The half inch himalayas and e-mails from scheherazad

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In Agha Shahid Ali’s “The Half-Inch Himalayas,” the highest mountain range in the world is shrunk down to the size of a postcard—why might this poetic meditation on memory and heritage use this image? Ali’s home region of Kashmir is a place disputed over by three countries (Pakistan, India, and China), but aren’t all places are disputed over in terms of how they should be represented and thought of? 

The Syrian poet Mohja Kahf’s “E-mails from Scheherazad” contains several small parables on the ways the gender and religion interact and inspire (and aggravate) one another–this series of poetic insights has much light to shed on how womanhood and worship “see” one another.

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