Ever since I was a child I wanted to blog.

Here goes.

I have crossed many borders and boundaries. My father is from Jaffa, Palestine  and my mother is from Little Rock, Arkansas. We lived in the United States, Algeria, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and Haiti as I was growing up.  Since then, I’ve lived in Greece, France, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Germany, Lebanon, and, now, southern Illinois. I study the Middle East and Islam and I live in the Midwest on the edge of the Bible Belt. I am a Quaker (and a pacifist) and I am attached to my students, many of whom serve(d) in the military.

There are other contradictions and ambiguities in my life and in our world that I want to explore here.

Please give me your feedback.


10 Responses to Welcome!

  1. Mark Chmiel says:

    Steve, This reminds me of Keats’ naming of negative capability in one of his letters: “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching out after fact and reason.” Allen Ginsberg’s gloss on same: “This means the ability to hold contrary or even polar opposite ideas of conceptions in the mind without freaking out — to experience contradiction or conflict or chaos in the mind without any irritable grasping after facts. The really interesting word here is ‘irritable,’ which in Buddhism we take to be the aggressive insistence on eliminating one concept as against another, so that you have to take a meat-ax to your opponent or yourself to resolve the contradictions — as the Marxists took a meat-ax to their own skulls at one point, and as the neo-conservatives at this point may take a meat-ax to their own inefficient skulls.”

    • Steve Tamari says:

      Mark, many thanks for the comment. Indeed, our society (myself included) is obsessed with the idea that there are only two answers to every question– yes or no, male or female, black or white, sometimes or never…We have lots to learn from the poets and Buddhists and others who are not trapped by dualisms the way many of us are.

  2. Cathy says:

    My friends Mona Halaby sent me your blog contact. I am an old friend of Elizabeth Klaver, also a professor at Southern Illinois University-perhaps you know one another.

    My daughter is married to a Palestinian from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank and we are very active with the Middle East Children’s Alliance’s work here in the US.

    I look forward to following your blog.

  3. Erin says:

    This is a great idea, Steve. I’m very much looking forward to reading!

  4. Brad Rimmert says:


    I’m glad I found this.

  5. Vani says:

    Hey Steve, the article from google about Islam and Muslims is very informative.
    Thank you

  6. Rolo Baez says:

    This is Rolo from your class. Nice blog!

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