One of my fondest memories of my grandmother (llah irHemha) is of the breaks she used to take every afternoon, between noon and ‘asr prayers. She would retire to her bedroom, and listen to Voice of America until tea time. This was a woman who was practically illiterate, but who was sharp as a tack, and could provide you with a fine analysis of any of the day’s pressing political issues.

A few weeks ago, or what seems like very long ago now, I was having breakfast with Alex at our usual hangout when I came across an article in The Los Angeles Times about the VOA, and how they needed more funding to expand their Arabic service, but couldn’t get the money, how they needed to hire more people, etc.

It became very clear after 9/11 that one of the things we must do is both learn about other cultures and teach them about ours, which is where VOA comes in. Will they get the funding now?

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