cause, irrespective of geography, political affiliation should be supported. But when there is an egregious over-display of marketing tactics, brain-numbing imitation and exhortation to do acts of ‘charity’, I believe it is time to step back and question the premise […]

  • There are over 50 words for Love in Arabic language, while English has only 12 – Dr. Fatima Mernissi

    There are over 50 words for Love in Arabic language, while English has only 12 – Dr. Fatima Mernissi

    Scholars and intellectuals form a community – no matter where they live; their learning and seeking of truth unites them in a bond that is hard to break. This was the philosophy that Ibn Battuta lived by, and I put this to test recently. True to my old habit, I tried to read up as […]

  • Lessons in Foreign Policy from Food Cart Vendors

    “Cairo, very good city. You go there?” queried the young Egyptian juice vendor, as I was attempting to buy a mixed berry juice, while waiting for my turn to enter the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Another food cart vendor, who was a Syrian pointed out the similarities in spices in India and the Arab […]

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