Iftars, Anthony Bourdain, Disability Terminology

Standing Up And Breaking Fast: Taking Ramadan Dinner Into The Streets, by Angelo Bautista of NPR

In Islam, iftars are daily celebrations during the month of Ramadan when friends and family come together to break fast, usually in a home or a mosque. In recent years, organizations like MPower Change, co-founded by prominent Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, have been holding iftars in highly public places, like the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. The movement not only draws attention to issues Muslim Americans currently face, like immigrant and refugee justice, but it also exposes people who aren’t familiar with Islam to the religion’s celebrations and traditions, and invites them to join in. Sarsour expresses how powerful these “iftars in the street” can be for Muslim Americans: “Look at the faces of the people who are willing to stand with you: They’re Muslim, they’re Jewish, they’re atheist, they’re LGBTQ, they’re black, they’re brown, they’re undocumented and they’re also U.S. citizens. So that’s important for us.”

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to People of Color, by Joumana Khatib of The New York Times

In the wake of famed food critic Anthony Bourdain’s death, many people of color are expressing his importance to them. They say he differed from many other white food critics because of his genuine understanding and empathy for their cultures. While filming his show Parts Unknown, his depiction of Palestine was so moving that he was awarded the Voices of Courage and Conscience Media Award by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. When accepting the award, Bourdain said “It is a measure, I guess, of how twisted and shallow our depiction of the people is that these images come as a shock to so many.” Journalist Rania Abouzeid wrote that “he didn’t look down on foreign places he visited and their ‘quaintness/backwardness/insert-usual-derogatory adjective.” Jenny Yang, a comedian and writer, said that “Bourdain never treated our food like he ‘discovered’ it.” Shivana Sookdeo, who met Bourdain at a food festival a few years ago, described what it felt like to talk with him: “I felt I could trust him to see what I saw in Trinidad, as if the heart of the country would be safe in his hands as a person and traveler…You trusted him with Your Heritage.”

Why Can’t We All Get Along: Disagreement Within the Disability Community by s.e. smith of Catapult

While writer s.e. smith self-identifies as a disabled person as “an act of defiance and pride,” identity-first terminology doesn’t necessarily resonate with the disability community across the board. Others may self-identify as a “person with disabilities,” otherwise known as person-first terminology. smith explains that because “disability can take a myriad of forms,” it makes sense that “disabled people disagree with each other on things that, to the outside world, may seem straightforward, basic, obvious. What to call ourselves. The language we like to use. Our own personal political priorities. What it even means to be disabled.” While some may consider these disagreements to be a form of infighting, smith views it in a more positive light. By choosing to push past the discomfort of conflict and engage in this “intra-community discussion,” there’s greater opportunity for collective learning and growth. “This fixation on ‘getting along’ does not serve us,” smith asserts. “That strikes me as a poor world to live in, one in which I must condemn those who share my struggle for not acting, believing, thinking precisely as I do; where is the liberation in that?”

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