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When approaching my portfolio of work, it may be useful to begin with my background as a student coming into this class. I, like most students at Harvard, was never well-versed in Islam, but perhaps unlike most students, I was also never well-versed in any religion. I was raised secular and most of my studies […]

week 13, cont.

This same week we also read Persepolis, an engaging and charismatic graphic novel featuring a young girl embroiled in religion and politics and the clashing ideologies of her native Iran. One conflict in particular of hers that resonated with me was this panel, in which she contemplates the two sides of her that she feels […]

week 13

  This week we discussed “Sultana’s Dream,” a short story describing a women’s utopia. On my first reading of the story, I was unsure as to what I was intended to take away from it. On the one hand, it described a seemingly perfect world, in which all energy is renewable, and there are no wars, […]

week 10

This week we read the epic The Conference of the Birds. My immediate impulse was towards a strongly visual, if somewhat obvious, visual representation of the story. The culmination of the story is when the thirty birds reach the valley of the legendary Simorgh and are met with only their collective reflection. Beyond the pun […]

week 4

This week we read some Sindhi and Urdu poems in praise of the prophet Muhammad. One of these was “the Miracle Story of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) and the Doe,” in which a hunter traps a doe. The doe is distressed as she has left her two fawns hungry in the desert. Hearing […]

week 2

“The Koran is regarded as containing divine power; thus, to possess the Koranic texts renders an individual powerful and protects him against misfortunes and malevolent forces. The highest form of the possession of the Koran is its commitment to memory, which amounts to its internalization in the head, the superior part of the body, whence […]

calligraphy project

In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created man out of a mere blood clot. 96:1 Have not those who disbelieve seen that the heavens and the Earth were of one connected entity, then We separated them, and We made every living thing out of water? Will they then believe? 21:30 Allah has […]

week 1

This week I decided to focus on the “emergent” nature of God’s revelations to man. Many of the readings discussed the role of signs in man’s relationship with the divine. While some of his revelations are clear manifestations of his glory (such as crumbling a mountain before Moses), most of the instances discussed are more subtle […]