Khan Academy

Salman Khan, an MIT grad started up a wonderful project called “Khan Academy”. It supplies an organized library of youtube videos covering maths to history.

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 1600+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users per month. We are complementing this ever-growing library with user-paced exercises–developed as an open source project–allowing the Khan Academy to become the free classroom for the World. Learn more about the Khan Academy and Salman Khan…

“We feel that opening this world of access to the rich intellectual resource of a public university is core to what we do,” he said. “Anyone around the world, whether a taxi driver in London or budding computer engineer in Africa, can tune in.”

Students who take all or part of their classes online perform better, on average, than those who complete the same courses only in a traditional classroom, according to a meta-analysis – or a study of studies – released earlier this year by SRI International.

Among a field crowded with exalted institutions, Khan Academy stood out enough to be named as one of three laureates in the education category of this year’s Tech Awards, organized by the Tech Museum in San Jose.

Read more.


Boxer Amir Khan goes to Pakistan

Earlier I wrote about Amir Khan, British boxer, winning the WBA title and breaking stereotypes. 23 year old Amir has recently flow to Pakistan to help with disaster relief. [Which one in Pakistan you ask? The floods affecting over 20 million.]

The 23-year-old Khan (23-1, 17 knockouts), a former Olympic silver medalist of Pakistani descent, left for Pakistan early on Monday but already had been raising awareness concerning the flooding disaster that rages on in Pakistan.

“You know, I’m going to go over to Pakistan and show my support. My parents came over from Pakistan. They were born there. I was born in England. But still, I have my roots. I got family there, and plenty of relatives there. My mom just came back from visiting there,” Khan told FanHouse during a recent interview.

“Six weeks ago, I was in Pakistan just before the weather kicked in the floods kicked in. I left just before that. I was in America when the floods happened, and I saw lots of live links to what was going on on news stations,” said Khan. “It’s sad to see over 2,000 people have died in this disaster, and over 15 million people have been affected.”

“This disaster, compared to the Pakistan earthquake about two years ago, and the Haiti disaster and also the tsunami in Thailand, if you could put all of those three together, the floods in Pakistan are as bad or worse than those,” said Khan.

“In Pakistan, it’s a real shame because it seems like it’s on its last legs,” said Khan. “It seems to me that they really need help. I’m not a politician, and I like to stay out of politics, but there are a lot of things that need improving in that country. This is a wake up call for Pakistan.”


Buddhism and Islam in America

Here’s a great article drawing parallels between the USA’s recent bout of Islamophobia and the xenophobia concerning [American] Japanese during World War II. It’s worth a look.

China’s female Muslim Imams

Female imam leads prayer in China. Photo: <a href=NPR” />

AN interesting article by ILLUME caught my eye: China’s Female Imams

I have heard of Morocco also training female Imams. And Turkey and China having female only masjids but this is a first. I’ve heard rumors that someone is making a movie about female Imams.

Aziz Ansari to host MTV movie awards?

“Insiders tell Show Tracker exclusively that the comedian and “Parks and Recreation” star is in final negotiations to host the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, slated to air live June 6 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City.”

Comedian by trade, Aziz Ansari is certainty going to new heights and is currently on a tour around the USA.


Islam in Korea

There seemed to be a lot of interest in the story I posted about halal Korean food. I also found this informative video clip about Islam in Korea.

Korean Muslim soldiers pray at a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul/Yonhap

I also found an article on Korean Muslims:

What is it like to be a Korean Muslim in Korea? “Not easy would be an understatement,” was the response of Hasna Bae, a 23-year-old student.

Bae is one of 35,000 Korean Muslims in the country, and one of 1.6 billion in the world. Although the religion is very big worldwide, there are few Muslims in Korea. There are migrant Muslim workers, but the total number barely reaches 200,000.

Being a minority religion in Korea, Muslims say their different lifestyle makes them stand out more than others in society.

Yu Hyun-il, 22, serves as president of the Islamic students’ association of the Hankook University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) in Seoul. He said he found the Muslim eating requirements the most difficult thing for him…

The Taqwacores Movie

Still of 'The Taqwacores' movie

The Taqwacores novel has inspired The Taqwacore Movie. On it’s website it says

Originally handed out for free in parking lots as xerox copies, The Taqwacores novel has now been published in the United States, England, Italy, and France.Since it’s release in 2004, The Taqwacores has gone on to inspire a real-life punk-Muslim scene, resulting in the formation of bands such as The Kominas.The book has been mentioned and reviewed in publications such as Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, NPR, BBC, The Sun, The Globe and Mail, The Daily Star, and many more. The Taqwacores motion picture was most recently featured on Al-Jazeera English and in The New York Times.

The exclusive and promising indie movie has just featured it’s trailer on the MTV website apparently as a 2010 Sundance Film Festival Video highlight.

With characters like:

  • YUSEF: Pakistani-American engineering student,
  • JEHANGIR: ’77-style drunk punk Sufi hero,
  • UMAR: hardcore straightedge Sunni,
  • RABEYA: burqa clad, riot grrl feminist
  • FASIQ: Indonesian skater-punk stoner
  • and AMAZING AYYUB: shirtless Shi’a skinhead

These characters I don’t believe are a stretch of mind in reality because I can honestly say I met those archetypes in real life [esp the Indonesian skater stoner, engineer student and the burqa feminist]. However to some this movie may break naive prejudices.  I guess the notions of South Asians and South East Asians as the model minority or the women in burqas as oppressed stereotypes will go out the window. I honestly haven’t read the book and have hear horrible things about it. But I do think regardless of the blasphemy perhaps the common American will look at Muslims more complexly and humanely?