You’ve Never Talked to a Muslim?

I was maybe eight or nine years old when an older second cousin told me to never eat at Salma’s house. Salma was a school friend who didn’t live very far. The context of the discussion was my mom’s refusal to allow me to go to other kids’ homes. She never said yes to playdates…

Lost in the Shoah

What is death? A last memory in the throes of fevered nightmares Stiff and twisted bodies tumbling out of a cattle car Hungry lips torn away from a mother’s bosom too soon Two sips of water not given after a day’s hard labor The stench of unwashed nakedness in the snow And charcoal-scented Dial bars…

Why I Didn’t Celebrate International Women’s Day

The people who know me are well aware of my strong opinions. I am unabashedly critical of people in power, people around me, all ideologies and religions, and even some of the things that are considered politically correct these days. Respect Everyone. Worship No One. I live by this principle. I also identify as a…

My Dear Ahed

My Dear Ahed, I will not begin by asking if you’re well. I certainly hope you are but I also know that things are difficult and lonely in your cell. You turned 17 two weeks ago but I am sorry you weren’t home with your parents for your birthday. I know you are angry. And…

Anti-Semitic Feminism- Yes, It Exists

It has been a while since I entangled myself in the various -isms of political thought. From a staunch Marxist, I became a Socialist, an Eco-Centrist, a Post-Colonialist, couple other -ists and then I found my ideological home. Feminist. Aha! An -ism I could actually belong to. I mean, I would be stupid if I…

Why We Must Remember the Holocaust

I see her in the dining hall every day. She is bent nearly double with age and even though I have never spoken to her, I know she is a widow. Her husband passed on a few years ago and now she comes two or three times a week to eat lunch with the other…

The India I Love… And Cry For

68… A standalone number holds no significance. But when put into context, it gives some mathematical credibility to whatever fact it is trying to support. 68 years of constitutional equality. 68 years of being a Republic. 68 years of discord and diversity. I love India. Being an Indian has given me a heritage I cherish…

Am I a Zionist?

Receiving letters from old friends and colleagues always brightens my day. Usually, the content of the messages is predictably warm and comforting. They ask me how I’m doing, tell me what they’ve been up to, and recall some embarrassing high school memories that make them laugh and miss me at the same time. Imagine my…

Hanukkah in Bergen-Belsen

‘Like a barrage of machine-gun fire came the German commands “Komme, komme, komme, komme, komme.” The men selected were marched outside. S.S. Men with rubber truncheons and iron prods awaited them. They kicked, beat, and tortured the innocent victims. When the tortured body no longer responded, the revolver was used… The random selection went on…

Yogi Adityanath- The Undoing of UP

I was thousands of miles away from home, more concerned about Donald Trump’s radioactive visa policies than the various state elections in India. Of course, as a politically conscious person, I was keeping one ear on the results, but no amount of preparation readied me for the news that tore through my eardrums from across…