Nowruz Greetings (And Mixtape!) from the Ajam Family

Nowruz — which literally means “new day” in Persian — means new beginnings. As a holiday associated with the coming of spring, it is naturally a productive force and a time of reflection on the year that has past as well as our wishes for the year to come. May the year 1394 be full of ideas, creativity, love, resistance, and power for all.
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Rumi for the New-Age Soul: Coleman Barks and the Problems of Popular Translations

Barks, suffering from a particularly profitable case of researcher’s blindness, has flooded the market with a Rumi that has come to symbolize the individual beholden to no particular tradition, a man who seeks love before God or faith, all too familiar already in the canon of English, specifically American, literature. The result is a New Age poet, devoid of Islam, the 13th century, or the themes and images of the golden age of classical Persian poetry.
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Who is the Muslim International? Looking at Sohail Daulatzai’s BLACK STAR, CRESCENT MOON, Chapters 1 and 2

Black Star, Crescent Moon explores the intellectual and physical connections that militant and radical Blacks in the United States were drawing to anti-colonial struggles for independence in the third world. Understanding the implications of these connections in the past elucidates what these efforts for unity between dark-skinned people mean for us today.
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Urban Space and the Production of Gender in Modern Iran

Since the Revolution, Iranian urban fabric has been reshaped to both reflect and produce ideals of modern Islamic citizenship as understood by various political actors including the central government, the municipality, and other authorities. Tehran has been marked by a wholesale reconstitution and realignment of the public space along a gender binary model, such that many public institutions are segregated in some way and the morality police regulate spaces that lack a physical architecture of gender dichotomization.
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When Iran’s Abadan was Capital of the World

There was a time when the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan drew in immigrants from all over the world, and when its place as an oil city and harbinger of modernity seemed unmatched in the region. Today these memories often obscure the price paid for the construction of this cosmopolitan entrepôt. This piece is the second part in a series exploring how Abadan is imagined in Iran today.
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