Marvel’s new addition to its superhero line-up: Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl living in Jersey City who takes the name Ms. Marvel.
I’m not really part of the comic book world; I saw Avengers and that’s pretty much it. But I find the push (and inevitable pushback) in the comic book industry to successfully incorporate women and non-white characters into their superhero line-ups very interesting. Sana Amanat, one of the co-creators of Kamala Khan, has some worthwhile things to say about creating the character and how she thinks she will be received by audiences, some of whom have so far had a little bit of difficulty accommodating the idea of change within the genre.
Wow. This looks so cool. O.O
I was six when the Taliban took over Afghanistan and made it illegal for girls to go to school. So for the next five years, I dressed as a boy to escort my older sister — who was no longer allowed to be outside alone — to a secret school. It was the only way we both could be educated.
Each day we took a different route so that no one would suspect where we were going. We would cover our books in grocery bags so it would seem like we were just out shopping.
The school was in a house — more than 100 of us packed into one small living room. It was cozy in winter, but extremely hot in summer.
We all knew we were risking our lives: the teacher, the students, and our parents. From time to time, school would suddenly be cancelled for a week because the Taliban were suspicious.
We always wondered what they knew about us. Were we being followed? Do they know where we live?
We were scared, but still, school was where we wanted to be.
Myanmar | October 2, 2013
Terrified Muslim families hid in forests in western Myanmar on Wednesday, one day after fleeing a new round of deadly sectarian violence that erupted even as the president toured the divided region. The discovery of four bodies brought the death toll from the latest clashes up to at least five.
Tuesday’s unrest near the coastal town of Thandwe, which saw Buddhist mobs kill a 94-year-old woman and four other Muslims and burn dozens of homes, underscored the government’s persistent failure to stop the sectarian violence from spreading.
"Like in Korean movies, they have swords and sticks," said Muslim resident Tin Win. "There’s no law and order in this town. We’re in a serious situation, we’re really worried."
Another resident of Thandwe, Myo Min, said a small mosque in Kyikanyet, about 43 kilometers from Thandwe, was burned by attackers Tuesday night. Police said they were trying to confirm that report.
Myo Min said he was concerned about the safety of families who fled Tuesday’s violence. Many families in Thabyuchaing, he said, fled into forests when their village was attacked.
"Many of them, including women and children, are still hiding, and they are cornered and unable to come out," Myo Min said. "They need food and water, and Muslim elders are discussing with authorities to evacuate them or send food."
Most of those targeted in Rakhine state have been ethnic Rohingya Muslims, considered by many in the country to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh, though many of their families arrived generations ago. But in the latest flare-up this week, the victims were Kamans, another Muslim minority group, whose citizenship is recognized.
Muslims, who account for about 4 percent of Myanmar’s roughly 60 million people, have been the main victims of the violence, but they have been prosecuted for crimes related to the clashes far more often than members of the Buddhist majority.
Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims since June last year have killed at least 237 people in Myanmar and 192 of those deaths were in Rakhine state, where Rohingya Muslims, most of whom are stateless, bore the brunt of the attacks.
(Photos by Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)
BILIN, West Bank (AP) — Residents of this Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of spent Israeli tear gas grenades to honor those killed during their weekly protests against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier.
Mohammed Khatib, a village organizer, said Wednesday that the unusual garden is meant to show that life can spring from death.
Bilin has become a symbol of Palestinian protests against Israeli policies in the West Bank. The village’s struggle to regain land taken by the barrier was the subject of “Five Broken Cameras,” a documentary nominated for an Oscar last year.
Palestinians say the barrier, which cuts into the West Bank, amounts to a land grab. Israel says it’s needed to keep Palestinian attackers out.
The Bilin garden commemorates Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a protest leader who was killed in 2009 when a tear gas grenade struck him in the chest during a demonstration. Bassem’s sister, Jawaher, died nearly two years later, a day after a weekly protest during which villagers said she inhaled Israeli tear gas.
During West Bank protests, Israeli troops often fire tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and occasionally live rounds, portraying them as appropriate means against Palestinian stone throwers.
"Life can spring from death"
Janine Hamlin’s sketches of Guantánamo Bay war crimes trials, one of the few ways we have to really document these proceedings, are forthcoming in a book titled Sketching Guantánamo, due out in October. She’s been doing this since 2006, and has so far traveled to Cuba twenty-five times to make this visual record of the post-9/11 war crimes trial proceedings.
Swimming with whales is not a typical task in most job descriptions, but it’s just a day in the life for TEDxSanJoseCA speaker Bryant Austin, a photographer who snaps images of these gentle giants from hardly 10 feet away.
In a quest to prevent the extinction of whales of all kinds — from humpback to minke — Austin uses his photography to create life-sized portraits of these creatures: one of which took over 200 hours to make and weighed a whopping 1,200 pounds.
At the top, a selection of his photographs — and below his talk on his process and the wonder of seeing a living, breathing whale up close: