The new play Veils opens on Thursday at the Barrington Stage Company on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. This morning we meet the playwright, Tom Coash.

When Intisar, an African American Muslim student, arrives in Cairo for a year abroad, she hopes finally to be understood. She’s quickly enlisted by her liberal Egyptian roommate to help create a controversial blog debating the practice of wearing veils. Soon mounting political unrest threatens their new-found friendship.

Playwright, director, and dramaturg Tom Coash spent four years teaching playwriting at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. He was a Co-founder of the Offstage Theatre in Charlottesville, VA and has worked for such theaters as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Stageworks/Hudson, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Rafia Zakaria is an author, attorney and human rights activist who has worked on behalf of victims of domestic violence around the world.

Her new book, The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, tells the parallel stories of her family and country, while guiding the reader through the complicated aftermath of Pakistan’s shift toward a more conservative culture. Through her intimate and nuanced portrayal of Pakistani family life, Zakaria emphasizes the often unheard female voices of her country and uses her personal story to serve as a metaphor for Pakistan’s complex political state.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The young boy struck and killed by a garbage truck at a busy Albany intersection was laid to rest Friday at a Muslim cemetery in Rensselaer County.

It happened in the blink of an eye: a 4-year-old identified as Ashique Rahman was crossing Central Avenue with his mother, who was holding his hand. Police say they have the surveillance video showing the moment a private garbage truck turning left on a green light, onto Central from Quail Street, hit the pair, who had the right-of-way and clearance to cross from the "Walk" signal.


  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with Shawkat Toorawa, Professor of Arabic Literature & Islamic studies at Cornell University and New York Council for the Humanities board member to discuss the importance of Muslim protagonists featured in children's literature.

Muslim Voices is part of the New York Council for the Humanities’ suite of Together programs—reading and discussion programs for kids, teens and families that introduce important issues and ideas through books.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Muslim advocacy group is out with a study critical of methods used by the federal government to identify, entrap and prosecute terrorists.


  Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer would not have been able to imagine her life today: married to a Libyan-born Muslim, raising two children with Arabic names in the American South. Nor could she have imagined the prejudice she would encounter or the profound ways her marriage would change her perception of the world.

But on a running trail in North Carolina, she met Ismail. He was passionate and sincere—and he loved adventure as much as she did. From acquaintances to lovers to a couple facing an unexpected pregnancy, this is the story of two people—a middle-class American raised in California and a Muslim raised by illiterate parents in an impoverished Libyan fishing village—who made a commitment to each other without forsaking their own identities.

Krista Bremer tells the story in her new book, My Accidental Jihad.

4/16/14 Panel

Apr 16, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and political consultant, Libby Post.

Topics include:
NYPD Muslim Squad disbanded
Al Qaeda comeback?
Terror Hoaxes
Cuomo signs Popular Vote Compact
SAT tests not to include “obscure” words

Today on Vox Pop, a new poll shows that voters in New York City are less likely to vote for an atheist or a 'born again' Christian than a Muslim or Mormon candidate. What do you think of these stats, and of the effect religion can have on personal and national politics? WAMC's Ray Graf hosts with guest WAMC's Alan Chartock.