Timbuktu: A Film Review


A few months ago I watched Abderrahmane Sisako’s Timbuktu, as part of a retrospective of Sissako’s work at the Walker Art Museum.It stunned me at the time—the film examines how daily life changes in a Malian community where an al-Qaeda group has taken over. While the film focuses primarily on a young family’s tribulations when a murder is committed, the film explores how mundane, everyday situations under ordinary circumstances can suddenly become a minefield when the new impositions are not … [Read more...]

Reflections in the Kitchen


Another Ramadan. It’s hard to believe there’s little over a week left. It’s been yet another blur of a month with 17 hour rozas: sehri, work, nap, make, iftaar, sleep, with prayers and reading Quran interspersed throughout the day. Repeat.It’s been another year of not making it to the evening tarawih prayers and little inspiration at the Jumaah prayers I’ve attended. In my life at this point in time, Ramadan is far more a time for personal reflection and commitment to making my own changes th … [Read more...]

American Crime Series Recapped

In this post, Azra concludes her series of reviews of American Crime.  Read her earlier reviews here.Spoilers ahead—you’ve been warned!Last week, American Crime concluded on ABC. I hadn’t reviewed the past several shows, as Aliyah’s time on screen became more and more limited with the show focusing on some of the other character’s concerns. She was able to work with her brother Carter’s attorney to have his case thrown out of court, in conjunction with Carter’s girlfriend, Aubry, confessi … [Read more...]

American Crime Episode 5 Recap

Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)It was a quiet show for Aliyah this week, where she shared only one scene with her brother, Carter. She sets him up with an apartment in Modesto, and has a job lined up for him at the masjid. He’s still struggling with calling her by her Muslim name:It goes downhill for Carter once Aliyah leaves, as he: meets Aubry, loses his tracking device, sets off to leave the country, … [Read more...]

American Crime Episode 4 Recap


Azra continues her review of the TV show American Crime. Read her earlier review here.  (Spoiler alerts ahead!)American Crime settled into a more police-procedural tone last week, as Carter attended his bail hearing. We get to know more about Aliyah this episode, as she devotes herself to helping her brother. They continue their strained, racially charged relationship, when she visits him in jail along with an attorney. She still insists he change his behavior and try to get his life back on … [Read more...]

American Crime Review: Introducing Aliyah Shadeed

Regina King as Aliyah Shadeed. Source.

 On Thursday nights in the United States, ABC airs American Crime, an 11-part series that looks at a murder that took place in Modesto, California. The story doesn’t follow the detectives around as they solve a mystery-of-the-week like most crime shows, though, and instead focuses on the lives of everyone else involved and the relationships between one another.Each week reveals a new layer of information for each of the characters, who include:the couple—a murdered husband and a … [Read more...]

On Jam-Making and Ramadan

Local strawberries.

How is it that the first week of Ramadan has already gone by? It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to let go of some of my commitments to spend more time on reflecting this month. With the fasts being as long as they are (~17ish hours, if I’ve done my math correctly), alongside full-time work, I haven’t been to my local masjid yet for the evening tarawih prayers. I’m usually asleep shortly after my evening meal, waking up the next morning to pray isha, eat suhoor, pray fajr, nap (if I can fall ba … [Read more...]