Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

December 15, 2012

Victims of Sandy Hook Support Fund in Partnership with Newtown Savings Bank & United Way

(Charles Krupa/AP Photo)
Newtown Savings Bank, United Way Partner To Create Support Fund for Victims of Sandy Hook Massacre

In order to provide support services to the families and community of Newtown, in light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, Friday, December 14, United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank has created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Check donations to underwrite support services, immediate needs and funeral expenses for the immediate families of victims can be mailed to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470

Credit card donations may be made at https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.

Donations may also be dropped off, beginning Monday, December 17, at any Newtown Savings Bank branch location. Branches of Newtown Savings Bank are located at:

39 Main Street, Newtown;
228 South Main Street (Sand Hill Plaza), Newtown;
68 Stony Hill Road (Route 6), Bethel;
211 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel;
99 Federal Road, Brookfield;
30 Main Street, Danbury;
535 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe;
477 Main Street (Route 25), Monroe;
194 Leavenworth Road, Shelton;
815 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton;
1450 Southford Road, Southbury;
685 Main Street South, Southbury; and
926 White Plains Road, Trumbull.

For more information, please call 800-461-0672.

Source: Newtown Bee http://t.co/nOmlV0GH

---------------

Connecticut School Shooting: Complete List of Victims’ Names http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/connecticut-school-shooting-complete-list-of-victims-names/

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Russeau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

December 03, 2012

Join the One Coat at a Time for Syria's Children Campaign!

November 19, 2012

Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza

Monday, November 19, 2012
http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/redisplay/1/printerfriendly/1

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article by Omar Baddar was published by Huffington Post on 19 November 2012. 

"Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza"

By Omar Baddar

As Israel continues to pound Gaza, the Palestinian death toll of the latest round of violence has crossed the 100 mark. Thus far, the American media has given Israeli officials and spokespersons a free pass to shape the narrative of this conflict with falsehoods. Here are the top 5 lies the media doesn't challenge about the crisis in Gaza:

November 18, 2012

U.S. Activist Aishah Schwartz Addresses Open Letter to Obama on Gaza

Aishah Schwartz in Gaza 7-10 Nov. 2012.
"I was in Gaza 7-10 Nov. as a delegate for a group delivering, ironically, urgent care medical supplies and equipment to a North Gaza hospital. I couldn't have known how soon my photos would become a record of Gaza before Nov. 14." -Aishah Schwartz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) - Nov 18, 2012 - Dear Mr. President: I call on you to exert diplomatic pressure on Israel to bring about an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and to initiate an investigation of Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons against Palestinians in this and previous attacks.

I have supported you primarily because I believe you have a heart; that it is your heart that got you where you are today and it is your heart that will continue to guide you in making the right decision in support of ending the siege and bombing of Gaza.

You encountered many an obstacle on your way to the Presidency, so I am counting on you to deliver where Gaza is concerned. From your heart -- you know the difference between right and wrong -- and I am counting on you to know the difference between allegiance to the flag of the United States of America vs. allegiance to the Israeli flag.

We are all proven wrong from time-to-time, please don't let me be wrong this time - Gaza can't wait.

Sincerely,
Aishah Schwartz

You can send YOUR letter at the "End the Occupation" website.


RELATED: 
Ministry of Police receiving Egyptian medical convoy delegation.
U.S. Activist & Egyptians Break Siege for Medical Supplies2Gaza

The Bombing of Gaza 2012

GAZA Martyr's List



Aishah Schwartz Activist-Writer on Facebook



October 11, 2012

Oct 11, 2012 First Annual International Day of the Girl: Malala Yousafzai, raising one voice

"I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box. Boys' schools are opening tomorrow. But the Taliban have banned girls' education."
-Malala Yousafzai diary entry, 8 February 2009
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Taliban militants attacked and seriously injured Malala Yousafzai, a fourteen-year-old campaigner for education for girls in Mingora, a town in Swat Valley, in Pakistan’s North Western Frontier Province.

Miss Yousafzai was returning home from school in the north-western Swat district when gunmen stopped her vehicle and shot her in the head and the chest. The Pakistan Taliban said they carried out the attack, which was condemned both within Pakistan and worldwide.

