It’s March 8, 2021. We are mere days away from the dreaded one-year “pandemicversary” that has been looming from my calendar ever since the second wave of COVID-19 spread across Canada last fall. As I count down to March 11 — 365 days from when the WHO declared COVID a pandemic, and despite a simultaneously overtired and overwired brain, I can’t help reflecting on what a day like International Women’s Day means in the context of this pandemic.
So far, it looks like Zoom rallies, even more virtual panels and webinars, and various interpretations of this year’s theme, #ChooseToChallenge. In many ways, it feels like just another groggy Monday blurred into many other Mondays. But what does it mean?
Read the full commentary for Our Times‘ monthly newsletter here.
It has been two months since India threw nearly four million people into a desperate scramble to prove their citizenship or risk deportation. The government published a draft of the National Register of Citizens in late July and the effects were immediate: millions excluded from the list were made to produce evidence of their legitimate claims, security forces were put on alert to quell potential violence in a region with a history of persecuting ethnic minorities, and at least one thousand people are still being held in criminal jails serving as immigration detention centres.
On April 29th, the CWA Canada Associate Members, the National Campus and Community Radio Association and the Canadian University Press launched the Media Works Project which includes fourteen labour reporting pieces and an 80-page handbook labour rights and reporting handbook which is available online here. I co-wrote and edited the Media Works Handbook.
From Turtle Island to Palestine: Occupation is a Crime is a photo essay project inspired by the international protests on May 15th, 2011, the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba, (Arabic for catastrophe). It is a date to commemorate the violent displacement of Palestinian people to make way for the new Israeli state. The goal of the project is to create an international message of solidarity with the Palestinian people that continue to rally and resist Israeli occupation. In every photograph the Palestinian flag is being held up in front of landmarks or popular spots in Toronto, demonstrating the support for Palestinian people that exists in the city.
An Ismaili Identity merited an Honourable Mention and was published in the book “Ismailis: A Celebration of Diversity”.
I wear this necklace very often. It symbolizes the diversity of Ismailis around the world. Like the multifaceted quartz crystal on the left, Ismailis are like one unit with many faces. Our commonality in religion is represented in the Allah pendant, while our cultural and geographic differences can be represented in the Africa pendant, a symbol of my own family’s unique cultural heritage.