Category: Middle East

  • Giving in unprecedented times in the Middle East

    unprecedented times in the Middle East

    Saif Khan Charities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses are providing financial aid, distributing medical supplies, and raising awareness in unprecedented times in the Middle East in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlined below are some important initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia The Saudi Food Bank “Eta’am,” the first of its kind […]

  • Are corporations going to save America?

    With the recent Executive Order banning entry of people from seven Middle Eastern countries, the nation is in uproar. This order also includes refugees, who were fleeing violence and oppression in Syria, among other countries. The fact that several companies such as Lyft and Starbucks have stepped up and spoken out against this order is […]

  • 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, […]

  • How Not to Think of Lobbies in America

    How does one think about a special interest group? Are they the ‘tail wagging the dog’? Or more realistically, just power-brokers who are go-in-betweens, managing perceptions, raising money and buying out influence, for those who they work? The answer is something in between. While I don’t agree that lobbies are all powerful, they do wield […]

  • 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 […]

  • Music and the Mullahs – can the twain meet?

    The debates about the use of music in Islamic practices specifically and music as entertainment are perhaps as old as Islam itself. These debates are not new reminds a scholar of Amnan Shiloah (1997). In the absence of clear injunctions about music in the Qur’an, secondary texts such as Hadith and other texts written by […]

  • Can democracy take root in the Arab world?

    As Syria burns, Iraq implodes and Tunisia and Libya struggle to democratize, one question remains central to framing discussions of participatory governance – Is democracy possible in the ‘Muslim world’? Is democracy an ‘internal wound,’ that has been left to fester for too long, within the Arab/Muslim world, as Moroccan scholar Fatima Mernissi argues? She […]

  • Hyper-patriotism in the heart of Manhattan: My visit to the 9/11 memorial

     I visited the National September 11 Museum, more out of curiosity, rather than any sense of wanting to know more about the tragedy that struck the U.S. on September 11, 2001. While most of us know the facts – enough to know the bad guys, the heroism of the people involved and the reactions from […]

  • How can Zakat help Syrian Refugees?

    The ongoing Syrian Civil War is pegged to be the largest humanitarian disaster since the Cold War. A recent New York Times article quoted United Nations Organizations officials making an appeal for an unprecedented $5bn towards relief and rehabilitation, even as the fighting goes on. Given that most of the victims of the crisis are […]

  • Beyond the Melting Pot?

    beyond the melting pot

    The recent Coca Cola ad during the Super Bowl stirred up quite a controversy. While most of the negative reaction to the ad was misplaced racism, the ad did bring up an important question that for the most part, went un-examined: that of the myth of America as the land of opportunities and a place […]

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