News agencies report that surgery to remove the bullet in Malala's head was successfully completed in Peshawar. She has been taken to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi for further treatment and is expected to fully recover.

President Asif Ali Zardari said the attack would not shake Pakistan's resolve to fight Islamist militants or the government's determination to support women's education.

Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Malala in hospital on Wednesday and said the Taliban had "failed to grasp that she is not only an individual, but an icon of courage".

Thousands of people around the world have sent the teenage campaigner messages of support via social media, #LetterToMalala and #Malala on Twitter.

As stated in the New Yorker, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility and threatened to attack her again, if she survives: "She was pro-West, she was speaking against the Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol." He added, "She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas."

 
The very first state proclamation drafted by a group of middle school girls has already been approved by Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland. This proclamation will be part of the celebration already set for Saturday, October 13 at the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center with lots of interactive activities about Title IX, STEM as well as global gender justice issues like ending child marriage.

October 07, 2012

#MyJihad

Click on image to view larger size.

Visit http://www.myjihad.org/ to learn more.

On Twitter #MyJihad

See also:
Robert Spencer’s Attacks on #MyJihad Campaign Debunked

 MOVIE - BRIDGES FOUNDATION (Dec 2011)
Jihad on Terrorism (2:42, 12:04, 1:15:00)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-zLekoW3pg (w/Arabic subtitles)
http://www.alnor.no/jihad.on.terrorism.film.htm (Norwegian)
(Related PRLog Press Release - http://prlog.org/11397973)

LEARN MORE AT THE AMERICAN MUSLIM

September 17, 2012

August 23, 2012

MWA Celebrates Ramadan 2012 Blog Project Resounding Success

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"MWA extends Eid greetings to one-and-all, and appreciation to the viewers who supported this year's campaign. May the peace and blessings of Ramadan remain within us until we meet again in 2013, insha'Allah" – MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) - Aug 23, 2012 - Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) is thrilled to announce that its 2012 MWA Celebrates Ramadan blogging campaign was a resounding success!

During Ramadan 2012, the MWA Celebrates Ramadan blog project, featuring member experiences, poetry, recipes and photos, more than doubled the amount of page views in a single month alone over the number it had accumulated throughout the previous year.

MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz, would like to express appreciation to the following MWA Celebrates Ramadan blog project contributors: Asma Zaman, Eren Cervantes-Altamirano, Farah Kinani, Isahah Janette Grant, Jennifer Infante, Jennifer Kabir, Khulood Arendse, Nancy Biddle, Rasha El Khateeb, Saba N. Taylor, Sariya Contractor and Zainab John.

Top posts included: Asma Zaman's reflections and remembrance on Ramadan, Farah Kinani's Ramadan resolution, Janette Grant's inspirational post on how to connect in Ramadan, and Jennifer Infante's favorite Iftar recipe: Mediterranean rosemary herb lemon chicken.

Special thanks is also extended to MWA Member Coordinator Isahah Janette Grant for cross-publishing several of the MWA's Ramadan blog posts at Examiner.com.

Additionally, MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz, was invited to give a brief radio interview on MWA's Ramadan Buddy 2012 Quit Smoking campaign (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKQrcT1CjqA). The Indonesian language article is available online at http://www.voaindonesia.com/content/kelompok-perempuan-mualaf-as-kampanyekan-anti-rokok-selama-ramadan/1489100.html and has been viewed nearly 2,000 times to-date.

Indonesia's leading mainstream publication, Republika, also published the VOA article at http://www.republika.co.id/berita/dunia-islam/islam-mancanegara/12/08/16/m8tljw-saat-ramadhan-perempuan-mualaf-as-kampanye-antirokok.

To round-off the second annual MWA Celebrates Ramadan campaign a YouTube video (http://youtu.be/-SnD2XI7xOw) has been added to the blog providing a visualization of the Eid prayer via Egypt together with the traditional Eid Takbir as the soundtrack. A commercial photo album of the event was also published at the London-based photojournalist site, Demotix (http://www.demotix.com/news/1396581/end-ramadan-eid-ul-fitr-prayer-hurghada-marina-mosque-egypt).

