Snatching liberty seemed compelling. Some of us thrived; some of us died. All of us had a taste. from author Toni Morrison, on friendships.

I don't want to see stores looted or buildings burned; but African- Americans have been living in burning buildings for years, choking on smoke as flames burn closer and closer.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

That’s not a chip on my shoulder. That’s your foot on my neck.  – Malcolm X

"We must never, ever give up. We must be brave. We must be courageous." John Lewis, activist, congressman. 1940-2020 

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama

"Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public."  Professor Cornel West.

"Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat."  Audre Lorde

"The serious function of racism is distraction". 1995, Toni Morrison; Portland lecture, Playing in The Dark

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.” Nora Ephron

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

"We are more alike than we are different" ~ Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singe


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain


You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore


 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:


"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.


Tahrir Team

Mona Iskander

Mona Iskander is now associate producer with PBS TV, having spent two years as a producer at CNN in New York and NPR Radio.

She started her journalism career in 2002, as an intern with Radio Tahrir, WBAI New York. Iskander has a master's degree from the Columbia Journalism School.

Hassen Abdellah

Hassen Abdellah joined our team as co-host in 2001. He likes to bring controversial issues on to the air and open the phones to for listener call-ins. WBAI offers a perspective not found elsewhere, he says.

A graduate of Seton Hall Law School and Bucknell U.,PA, now has his own law firm in Elizabeth, NJ. He is chairman if the board of Darul Islam Elizabeth Inc. Mosque in New Jersey.

At high school and college Br. Hassen played basketball and football and continues to follow NBA, NFL and college sports.

Barbara Nimri Aziz
Born in Canada in 1940, Barbara Nimri Aziz now lives in New York state. After completing undergraduate work at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Aziz traveled to India in 1962 when Tibetan refugees arrived there fleeing the Chinese takeover of Tibet. A center for young refugees was the School for Tibetan Children at Sterling Castle, Simla. Run by Save the Children Fund (UK), Aziz served as its headmistress for 3 years. In 1969 Aziz joined postgraduate studies in Anthropology at University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, working with Professor Christoph Haimendorf, pioneer anthropologist in Himalayan Studies. Aziz's doctoral research (PhD awarded 1974) was the basis for her 1978 book "Tibetan Frontier Families" (released in a new edition in 2011 by Vajra Books, Kathmandu). This ethnography, focused on the region of Dingri, SW Tibet, is a classic in the sociology of Tibet. 1982, Dr. Aziz convened the 2nd International Conference of Tibetologists at Columbia University, NY. "Soundings in Tibetan Civilization" (1984), the collected papers of that seminar, Aziz co-edited with Matthew Kapstein. Grants from University of London, U. Edinburgh, Social Science Research Council (UK, USA), National Geographic Society, American Philosophical Society, National Science Foundation-USA, Wenner-Gren Foundation, U. Tokyo University Professorship, Fulbright Professorship are her many research awards. By 1988 Aziz extended her pursuits via journalism, adding the Arab Middle East to her assignments. In addition to widely published news articles, she authored "Swimming up The Tigris: Real Life Encounters with Iraq" (2007, U. Press of Florida). Aziz continues research on Nepal affairs and writes regular commentaries on a range of issues for and Radio broadcasting: in 1989 Aziz joined WBAI-Pacifica Radio Network in New York City, as executive producer and co-host of the weekly Radio Tahrir magazine, continuing until 2013, while remaining as a news commentator. Her extensive radio interviews with Arab writers, led to her founding Radius of Arab American Writers Inc. (, and RAWI on Facebook). From its founding in 1992 to 2005, she served as RAWI's director.

Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid is an actress and professional stand-up comedian. She has appeared on major TV programs and tours widely performing standup comedy.

Zayid is co-producer of The Arab American Comedy Festival in NY . , now in its 8th season. Follow her performances on

Robert E. Meyer
Meyer helped build our program web site in 2003 and has contuinued supporting Tahrir and WBAI over the years. He pased away in Nov. 2012 and will be missed.

2011 Tahrir Producers
Sarah Malaika, Saadia Aslam, BNimri Aziz, Aydin Baltaci

Hanan alShaykh and Tahrir members
Tahrir producers Lea Khayata, Reem Nasr and BN Aziz with the author. Hear an excerpt about Hanan and her mother on "features"and the full interview, in 2 parts-- Sept 29 and October 13, now podcast.

