BBC — A new exhibition aims to celebrate the role Muslims played in saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
The Righteous Muslim Exhibition is being launched at the Board of Deputies of British Jews in Bloomsbury, central London.
Photographs of 70 Muslims who sheltered Jews during World War II will be displayed alongside stories detailing their acts of heroism.
The exhibition hopes to inspire new research into instances of collaboration between the Muslim and Jewish communities.
Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to victims of the Holocaust, honours nearly 25,000 so-called “righteous persons” who risked their lives to protect the Jewish community during Nazi Germany’s reign of terror.
Some 70 Muslims have recently been added to the list. The exhibition explores their stories.
‘Empathy and cohesion’
Among the “righteous” are the Hardaga family from Bosnia who provided shelter for the Jewish Kavilio family when German forces occupied Bosnia in 1943.
Half a century later, the Hardagas were themselves saved by the Kavilios during the Bosnian Civil War.
Photograph: The Bosnian Hardaga family helped shelter a family of Jews
In order to understand why transphobia and cissexism persist and are continually perpetuated throughout feminist communities, particularly the vegetarian-ecofeminist community, it is important to consider the origins of anti-trans advocacy as a conscious project of prominent, elite White feminists in the 1970s. In the late sixties and early seventies, trans people were very active in the women’s and queer liberation movements. The Compton’s Cafeteria and Stonewall rebellions of the sixties are evidence of that, as are women like Beth Elliot of the Daughters of Bilitis, Sandy Stone of Olivia Records, and Stonewall veteran Silvia Rivera who was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance.
So it’s important to keep in mind that trans women, and trans people more generally, were an integral part of the early women’s liberation movement. But in the mid- to late-seventies, there was a transphobic backlash within feminism to systematically remove and exclude trans people, explicitly transsexual women, from the women’s and queer movements. For example, Rivera was targeted and physically attacked by cissexist women separatists at a gay rights rally. Elliot was targeted by Robin Morgan and separatists at a lesbian women’s conference. Stone was targeted by Janice Raymond and forced out of Olivia Records with threats of a boycott. And Gloria Steinem of Ms. magazine openly attacked trans women."
brb printing this out and plastering it all over this house and other feminist/queer spaces…
All images courtesy of Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo: Christoph Gerigk
New research into Thonis-Heracleion, a sunken port-city that served as the gateway to Egypt in the first millennium BC, is being examined at an international conference at the University of Oxford. The port city, situated 6.5 kilometres off today’s coastline, was one of the biggest commercial hubs in the Mediterranean before the founding of Alexandria.The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford is collaborating on the project with the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of State for Antiquities.This obligatory port of entry, known as ‘Thonis’ by the Egyptians and ‘Heracleion’ by the Greeks, was where seagoing ships are thought to have unloaded their cargoes to have them assessed by temple officials and taxes extracted before transferring them to Egyptian ships that went upriver. In the ports of the city, divers and researchers are currently examining 64 Egyptian ships, dating between the eighth and second centuries BC, many of which appear to have been deliberately sunk. Researchers say the ships were found beautifully preserved, l in the mud of the sea-bed. With 700 examples of different types of ancient anchor, the researchers believe this represents the largest nautical collection from the ancient world. ‘The survey has revealed an enormous submerged landscape with the remains of at least two major ancient settlements within a part of the Nile delta that was crisscrossed with natural and artificial waterways,’ said Dr Damian Robinson, Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Dr Robinson, who is overseeing the excavation of one of the submerged ships known as Ship 43, has discovered that the Egyptians had a unique shipbuilding style. He is also examining why the boats appear to have been deliberately sunk close to the port.
During the time I’ve written for this blog, I have made many posts that I later wished I’d worded differently. There are situations I wish I’d handled differently and there are topics I wish I’d learned a bit more about before speaking on them. With all that said, there is only one post that I’ve ever written that I am truly ashamed of. Not it’s message but it’s delivery. It is the only post that I wish I could make disappear so that I could rewrite it properly. The post on the cultural appropriation of dreadlocks. The point and purpose of the post was correct. However, the delivery, history and general forming of reference, not so much. I won’t be linking to the original post but it is still available on this blog if you are so inclined to find it. In the meantime, it’s time to correct that mistake of a post.
