This week we feature the current favorites and obsessions of Saadia Faruqi, author of the short-story collection Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan (read an excerpt here). Saadia was born in Pakistan and emigrated to the U.S. in her twenties. She currently lives in Houston with her husband and children. Saadia has trained law enforcement on cultural sensitivity issues, and she writes for a number of print and online publications about the global contemporary Muslim experience and about interfaith dialogue. She is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret Literary Journal and her short stories have appeared in Catch & Release, the Great American Literary Magazine, Belle Reve Literary Journal and many others. You can learn more about her and her book Brick Walls at www.saadiafaruqi.com.
1. “Brides for Sale” by Sonita Alizadeh
“Brides for Sale” — a heart wrenching rap video by Afghani teenager Sonita Alizadeh who feared being married forcibly by her parents to pay her brother’s dowry. The video shows Sonita wearing a wedding dress with a bar code on her forehead and her face bruised. Her family was so impressed by the video they called the wedding off, and Sonita is now studying in the U.S. on a full scholarship. Never underestimate the power of rap music.
2. Parliament of the World Religions
Any religion buff will tell you, the most awaited and star-studded affair in the interfaith and religious calendar is the annual Parliament of the World Religions, which was first organized in 1893. This year’s gathering in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 15–19, is bound to be the most fascinating, with the Dalai Lama and Karen Armstrong in attendance. For all those interested in social justice and religion’s role in peacemaking, this event is critical.
3. Papercuts Magazine
Who knew that Pakistan has a vibrant literary scene? I recently discovered Desi Lounge and its award-winning biannual literary journal Papercuts, which attracts writers, poets and artists from all over the world. I could easily spend an afternoon reading their latest offerings, and so should you!
4. On Being with Krista Tippett
It’s actually a bit difficult to describe what On Being really is. They call themselves a social enterprise with a radio show at its heart. I think they’re being modest. That radio show is actually a Peabody Award-winning podcast, and the social enterprise is a Webby Award-winning website, blog, publisher and event convener. Its host Krista Tippet is well-known as the lady with the hard-hitting existentialist questions, like what does it mean to be human, and how can we live in peace? You’ll find something to enjoy here whether you’re interested in science, art, technology, religion or anything else.