Alex Shams, Juma Reading List

Ajam’s Juma Reading List #4

Ajam’s Juma Reading Lists are a weekly feature curated by Ajam co-editor-in-chief Alex Shams that compile the top articles, photographs, and music videos from our social media pages into one easy and accessible link round-up for you to enjoy over the weekend.

The term “Juma” is an originally Arabic word for “Friday” that comes from a root meaning “to come together.” As Friday was (ideally!) a day of communal prayer and rest, the term referred to the coming together of community. Friday is the traditional day of rest across much of the regions comprising the lands of Ajam, and it is often integrated into a Thursday-Friday, Friday-Saturday, or Friday-Sunday weekend in many parts of the region.

Today, the word “Juma” exists in a wide variety of other languages as well, including Jomeh in Persian, Cuma in Turkish, Juma in Pashto and Uzbek, Ljumaa in Swahili, and many more. The use of the word “Juma” in such a wide variety of languages across the lands of Ajam speaks to the historical and social linkages that have existed among these interconnected societies throughout history, a suitable tribute to the word’s original Arabic roots.

We hope you enjoy this link round-up on your Juma!

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Father's and Men's day in Iran is celebrated on the 13th of Rajab, on the birth anniversary of Imam Ali.

Father’s and Men’s day in Iran is celebrated on the 13th of Rajab, on the birth anniversary of Imam Ali.

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Three women walk in Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, in 1951/2.

Three women walk in Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, in 1951/2.

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Bara (Asafi) Imambara in Lucknow, India, built by built by Moghul Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 as a shrine for Muharram rituals

Bara (Asafi) Imambara in Lucknow, India, built by built by Moghul Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 as a shrine for Muharram rituals

About Alex Shams

Alex Shams is bacheye Los Angeles, a fact he has spent years trying to deny but eventually learned to embrace. Raised in the diaspora but with as many summers as possible spent in Tehran, he first became interested in regional politics after being chased out of a history class debate at his evangelical middle school during the Iraq War. After a few years dividing his time between Beirut, Istanbul and, most recently, Boston, he is now working in journalism and is based out of Palestine. His interests include feminism, urbanism and Islamism in Iran and the Arab World. Follow him on twitter: @SeyyedReza He is a co-editor of Ajam Media Collective, a blog focused on Iran, Central Asia, and Diaspora societies and cultures.

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