THE HISTORY OF DREADLOCKS
The very name, “Dreadlock” is attached to a vile and storied history. The name is traced back to days when enslaved people were being carted across the ocean. When they arrived, their hair was matted with blood, feces, urine, sweat, tears, dirt and time. When the captors watched them walk, crawl or be carried off the ships, they referred to the hair of slaves as “Dreadful.” This was a common word used to describe the locks that had formed during the many trips. The term dreadlock became prevalent to describing the hair formation.
The term was later reclaimed with the uprising of Rastafarian culture. Dreadlocks were a source of pride in one’s history, a symbol of laying down material and capitalist pursuits and a way to thumb disdain at white culture. The very name or rather it’s shortened version, locks, is a source of great pride for a history that may never be truthfully told.
CULTURAL APPROPRIATION OF DREADLOCKS
The most common comment of those who want to appropriate locks is, “Every culture had dreadlocks.” This is false. Any reference made to other cultures is about matting of hair. Sometimes in a lock formation, sometimes not. However, there are no other cultures that had “Dreadlocks.”
With minor research, one can find that the matting of hair in other cultures has never been, “Dreadlocks.” For example, the Irish had several names for their matted hair. Glibs, Glibbes and Gleebs were among the most common. In India, matted tufts of hair were labeled, Jata. Making the statement that “Every culture had dreadlocks” isn’t just factually incorrect, it’s disrespectful to the very history that bound each enslaved person’s lock in blood. The history of the “Dread” in dreadlock, is so vastly different than just the simple matting of hair.
The Timbuktu Manuscripts showing both mathematics and astronomy.
The Timbuktu Manuscripts - or Mali Manuscripts - some of which date back to the 13th century, are Arabic and African texts that hark back to the city’s glorious past, when African Muslim merchants would trade gold from West Africa to Europe and the Middle East in return for salt and other goods.
Ancient African scholarship.
The manuscripts cover diverse subjects: mathematics, chemistry, physics, optics, astronomy, medicine, history, geography, Islamic sciences and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), government legislation and treaties, jurisprudence and much more.
Before the European Renaissance, Timbuktu flourished as the greatest academic and commercial center in Africa. Great empires such as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai were proofs of the talents, creativity and ingenuity of the people. The University of Timbuktu produced both Black African scholars and leaders of the highest rank, character and nobility.
These manuscripts represent a turning point in the history of Africa and its people. The translation and publication will restore self-respect, pride, honor and dignity to the people of Africa and those descended from Africa; it will also obliterate stereotypical images of primitive savages as true representation of Africa and its civilization.
Don’t Know Much About Asian American History? Books for Children
In 1992, Congress proclaimed the month of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. And what better time to teach your kids about the history of Asians in the United States? Perhaps you’ve shared with your children how you or your family members came to America, but this is also a great opportunity to learn about the experiences of other Asians in the United States.
I’ve reviewed plenty of Asian children’s books before, but I’m especially excited about this list, because these are all titles that focus on the rich and varied history of Asians in America. Here are some picture books that feature experiences of immigration, forging an identity, and key points in history. Because these subjects are rarely taught in class. Think of it as Asian American Studies for the elementary school set.
Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain: An Angel Island Story by Katrina Saltonstall Currier is a book I first saw while visiting Angel Island. In case you’re not familiar with it, Angel Island, in the San Francisco Bay, was the Ellis Island of the West. During the 19th and early 20th century, immigrants from China, Japan, Korea and the Phillippines were detained in barracks, often for long and unpredictable lengths of time. Twelve-year old Kai is one of those new arrivals, who must wait to be released so he can join his father on “Gold Mountain”.
Coolies by Yin and illustrated by Chris Sontpiet tells the story of Shek and Little Wong, who arrive in California to build the transcontinental railroad. Inspired by actual events, this story reveals the harsh truth about life for the Chinese railroad workers in 1865, while celebrating their perseverance and bravery. The author and illustrator also teamed up to create Brothers, a story about a friendship between Ming, a boy in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and his Irish neighbor, Patrick.
