The common sense of a socialist trucker in Boston

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“Defend Moslems. Stop Trump.”

He’s not shouting or holding up placards. Just sitting atop a green box by the Park Street Station at Boston Common, hands clasped around knees drawn up to his body. Wearing a bicycle helmet, purple rimmed reflector sunglasses, black t-shirt and shorts, sneakers.

“Stop racism,” he says to no one in particular.

I turn back to talk to him, and later notice the posters on the wall a few feet away from where he’s sitting. Fight for Socialism. Rent Control. Fight Fascism. Continue reading

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A migrant’s tragedy and a heartwarming response

Photo from her charred Pakistani passport

Not a ‘Jane Doe’: Photo from her charred Pakistani passport

Some days ago, a woman died in a fire in Cambridge, MA. The media initially reported that she was in her mid-30s, but within hours, the local Pakistani and Indian community was abuzz with the news that she was a Pakistani, in her 50s. They identified her as Farzana Khan, who lived completely alone here as her entire family was in Pakistan. It was moving to see how many people were concerned and wanted to help. When I sent the report below to The News in Pakistan a couple of days after the incident, the medical examiner still hadn’t managed to get a close friend or relative to identify the body. Until then, she had to be kept in the morgue although she was not quite a ‘Jane Doe’. As word of the dilemma spread, a Pakistan origin couple in the Boston area whose children she had looked after briefly,  Continue reading

Upcoming speaking engagements in the Boston area

Upcoming public events in the Boston area that I’m participating in:

Religion, Politics and the Rule of Law in South Asia”: Thursday, March 24, 2011 • 5:30 – 7:00 pm •  Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein Building, Floor 2, Room 219) • Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA

Noam Chomsky and Beena Sarwar: Days of Hope and Challenge: Thursday, April 14, 2011 • 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm • Boston University Law Auditorium • 767 Commonwealth Ave. • followed by reception at Sherman Union Backcourt • Boston

Boston Cares: April Social Cinema program: Screening of the documentary Bhutto (chronicling the life of Benazir Bhutto) • followed by discussion • Independent Lens series hosted in partnership with ITVS Community Cinema and City Year • Tuesday, April 19, 2011 • 6:00-8:00PM • Lavine Civic Forum in the City Year Headquarter building • 287 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

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