Friday, February 17, 2012

Programs for the Week of 2/20

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Love, InshAllah: I didn’t realize how deeply implanted were my stereotypes about the love lives of Muslim women until I started reading Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi’s delightful anthology Love, InshAllah, which we featured last Tuesday as our Valentine’s Day Inside Islam special. The book is focused on American women, but it nevertheless has an international flavor, Nura herself being from Sri Lanka. I think those stereotypes I’ve been harboring got reinforced during my trip to Syria last April, just when the demonstrations there were beginning to surface. We stayed in Aleppo where things stayed pretty quiet, but I was undone by my perceptions of the women who were so heavily veiled as they walked through the streets that, in some extreme cases, they didn’t even have eye slits and had to keep pushing the veil away from their face in order just to see the ground under their feet. It upset me. I had an impression of severe repression. So imagine how liberating it was for me to read about lesbian encounters, stolen kisses, mad crushes, playful flirtations, and punk-drunk love!

Monday: Obama, Explained: President Obama is nearing the end of his first term but for many the charismatic figure who galvanized the electorate in 2008 remains an enigma. Who is Barack Obama? A savvy tactician with a long view of the hot issues, or an awkward politician adrift in Washington’s treacherous waters? We ask veteran journalist James Fallows to demystify the man and place his presidency in historical context.

Tuesday: Sailing with Micronesia’s Star Navigators: Traversing the Pacific in a handmade craft without instruments or even a map is not for the faint of heart. Yet for centuries, Micronesian navigators have guided themselves across vast stretches of ocean using nothing but nature’s clues and the knowledge handed down by their ancestors. Wisconsin-born James Campbell set out to find and sail with Micronesia’s last master navigators, and he lived to tell the tale.

Wednesday: South Africa's MenCare Project: Women are often the victims of male aggression in post-conflict situations. This is especially true in post-apartheid South Africa, where legacies of chauvinism and poverty fuel rising brutality, leading the country to be dubbed the "rape capital of the world." Former anti-apartheid activist Mbuyiselo Botha believes South Africa cannot be truly free until its women are safe. Botha works with the Sonke Gender Justice Network to combat sexual violence, helping men become active fathers and responsible members of their communities.

Thursday: Ridding Cambodia of its Land Mines: An International Model: Pol Pot, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, purportedly called land mines his "perfect soldiers." They never sleep. They wait, with limitless patience. And, even when war ends, they continue to kill and maim boys gathering firewood, mothers sowing rice, girls herding goats. Despite its horrific history, Cambodia has now become a model for how a nation can recover from the scourge of land mines. National Geographic photographer, Lynn Johnson, went to investigate.

Friday: Hot & Cheesy: Cheese lover Clifford Wright did some fancy globe-trotting to come up with the recipes in his latest book which features cheeses from all over the world with recipes to match, from gooey macaroni to spicy quesadilla.

Happy very early spring! I saw snowdrops about to bloom on my walk to work this morning. Huzzah!


No comments: