16 Aug, 2021

afghanistan, haiti, covid . . .

16 Aug, 2021

Like most people I know, all week I was tracking the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. And as predicted by many, yesterday morning, I woke up to a new headline: AFGHANISTAN’S GOVERNMENT COLLAPSES A second headline read: 7.2 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE STRIKES HAITI Lower in headline streams, was information about COVID-19’s...

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how would you like me now? …

L: Artist Mel Chin; R: Cover of good, designed by Mel Chin (2000) I met Mel Chin twenty-two years ago when I was invited to submit an essay for good, a publication that the late Houston philanthropist Toni Beauchamp commissioned Mel to edit. My essay became the kernel for...

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gaza sunset…

photo of sunset over Gaza by Hadeel Assali This morning, I called Hadeel Assali, a friend from Houston, Texas who recently defended her dissertation at Columbia University. I had been thinking of her all month as Israeli bombs destroyed the infrastructure in Gaza and killed more than 250 civilians,...

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say their names. . .

Four days after six women of Asian descent were murdered by a white supremacist in Atlanta, the mainstream media is barely releasing the women’s names. Few details about the women are available, yet people are bombarded with details about the murderer, his “bad day” and “addiction” issues — information...

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13 Mar, 2021

a year has passed…

13 Mar, 2021

my family began the year by ordering black and gray masks but have now accumulated patterns that we can match with our clothes One year has slipped away since the lockdown was announced in California. In some ways, time stood still, but in other ways, we have adapted and...

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south asian writers resist…

zoom screenshot featuring: (top row L to R): Beyond Baroque Executive Director Quentin Ring, me, Shreerekha Subramanian; (middle row L to R): Mahmud Rahman, Torsa Ghosal, Neelanjana Banerjee; (bottom row L to R): Sorayya Khan, Arshia Haq, Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed “I spent a few years in Nepal,” Quentin, Beyond...

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IGTV conversation with ali zaidi…

On Thursday, December 17, Ali Zaidi and I engaged in an IGTV conversation about memory versus truth in which we revisited our intersection 33 years ago in Lahore. For more background about our history, please visit my earlier post.

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memory versus truth . . .

February 1987: Posing at Hiran Minar, outside Lahore “These photos were taken when we went to Hiran Minar,” artist Ali Mehdi Zaidi told me via a WhatsApp call after he sent me photos of the time he and his friends took me to see the Mughal structure that was...

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six-feet-apart….

Six-feet-apart signage in Los Angeles at a health clinic, a grocery store and at a taqueria When the pandemic first broke out, signs were temporary—masking tape for pickup lines at restaurants, or notes taped to walls—but eight months later, formal signs are part of the urban landscape. And in...

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12 Nov, 2020

farewell, asmi sahib…

12 Nov, 2020

Veteran activists gather for a visit (from L-R): SM Shahid, Saleem Asmi, Zawwar Hasan, ABS Jafri, Dr Haroon Ahmed, Iqbal Jaffery My sister, Beena Sarwar’s remembrance about our family friend and journalist Saleem Asmi, who passed away on October 30, 2020: A quiet warrior slips into the night: Bidding...

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burning up…

More than 30 fires are burning up along the Pacific coastline. Closer to us, the Bobcat fire started up on September 6, and expanded from 33,000 acres to 45,000 along the San Gabriel Mountains. Less than 3% of the fire is contained even while 1,110 firefighters are working to...

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25 Jun, 2020

kendrec mcdade’s last words: “why did they shoot me?”…

25 Jun, 2020

L: Black Lives Matter poster designed by Minal; R: a poster at the Juneteenth protest “This is where he began to run,” Jasmine, a Black Lives Matter-Pasadena representative, spoke into a microphone at the Orange Grove Boulevard and Marengo Street intersection in Pasadena, California. “Eight years ago, Kendrec McDade...

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I was inspired to begin my blog when I visited the library at my alma mater, Mount Holyoke College, and saw a framed photograph of my friends and me calling for divestment of funds from South Africa.

In 2007,  I began a blog when I visited my alma mater and saw a framed photograph of my friends and me calling for divestment of funds from South Africa. I use the blog to document my movement between spaces, Houston, Karachi, Delhi, Dhaka, Los Angeles and elsewhere, recording observations, images and conversations. Here, I document the multiple realities that I inhabit – writer, artist, mother, activist, educator, and transnational. Interviews from my blog were exhibited at Houston’s Baker Ripley Community Center (2014) and at Houston Public Library in downtown (2015). My papers are archived at the University of Houston’s library.