Bright and early tomorrow, I start making my way up north to El Jadida, where I'll spend two weeks teaching English at a language immersion camp on the beach for ages 13-16. Not a bad gig, eh? It should be much cooler there ... although today has been a balmy 85 degrees (F), quite a break from the 118+ temperatures of last week.
I leave you with a roundup of interesting news items I've read or heard lately about Islam, Morocco, and Islam in Morocco:
* NPR's "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders" aired a great piece last week as part of its"Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates." The entire series and accompanying blog are worth reading in order to gain a better understanding of modern Islam. This week's piece was on Aicha, the third and youngest wife of the Prophet Muhammad. Aicha is celebrated for being both a dedicated scholar of the Koran and for being a strong female leader -- a feminist, even. You can listen to the story of Aicha here. A fascinating woman who will give you a whole new outlook on what it means to be female and Muslim.
* More public radio: PRI's the World aired several pieces from Morocco last week. From a report on the human rights of child maids to the country's fight against Muslim extremists, plus Morocco's role in increasing solar power in Africa and in the global food crisis, you'll learn a lot more than I could've told you about Morocco's place in the world. You candownload the MP3s or read the transcripts from here.
* International Press Service published a great article on how far the mudawana laws have to go in protecting women's rights in Morocco. Mudawana are the family laws revised in 1999 and again in 2004, giving women greater equality and rights in marriage and divorce. Trouble is, the laws only work if (a) the people know about them, (b) the courts recognize them, and (c) women have the support and courage to use them.
Quotes of the day.
"We can't change the world except insofar as we change the way we look at the world -- and, in fact, any one of us can make that change, in any direction, at any moment." -- Pico Iyer
"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." -- Barack Obama
"We do no benevolences whose first benefit is not for ourselves." -- Mark Twain
Currently reading: "The Best American Travel Writing 2008, Anthony Bourdain, editor
Currently listening to: "Veneer," Jose Gonzalez (thanks, Miz J!); Folk at Newport 50 years free download (thanks, NPR!)