Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Enlightenment

If a picture is really worth a thousand words, here is a 22,000 word essay on one of the most neglected, yet hopeful, changes in our region, the quiet revolution in the education of Muslim women, even in the most traditional parts of Arab countries. The photographer, I am proud to say, is my daughter-in-law, Amy Thompson Avishai, who spent most of her childhood years in Morocco, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia--she was the child of an American military attaché--and returned to Morocco on a Fulbright scholarship to photograph the Dar Taliba Girls' School in El Hanchane--as she writes, "a small dusty town between the tourist spots of Marrakesh and Essaouira."

The pictures are so vivid and humane I won't comment on them, except to say that they remind me, as few other essays do, of the slow trickle of enlightenment I felt at that age. I wonder (and wonder seems the very word) about deprivation and gratitude and attention span. I feel, I confess, a twinge of envy. And wonder about parts of our world that are sliding back.

3 comments:

Potter said...

There are so many parts of the world we know little to nothing about- even in this age where you would think nothing can be hidden.

I was interested that the black and white photos were from film in available light. They are at times stunning compositions, beautiful.

thank you.

Potter said...

Miller does seem to be pointing to the necessity of something catastrophic happening: war.

But the real battleground, I agree, is in the application of international law by the international community.

Aaron David Miller's piece sounded defeatist and the advice that seems to arise from it is this disasterous "status quo" which will be war, maybe all out war, precisely where Netanyau and his factions seem to be heading stupidly.

"Failure is not getting them to yes. It is looking gutless in the face of their no.

I think you mean - "Failure is NOT not getting them to yes. It is looking gutless in the face of their no"

I totally agree.

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