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Trapped Between Bush and Bin Laden

Presented by Mizna

A literary and artistic event exploring Arab and Muslim America after 9/11

The following is excerpted from Mizna.org. Click to read more. 

Following the events of September 11, the Arab and Muslim communities in the US found themselves subject to racist reprisals in their neighborhoods and workplaces, media vilification of their cultures and religions, and governmental encroachments on their civil liberties. For the Arabs and Muslims of America, the months following September 11 carried intense feelings of fear and helplessness. 

Although the task felt overwhelming, the board members of Mizna were in agreement that the cultural work we do through creativity has taken an added sense of urgency. “We felt the need more than ever before,” says Executive Director Kathryn Haddad, “to come forward and claim the right to speak for ourselves and represent ourselves instead of having others speak for us and about us.”

 

On this basis, Mizna decided to organize a series of public readings, the first one of which was Beyond Belly dancers, Bombers and Billionaires: Arabs and Muslims Outloud.

 

“We wanted to offer a platform” says Mizna Board member Fouzi Slisli, “for artists of Arab and Muslim descent to present, through literature, film, visual and performance art, a complex image of their heritage and their communities that is often lost amid the flood of simplistic and negative stereotypes promoted by sections of the media and public opinion.”

 

The event was a success. It played to a sold out audience at Intermedia Arts in March 2002. 


 

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales