Friday, November 20, 2009

Nov 23-27 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Hajj: The Trip of a Lifetime: It’s not easy to explain why 2 million people circling a black box seven times is something worth investigating. Or why those same two million people run back and forth between two hills, or stand all afternoon in 100 degree desert heat, or throw 49 pebbles at three stone pillars, all of which are part of the rites required of all Muslims who undertake the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The answer? In a word: Transformation.

Monday: Reflecting on Fort Hood. As we try to make sense of the Fort Hood tragedy, how should we understand the Muslim faith of the alleged gunman, Nidal Hasan? We’ll discuss our national and personal reactions with expert inter-faith and inter-cultural advocates Leena El-Ali of Search for Common Ground and Prof. John Esposito, of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Tuesday: Becoming Americans. Perhaps no story gets to the heart of what it means to be American more than the immigrant story. Prof. Ilan Stavans and Richard Rodriguez join us to discuss Stavans’ new anthology, Becoming Americans, which features 400 years of writing from the hands of people who have come to America to remake themselves, their lives, and their identities.

Wednesday: Gratitude: How many times a day do you say Thank you? And what do you really mean by those words? Different times and different cultures have produced different ways of handling the complex matters of giving, receiving, and returning favors and presents. In her new book, The Gift of Thanks: The Roots and Rituals of Gratitude, Margaret Visser delves into the complexity of saying thanks.

Thursday: On Kindness (encore). What is the thing that scares us most? The monster hiding under the bed? Not sex, not violence, not money, but kindness has become our forbidden pleasure, according to psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. By involving us with strangers, he says, kindness is potentially far more promiscuous than sexuality.

Friday: In Praise of Fat (encore). You have heard of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. What about good fat and bad fat? After thirty years as the most maligned food, fat is making a comeback. Dishes made with lard, bacon, marrow and butter are appearing on chefs' menus and Jennifer McLagan has written a cookbook in praise of it.

Have a great weekend,


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