Where the Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino is a recommendation from my friend Elisa Koff-Ginsborg. The book tells the story of Mari, who — along with thousands of other Japanese Americans– has been forced to move to the Topaz internment camp during World War II. An art class and a kindly teacher offer a ray of hope amidst these unjust circumstances.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee is another title about the Japanese American internment experience. The main character is a small Japanese American boy who dislikes baseball because he is often teased as he plays with his white peers. Life is even harsher at the camp, with tempers flaring in the tight quarters. However, a makeshift baseball game at Whether your kids are sports nuts or benchwarmers, they will probably find the baseball aspect of this story something they can relate to.
Going Home, Coming Home by Truong Tran, illustrated by Ann Phong is described by Terry Hong of Smithsonian BookDragon as “A poignant, lovely bilingual tale about a little girl who visits her ancestral home in Vietnam and realizes that she can be both Vietnamese and American, with a home here and a home there.”
Chachaji’s Cup by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Soumya Sitaraman is also a BookDragon pick. “A young boy’s special relationship with Chachaji, his father’s old uncle, teaches him important lessons about family bonds and his rich Indian heritage,” writes Hong. This book was also made into a stage performance in 2010 that featured Bollywood and sitar music and a multicultural cast.
Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine is a more contemporary story that deals with an issue that many children of immigrants can relate to: food shame. The main character is embarrassed that her family is cooking Chinese food to serve in their shop, even though it is Independence Day. Of course, there is a delicious twist to the story.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi portrays a dilemma all too familiar to immigrant youth — whether or not to trade in a foreign sounding name for an American one. Unhei must make this decision after she moves from Korea to New York, and her new classmates attempt to help her by filling a jar full of potential monikers.
Do you have any recommendations?
For more recommendations, including chapter books and Young Adult literature, my favorite Taiwanese American author Grace Lin has a Asian-Pacific Heritage Month Booklist on PBS Parents.
Can personally vouch that Yin’s Coolies was pretty great, and Where the Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee Tai.
More than 2,000 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of kings of Greek descent, someone, perhaps a group of people, hid away some of the most valuable possessions they had — their shoes.
Seven shoes were deposited in a jar in an Egyptian temple in Luxor, three pairs and a single one. Two pairs were originally worn by children and were only about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. Using palm fiber string, the child shoes were tied together within the single shoe (it was larger and meant for an adult) and put in the jar. Another pair of shoes, more than 9 inches (24 cm) long that had been worn by a limping adult, was also inserted in the jar.
The shoe-filled jar, along with two other jars, had been “deliberately placed in a small space between two mudbrick walls,” writes archaeologist Angelo Sesana in a report published in the journal Memnonia.
Whoever deposited the shoes never returned to collect them, and they were forgotten, until now. [See Photos of the Ancient Egyptian Shoes]
In 2004, an Italian archaeological expedition team, led by Sesana, rediscovered the shoes. The archaeologists gave André Veldmeijer, an expert in ancient Egyptian footwear, access to photographs that show the finds.
Ishi (ca. 1860 – March 25, 1916) was the last member of the Yahi, the last surviving group of the Yana people of the U.S. state of California. Widely acclaimed in his time as the “last wild Indian” in America, Ishi lived most of his life completely outside European American culture. At about 49 years old, in 1911 he emerged from the wild near Oroville, California, leaving his ancestral homeland, present-day Tehama County, near the foothills of Lassen Peak, known to Ishi as “Wa ganu p’a”.
Ishi means “man” in the Yana language. The anthropologist Alfred Kroeber gave this name to the man because it was rude to ask someone’s name in the Yahi culture. When asked his name, he said: “I have none, because there were no people to name me,” meaning that no Yahi had ever spoken his name. He was taken in by anthropologists at the University of California, Berkeley, who both studied him and hired him as a research assistant. He lived most of his remaining five years in a university building in San Francisco.
Ishi was NOT the “last of the Yahi;” there are living people of Yahi descent today (most of which are members of other recognized tribes). at Berkeley, there’s this disgusting obsession with Kroeber (there’s a building named after him) and romanticization of Ishi as the “last of the Yahi”…the story gets used to legitimate a nasty rewriting of colonial history & anthropologists in NorCal, totally decontextualized from the realities of genocide in the region and constructed mostly to both worship and canonize Kroeber’s racist exploitative ethnographic work and place Ishi (as he is remembered and constructed by white social scientists) on a pedestal as model Good Indian—tragic, simple, and happy to exist beneath and solely for white academics.
stop celebrating this genocidal narrative on noble savages and total extinction