Nadja Middleton
Nadja worked as Tahrir's sound engineer for more than two year's. She then specialized in community news. In recent years Middleton has been working as a producer with NPR's "Story Corp".

Ryme Katkhouda

Co-founder of the and, Ryme is executive producer of "Voices With Vision", airing Thursdays at 11am on WPFW 89.3FM in DC.

She has been a senior producer and trainer at WPFW 89.3FM since 2003 and is also national correspondent with Free Speech Radio News

Dean Obeidallah
Obeidallah is a standup comedian working in many venues. Co-director with Maysoon Zayid of the successful Arab American Comedy Festival, they also hosted "Fen Meshnoon with Dean and Maysoon" on Tahrir from 2004-2006. Dean is based in NYC but travels constantly, performing and organizing festivals. . See

Tamara Issak
Tamara Issak is a contributing producer and co-host with Tahrir, having joined the team as an intern in 2005. A Fulbright Fellow to Syria in 2008-2009, she completed her MA in English literature at Rutgers University. Tamara now resides in New York where she is a PhD candidate in English language and literature.

Aisha AlAdawiya and Hassen Abdellah
Aisha AlAdawiya is founder and director of "Women in Islam" based in New York. She joins us as an occasional host on Tahrir.

Aydin Baltaci
Aydin Baltaci, assistant producer, is’s webmaster. He holds a B.S. from Istanbul and M.A. in Geography from Hunter College N.Y. “Tahrir offers me a refreshing, down-to-earth, yet sophisticated work atmosphere. I enjoy great colleagues while I engage in the honorable work of bringing unbiased voice to our worthy minority peoples. These are some of the things that attracted me to Radio Tahrir."

Sally Sharif
Sally Sharif recently received her BA from Montclair State U. NJ. She plans to pursue a masters degree in communications, towards her goal of a career in media as the owner of her own media network. She says Tahrir has inspired her in numerous ways: “It ultimately gave me confidence in pursuing my passions and dreams in media. I am honored to be part of a distinctive on-air voice on for the Arab and Muslim community.“

Saadia Aslam
Saadia finsihed her MPS in Art Therapy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and currernly works in Orange, New Jersey. She joined Tahrir in 2004. As a broadcast journalist, Aslam takes delight and pride in discovering voices in our Muslim communities and introducing new personalities to Radioland.

Reem Nasr
Reem Nasr is a journalism and Middle East studies graduate from NYU. She combines the heritage of several Arab nations with American life, pursuing a career in journalism. While covering New Jersey-NY community affairs, Nasr regularly visits Arab lands to keep abreast of developments there.

Lynne Stewart with our interns
Civil rights Attorney Lynne Stewart with Nazek Habatfa(l) and Mona Iskander.

Sarah Malaika
Sarah Malaika completed her MA in anthropology, Middle East and museum studies. She works in NYC museum programs and is now an occasional producer with Tahrir. "I joined Tahrir to be part of a creative radio voice on air." Malaika is a long-time community radio fan and has been involved in community programs for many years.

Jad Abumrad

A graduate in music composition and a Tahrir intern from 1999-2001, Jad is now host and curator of RadioLab, a weekly program on WNYC, NY.

Each episode of RadioLab is a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences centered around One Big Idea. On RadioLab, science bumps into culture... information sounds like music.

Tamara Issak
Tamara Issak is a contributing producer and co-host with Tahrir, having joined the team as an intern in 2005. A Fulbright Fellow to Syria in 2008-2009, she completed her MA in English literature at Rutgers University two years later. Tamara now resides in Chicago where she teaches college-level English language and literature classes.

2004 co-producers

Kareem Freeman,Saadia Aslam, Rachida Mohammedi, Imran Ahmed, and BN Aziz

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We believe that our problem is one not a violation of civil rights but a violation of human rights. Not only are we denied the right to be a citizen in the United States, we are denied the right to be a human being"    

Malcolm X, Jan 5, 1965

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem poem "Mish Kalem"
Poet Rania Khalil reads "Mish Kalem"

See poems and songs list

poem Talaal Badru Alayna
praises to the Prophet, from Nazira CD, female voices

See audio list

Book review
Rafia Zakaria's
The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan
reviewed by BN Aziz.

See review list

Tahrir Team

Sally Sharif
Read about Sally Sharif in the team page.

See Tahrir Team

WBAI Online

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