"On behalf of the membership, I would like to extend Eid greetings to one-and-all, and appreciation the viewers who supported the 2012 MWA Celebrates Ramadan campaign. May the peace and blessings of Ramadan remain within us all until we meet again in 2013, insha'Allah," stated Schwartz.

Learn more about the activities of MWA members at http://mwa-online.blogspot.com or visit the MWA Press Room at http://pressroom.prlog.org/mwa-net.

--- end ---

August 17, 2012

VIDEO: VOA Interviews Aishah Schwartz on MWA Ramadan Buddy Quit Smoking Campaign (Indonesian w/English translated article)

News / U.S. / Ramadan 1433 H
Women's groups new convert U.S. Anti-Smoking Campaign During Ramadan 
Muslimah Writers Alliance, an organization of women writers American converts, during Ramadan campaign to urge the Muslims to stop smoking. 
15.08.2012


Translated from Indonesian to English

Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), an organization of women writers Internet-based Muslim convert, has many programs throughout the month of Ramadan. One is the campaign's Ramadan or Ramadan Buddy. Through this program, MWA called on Muslims to stop smoking.

Aishah Schwartz, Egyptian-American who converted in 2002, MWA Director, said, "The purpose of this campaign is to remind Americans that Muslims have a new friend of ours who converted to Islam. So that they know, they are not alone in this Ramadan."

Aishah Schwartz added, "So that's the idea initially. Thus the first two years of this campaign. Then, in the third year, I had an idea to also encourage people to quit smoking through this campaign. Insha Allah."

A Buddy Ramadan is a Muslim sister who also wanted to quit smoking, so the two new friends who can remind each other to abandon bad habits, while supporting each other in facing the challenges of fasting and in life as a Muslim. "I urge residents Muslims, especially those who are born Muslim, raised in a Muslim family, or grew up in Muslim-majority country, to be more aware of the presence of new people who embraced Islam.

Also for those who would like to invite people to become Muslims, what can we do after that person becomes Muslim? Let us support them, we give the spirit, and we try to make them feel part of the family. Because many people who change their religion, to be ignored by their own families. If a campaign such as Ramadan Buddy can give little positive impact in order to make the converts do not feel alone, then I think that's a success,"said Schwartz again.

A person who participates in this program, only to meet Ramadan Buddy was two to three times a week. All you need do is contact Buddy Ramadan. Thus the converts do not feel alone in the fasting and more committed to stopping smoking.

Indonesian version  

Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), organisasi penulis perempuan mualaf yang berbasis internet, memiliki banyak program sepanjang bulan Ramadan. Salah satunya adalah kampanye Teman Ramadan atau Ramadan Buddy. Melalui program ini, MWA mengimbau Muslim agar berhenti merokok.

Aishah Schwartz, warga Amerika keturunan Mesir yang menjadi mualaf tahun 2002, Direktur MWA, mengatakan, “Tujuan kampanye ini adalah untuk mengingatkan warga Muslim Amerika bahwa ada teman kita yang baru memeluk agama Islam. Agar mereka tahu, mereka tidak sendiri dalam bulan Ramadan ini."

Aishah Schwartz menambahkan, "Jadi itulah gagasan awalnya. Demikian adanya dalam dua tahun pertama kampanye ini. Lalu, pada tahun ketiga, saya punya gagasan untuk sekaligus mendorong orang agar berhenti merokok melalui kampanye ini. Insya Allah.”

Seorang Ramadan Buddy adalah saudari Muslim yang juga ingin berhenti merokok, sehingga dua orang yang baru berteman ini dapat saling mengingatkan untuk meninggalkan kebiasaan buruk itu, sementara saling mendukung dalam menghadapi tantangan berpuasa dan dalam menjalani hidup sebagai muslim.

“Saya mengimbau warga muslim, terutama mereka yang dilahirkan sebagai Muslim, dibesarkan di lingkungan keluarga Muslim, atau tumbuh di negara mayoritas Islam, agar lebih sadar dengan adanya orang-orang yang baru memeluk Islam. Juga bagi mereka yang ingin mengajak orang untuk menjadi Islam, apa yang dapat kita lakukan setelah orang itu menjadi Islam? Mari kita dukung mereka, kita beri semangat, dan kita upayakan agar mereka merasa bagian dari keluarga. Karena banyak orang yang pindah agama, menjadi tidak dipedulikan oleh keluarga mereka sendiri. Jika sebuah kampanye seperti Ramadan Buddy dapat memberi sedikit saja dampak positif agar dapat membuat para mualaf tidak merasa seorang diri, maka menurut saya, itulah sukses, ” papar Schwartz lagi.

Seseorang yang berpartisipasi dalam program ini, hanya perlu bertemu Ramadan Buddy-nya dua sampai tiga kali seminggu. Yang perlu dilakukan hanyalah menghubungi Ramadan Buddy. Dengan demikian para mualaf tidak merasa sendiri dalam menjalani ibadah puasa dan lebih berkomitmen untuk berhenti merokok.
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August 07, 2012

MWA's Eren Cervantes-Altamirano shares a Ramadan memory via Muslimah Media Watch

Edmonton’s Al-Rashid Mosque. Image via Flickr.
The First Ramadan

By Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

Six years ago, I moved from Mexico City to Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada. Although I moved here to study, my trip to the north resulted to be a whole religious experience. Having grown up in a nuclear family that had left Catholicism and had sought dogmatic atheism, I was largely unfamiliar with religious diversity. Thus, coming to Canada quickly sparked my curiosity, and here I am six years later with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies.

My first contact with Islam was when I was still learning English at the University of Alberta. Since Alberta is the centre of petroleum exploration and petroleum engineering education in Canada, I studied in classes where half my classmates were from Saudi Arabia and the other half from China. My first encounters with Saudi classmates, especially males, were quite frustrating. Many of them felt the need to show some kind of pious superiority, while others felt attacked in an environment where their religion was often being connected to 9/11. (Click here to read the rest at Muslim Media Watch)

ABOUT EREN CERVANTES-ALTAMIRANOV
Eren Arruna Cervantes is a University student in Canada. She specializes in gender politics and feminist religious movements, particularly Islamic Feminism. She is a convert to Islam since 2009 and hopes to become an Islamic scholar in the future. In addition to being a member of Muslimah Writers Alliance, Eren also writes for Muslmah Media Watch and hosts a travel blog.

July 23, 2012

Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) Celebrates Ramadan 2012

We're only three days into Ramadan 2012, but check-out what we've already been up to! 
-
Ramadan 2012 - Announcements
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER SIZE
Ramadan 2012 - Photos
Ramadan 2012 - Poetry
Ramadan 2012 - Journals
Established in 2006, MWA is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.

July 19, 2012

Pre-Order Muslim Women in Britain: Demystifying the Muslimah, by MWA member Dr. Sariya Contractor

Click on image to view larger size.
This book discusses many important issues around the role, rights, responsibilities and resilience of Muslim women that resonate in Muslim communities globally – of our collective successes with regard to gender equity and of our failures.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) Jul 19, 2012 - Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) is pleased to announce the upcoming September 20, 2012 release of a member publication titled, 'Muslim Women in Britain: Demystifying the Muslimah'.

Perceptions of Muslim women in Western society have been shaped by historical and sociological conditions such as colonialism, patriarchy and Orientalism. In Muslim Women in Britain, Sariya Contractor seeks to reinstate the Muslimah as a storyteller who tells her own story.

An exploration of the lives of British Muslim women, this book examines issues of femininity, Britishness, inter-communal relations and social cohesion. Presenting the reader with incisive narratives of Muslim women on familiar topics such as the hijab, Muslim women in the media and feminist debate, particularly in a Western context, Sariya Contractor makes a valuable contribution to the existing literature on Islamic studies, social anthropology, feminist philosophy and social cohesion. (Read More)

July 18, 2012

Firefox!! I protest!

Firefox, you are my favorite laptop browser (I use Dolphin on my Android), but gosh darn it, why can't you get the bug fixed that is blocking Blogger's Follower Widget from appearing? Do you REALLY want me to keep opening Chrome to view my blog? Tisk, tisk! Step-it-up tech support and get this bug fixed once and for all -- enough is enough!


P.S. I just emailed Tech Support at Dolphin to ask them why they don't make a laptop/desktop version of their mobile browser. ;-)

July 17, 2012

I was 50 for a year-and-a-half!

