Some end of year bits and bobs.
Firstly I would like to say:
Thank you, Shukran, Gracias, Merci, Multumesc, Hvala, Danke and of course, Diolch yn fawr, to the following people:
Denizens of my blogroll. I have been reading you avidly all year. You’ve provoked my thoughts and emotions and more often then not made me laugh too. I do need to update my blogroll, so if I comment a lot on your site, but you’re listed here (yet), this includes you too. Special mention goes to:
The Ladies at Muslimah Media Watch for starting an excellent and much needed project and for providing a much needed voice to Muslimah on the Racialicious blog.
Luckyfatima for providing a wide insight into a variety of issues. Also for all the great comments she’s made on other blogs elsewhere.
Dave at Everyday Is Barcelona… For proving that you can be insightful and entertaining.
Reader and Commenters. I may not have the biggest or most famous blog, but I think I have the loveliest readers. Aside from the occasional trollacious comment, you all seem to get what I’m talking about and I am spared a lot of the snark that some other bloggers have to put up with. I’m not the best at responding to comments (I will endevour to improve this next year, Insha Allah), but I appreciate them all.
Now on to the award type stuff.
2007 and has been a bit of a blur as regards films and books. I haven’t read many books (shameful, I know), so I’ll skip the book category.
The best film I saw this year was All About My Mother, which was actually made in 1999. Due to the subject matter of some of his films, Almodóvar may not be everyone’s bag of chips, but when ever I see his films, I feel I get a glimpse into the lives of real, living, breathing people and that’s such a rare sensation in cinema.
Best tv show: Dexter. What could be sub standard slasher fare is a well executed insight into how it feels to not feel. Literally. Michael C. Hall deserves to be rained with silverware for this one.
Best T.V Channel. Euronews/Al Jazeera International.
I am a big fan of Euronews for their no nonsense, no presenter gurning-dramatically style of reportage. No Comment, the segment with pictures and no commentary, frequently provides the day’s most affecting footage.
However, in my opinion, one of the big stories 0f 2007, was the failure of Belgium to form a government, due to a split between the Waloon and Flemish sectors of the country. This lasted for six months, until an emergency coalition was formed in December. Euronews conveed this story, in depth, throughout.
The next time, someone talks with ill-disguised racism about ‘those people who can’t govern themselves’, think of Belgium.
Al Jazeera International is also consistently excellent. I think their coverage of the events at Lal Masjid was the zenith of their work, with the coverage prior to, during and after the massacre, being of a quality unmatched by other networks.
Islam in the Media.
There was the abomination that was Britz and two reality shows, which attempted both to give Non Muslims an insight into Muslim life. Elsewhere, it was the same old, same old, with my co-religionists popping up as terrorists on numerous dramas and being pathologised in multiple articles both in print and on line. Tired of reading about ‘The Trouble with Islam’? Me too. Let’s hope there is less of this next year.
Good news is that both a Muslim man and a Muslim woman appeared in mainstream British advertising. Yippee!
The man, a brother with an unmistakably sunnah beard was featured in an MFI ad earlier this year, while the sister was in a Nokia ad. Screenshot is here.
This year for various reasons, I’ve decided to step back from music a bit. I can’t say I never listen to it, just that I listen to it a lot less.
Jazak Allahu Khayran to Muhajadeen Ryder for providing access to a wide range of nasheeds with his radio feed.
Anyway, in the interests of honesty, I will say that my favourite single of 2007 was Icky Thump by The White Stripes. I think that song is the only time this year that a song came on the radio and I thought “Ooh what’s that?”.
Were it not for the fact that it originally came out in 2006, The W.A.N.D by The Flaming Lips would also win, but I only heard it on an advert the other week, that’s how uncool I am.
It’s not been a good year for music videos, but this was probably the best of the bunch. Not exactly original but very well excuted and matched the song beautifully. Makes me wish I could skateboard.
Podcast of the Year: Addicted to Race
An offshoot of the ever excellent Racialicious website. The pleasingly deadpan Carmen Van Kerckhove discuss all manner of issues concerning race and pop culture. Currently on hiatus, but the archives are still available and well worth listening to.
Video Podcast of the Year: Ask a Ninja
If you like Strongbad Emails, you’ll like this. Very funny indeed.
Islamic organisation making a difference: Zaytuna Institute
The seminary, the distance learning, the wealth of multimedia on their site, most of it available for free, the publishing and the fact that in Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shaikir, not only do we have two great teachers but also two very eloquent spokesmen for Islam in the West.
Enough pseudo awards!
My New Year’s Resolutions
1)Current outlines – Rounded. Dairy Milk + Dr Pepper = Chunky.
So I am setting myself the realistic goal of exercising at least twice a week. That doesn’t sound like much, but I’m currently doing nothing, so anything is an improvement.
2)Books. Those things made of paper with words printed on them. Want to read more of them. Will start going to library again and work on making time to read. Any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment/email.
3)Arabic. I have the self motivation of an aphid. Finding a class would be a good start.
4)Diet. See point 1. I am terrible at denying myself, so instead, I’m going to go with making sure I get my 5 a day of fruit and veg.
5)Community work. It’s time to give something back. No more excuses.
Phew! That is more then enough for now.
May this new year be one of blessings and growth for everyone, insha Allah.
Alhamdulilah for everything.