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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Muslims en masse for Modi at Madison Square

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a huge crowd of Indian expats in New York City on Monday night, outlining his vision of India’s future and making an explicit appeal to the NRI community to support their home […]

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a victory for toilets and holograms: Narendra Modi is India’s new Prime Minister

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As predicted by everyone, Narendra Modi has won the election and is India’s new Prime Minister. Some essential background on the Indian elections here, by John Oliver on HBO (because American news media FAIL): Modi won with substantial support of […]

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Two Bohras come to aid of Frenchwoman attacked in Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the past two months I’ve traveled to India three times, to attend the funeral and other events after the passing of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra). This quite shocking story happened in the Fort area of Mumbai, which is quite […]

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Farewell to Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Friday, January 17th, his holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA passed away in Mumbai. Syedna Burhanuddin RA was a visionary intellect and pious guardian of the Deen of his followers, the Dawoodi Bohra community, to which I proudly belong. In […]

Bishnu Shrestha and the 40 thieves (and one khukuri)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a khukuri, a curved Nepalese-style blade issued as standard equipment to members of the Gurkha, which are famed Nepali units of the Indian Army (and the British Army of India before Independence): In 2010, a retired Indian Gurkha […]

The Gujarati origins of Valentine’s day: Velan-time Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s Valentine’s Day today, and also as it happens my own birthday, so I thought I’d share a classic Internet myth for both amusement and a not-so-subtle warning, which given the state of gender relations in India recently might also […]

Mumbai muslims’ Eid confusion

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My position on moonsighting vs calculation has always been simple: to you be your way, to me mine. Muslims should not squabble over the differences that arise every year about the start of Ramadan and the date of Eid, but […]

Tenth Anniversary of the Gujrat riots

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ten years ago, muslim extremists attacked civilians on the Sabarnati Express train at Godhra. The attackers were brought to justice later, but the attack spurred large-scale communal violence, murder and rape against muslims in Gujrat that was horrific and savage […]

Bombing in Pune, India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nine people are dead in Pune, India after a bombing at a bakery in Koreagon Park: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday linked a bombing at a popular bakery in Pune that killed nine people to jailed Pakistan-born American Islamist […]

Rotten in the state of Denmark: Chindia at Copenhagen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been meaning to comment on the Copenhagen conference, since the perspective from the Indian press is probably quite different from that in the US media. According to the papers here, Obama forced his way into a private meeting between […]

the view from Cuffe Parade

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the view from an apartment of friends of ours who live in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. The view is west, over the Arabian Sea (see the map). CP and Colaba and other areas at the very tip of Mumbai […]

Democracy or Else: voting compulsory in Gujarat state

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s some irony in the recent news that in Gujarat state, that democracy will now be mandatory: All registered voters in Gujarat will be required to vote. Those absent will be asked to submit a valid reason with proof within […]

a satirical rickshaw

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The sign on the back of the foremost rickshaw was harsh indeed. I’ve been forced to walk most of the time because the surplus of Bohra pilgrims to Ashara has made it a suppliers’ market, as far as transportation goes. […]

Echoes of the Raj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The architecture of Mumbai is chaos incarnate, with slums and skyscrapers alongside. But there are also magnificent examples of British-era style that stand out and remind the observer of a different time, when a city named Bombay was the center […]

breakfast in Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Mumbai is a foodie’s delight – and I’ve definitely been making the most of it. Every morning at the hotel we have a buffet breakfast which includes fresh made staples such as the idli-sambar and masala dosa pictured above. I […]

my passage to India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

They say getting here is half the fun… if you’re a masochist, perhaps. I arrived on Friday morning and only now, awaking on Tuesday morning, do I really feel like I’m rested and energized after sleep. Part of the reason […]

Raudat Tahera at night

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the mausoleum of the late 51st Dai ul Mutlaq, Syedna Taher Saifuddin AQ, and the focal point of Bhindi Bazaar, Mumbai. Upon the four interior walls is inscribed the entirety of the Holy Qur’an, in gold. The entire […]

Welcome to Marol!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The many vendors in the Marol area were quite excited that over 150,000 Bohras had converged on the area, with plenty of thirst to satisfy. And money to spend. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many […]

Saifee Masjid, Marol (Mumbai)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Saifee Masjid, the venue for Ashara 1431 in Marol, Mumbai. The Marol Jamaat has a brief history   of the Saifee Park area on their website. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many more)

A recollection of Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal. On the evening of July 11, 2006 a series of bomb blasts ripped through several suburban train lines in Mumbai. Over 200 people died and over 700 were injured. I was living […]

remember Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

During today’s whirlwind of family, food and fun, we should also pause (as all of India will, today) to remember that today is also the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. Citizens in the Indian city of Mumbai went to […]

Pakistan’s identity: Media Matters

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Manas Shaikh. One of the major factors leading to the collapse of the Soviets was their bad handling of the media. Few are worse off than those whose minds are images of others- even […]

you fools! Varun Gandhi arrested

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is exactly the worst possible thing that could have happened – BJP candidate and Indian political dynasty scion Varun Gandhi, whose paranoid rants against muslims were caught on video a few weeks ago, has been arrested: A politician from […]

16 year old girl burned alive in India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a horrific case of an honor killing in rural India: BHOJPUR (GHAZIABAD): A 16-year-old girl, Imrana, was set on fire inside her house on Monday in a case of what the police called ‘moral vigilantism’. The victim had […]

VIDEO: Varun Gandhi denies it, blames “political conspiracy”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Varun Gandhi is now backpedaling in public, denying making the outrageous and incendiary comments about “cutting heads” of muslims: Varun Gandhi said he was a “victim of a political conspiracy” and that he never made the comments attributed to him. […]

Varun Gandhi vows to “cut heads” of muslims in India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is disgusting and vile – Varun Gandhi, son of the late Sanjay Gandhi and grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, went on a wild rant against muslims while campaigning in a rural area: Raising his hands, he repeatedly […]

Obama Obama! hindi song

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is wonderful and weird. I think it’s wonderful because it is so weird. Perhaps we are seeing the rise of Obollywood?

The terrorists must not win

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zeba Iqbal, a real estate development advisor who lives and works in NYC. In her free time she is active in supporting and promoting causes that are close to her heart. As a Muslim American […]

India’s 9-11: Why Mumbai?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The only thing on the television this Thanksgiving weekend was CNN. The events in Mumbai completely dominated our family get-together, not least because as Dawoodi Bohra muslims, we have extensive circles of friends and family in the city, as well […]

India lands on the moon

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is truly a historic achievement for India and the world: India’s first unmanned lunar probe has landed successfully on the moon, a milestone for the country’s 45-year-old space programme. The moon-landing on Friday is part of a two-year mission […]

Previous Posts

Obvious: The Iraq War created ISIS
This is something that is so obvious, it is in danger of never being said, in which case those who led us into war will try to ...

posted 1:48:22am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Eid at the State Department
I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it's actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first time! :) I am looking ...

posted 11:01:00am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

The Empire State goes green for Eid
As is tradition, the Empire State Building - the most beautiful skyscraper in the world - was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account ...

posted 1:21:00am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls roundup
Here is a link to all the posts in the Ramadan Pearls series I did during Ramadan: Criterion Non-existence Mystery Angels Objective Expectant Reed Veils Lend Good I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom as much as ...

posted 3:01:31pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Eid Mubarak!
By the Fatimid calendar, today is Eid al Fitr, 1436! I've explained my position on the calendar vs. moonsighting debate in detail - and this year there is a lot more divergence on the date than usual. Crescentwatch nicely ...

posted 7:53:00am Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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