How? How?! How?!? I sat like a deer in the headlights. There it was in black and white, glaring at me from the face of my Youtube page -- a big "51".

I reached for my phone (of course!) and opened the calculator. Listen folks, I can't even do math on my fingers. I'm the worst at math. So I calculated. And re-calculated. But there was no denying the truth.

There I sat; my bubble completely burst. I had been 51 for six months without even knowing it.

Gosh darn it! I was enjoying being 50!!!

Bad Youtube!! 

Welcome Ramadan!

My first lantern sighting of the Ramadan 2012 season! Woot! Woot!

June 30, 2012

Do yourself and the members of your family a favor: stop smoking this Ramadan

It is common knowledge these days that secondhand cigarette smoke causes cancer, which, in fact, KILLS. If you smoke inside your home, how does that translate to caring about your family? It's bad enough to abuse your own body; why would you consciously harm the lives of those you love?

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). [al-Baqarah 2:185]

June 29, 2012

MWA & Aishah Schwartz Support #Women2Drive 2012




Support the right of women in Saudi Arabia to drive honking your car horns on Friday, June 29, 2012 in solidarity with the Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia and Sign the My Right to Dignity Petition ~insha'Allah!

MWA/Aishah Schwartz support in The #women2drive Daily

Keepsake from MWA's/Aishah Schwartz Saudi Women2Drive campaign, June 29, 2012. Associated video http://youtu.be/zsPlLYl6aaA

June 25, 2012

June 24, 2012

Egypt Celebrates its New President: Dr. Mohamed Morsi


Here's a 30-sec video of Morsi Presidential celebration from Tahrir. Just to give those without a way to know, what it sounds and looks like there today.

Alexandria, Egypt celebrates Dr. Mohamed Morsi first freely elected civilian President -- with 3% margin win over Ahmed Shafik.

PHOTO OF MORSI: First freely elected civilian President of #Egypt

Dr. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected civilian President. #HistoryMakingDecision

Hurdles to the announcement.

Hurdles to the announcement.

Hurdles to the announcement.

AJE's coverage from Tahrir.

 

MORSI: We are continuing to stay in Tahrir, our joy will not make us forget our Revolution. Our requests: 1) Abolishing the complimentary constitutional amendment (of June 17), 2) the Parliament to come back, 3) Abolishing the military policing authority and 4) the constitutional committee formed by the parliament is valid.

English translation above.


Sun is setting over Cairo and Qasr el-Nil bridge is a great big concrete dancefloor ‪#Morsi‬ ‪#Egypt http://t.co/eg9ZWM0Q

June 23, 2012

Egypt Election Headlines Round-up June 23, 2012

As Egypt and the eyes of the world anticipate Sunday's announcement of the Presidential election result, protests continue in Cairo and across the country. While the Muslim Brotherhood continued to dominate Tahrir Square, thousands of pro-Shafik demonstrators gathered in Nasr City.

Below is a sampling of front-page headlines from the nation's Independent and State sponsored news agencies.

Dear Tech Support, welcome to the doorstep of hell

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Every photo uploaded.

All tags entered.

All captions entered.

I removed one duplicate image to replace it with a file that had not been uploaded.

The new image completed uploading.

And the editing form hung.

Cairo: Presidential election subliminal message


Join Aishah Schwartz & Muslimah Writers Alliance in supporting the a woman's right to drive in Saudi Arabia

(Click image to view full size)

Photos at Demotix by Aishah Schwartz

"Do you know what I will always remember about the photos taken at the Mohamed Mahmoud Street Wall on February 3, 2010? The sounds, the tingle in my nose and the water running from my eyes as the air filled with tear gas, and the blood racing through my veins; the pulse of Egypt." ~Aishah Schwartz
-----
Photos taken by Aishah Schwartz published at Demotix.

VIEWS UPDATED JUNE 24, 2012
CLICK ON LINK LOWER LEFT FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

June 22, 2012

Egypt Election Headlines Round-up June 22, 2012

As the day approaches when Egypt and the world learns who will be the country's next President, news headlines reflect the divisiveness of its citizens.
THE INDEPENDENT'S
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STATE SPONSORED PUBLICATIONS
(Click on the link below for the rest of the story)