#90 Dancing in the Fire

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Muslim Spirituality Illuminating the Path to Freedom: An exploration of how the spiritual heart of the Islamic tradition can inspire and fuel contemporary struggles for liberation, justice and humanity.

Through their unique lens, this panel of visionaries modeled how spiritual life is not an escape from systemic injustice, but a revolutionary process which strengthens our collective capacity to transform unjust realities. They discuss Islam’s deepest essence and the spiritual fortitude to remain anchored in the commitment to truth, beauty and universal human flourishing.

Today’s episode is a live talk as part of the World People’s Premiere of 21 days of conversations on Palestine with the release of the film Where Olive Trees Weep by SAND. Today’s talk is entitled Dancing in the Fire: Muslim Spirituality Illuminating the Path to Freedom with Farah El-Sharif, Ayesha Kajee, Seemi Bushra Ghazi and hosted by Daniel Foor.

This talk is part of a package of talks that includes the 21 days of conversation with leading historians, spiritual teachers, trauma therapists, poets, artists, and more, plus extended interviews from the film, a live Q&A with Dr. Gabor Maté and Ashira Darwish from a live screening in Oakland, CA, a film discussion guide, and six community conversations on Palestine.

To find out more about purchasing this package and supporting the mission of SAND and the film, visit WhereOliveTreesWeep.com.

Dr. Farah El-Sharif is a writer, educator and research scholar. She received her PhD from Harvard University where she specialized in West African intellectual Islamic history. She earned degrees from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and served as Associate Director of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University, where she is currently a Visiting Scholar. Her writings have appeared in CNN, Newlines, and Muftah. Read more of her work on her Substack [email protected]

Ayesha Kajee is a human rights and governance consultant based in Johannesburg, Ayesha Kajee has conducted research across much of sub-Saharan Africa, and has observed elections and peace processes in several countries. Her published research and opinion-analyses appear in various academic and news media, and she is often called upon by media houses for comment on topical issues. She was previously the founding director of the International Human Rights Exchange program at Wits University in Johannesburg, where she also lectured in Politics and International Relations. Ayesha briefly directed South Africa’s Freedom of Expression Institute before leaving full-time work to care for an invalid parent. She now works on a freelance basis. Her focus areas include transitional justice, media and media rights, African political economy, gender justice, migration and environmental rights.

Seemi Bushra Ghazi is  lecturer in Classical Arabic at the University of British Columbia, specializes in Islamic literature, culture, and spirituality. A student in the Rifai Marufi lineage, she performs traditional Islamic arts, including Qur’anic recitation featured on BBC, CBC, NPR, and PBS. Her work appears in “Approaching Islam: the Early Revelations” and “A New Encyclopedia of Islam.” Born in London and of South Asian origin, Ghazi studied at prestigious institutions in the U.S. and Middle East. Deeply involved in interfaith work, she hosts a monthly Unity Dhikr in Vancouver and is a founding board member of the Rumi Society and Vancouver Interspiritual Centre Society. Her expertise spans Islam, gender, and cross-cultural understanding

Daniel Foor is a doctor of psychology, experienced ritualist, and the author of Ancestral Medicine: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing. He is a practicing Muslim and initiate in the Òrìṣà tradition of Yoruba-speaking West Africa who has also learned from Mahayan Buddhism and the older ways of his English and German ancestors. Daniel was a U.S. Fulbright scholar in Cairo, Egypt as a student of Arabic language, and he is passionate about generational healing and training leaders and change makers in the intersections of cultural healing, animist ethics, and applied ritual arts. He lives with his wife and daughters near his adoptive home of Granada, Spain in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


Sumud: https://muftah.org/2024/05/16/sumud-as-a-key/


  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 01:27 – Daniel Foor’s Introduction
  • 07:27 – Farah El-Sharif
  • 21:17 – Ayesha Kajee
  • 33:51 – Seemi Bushra Ghazi
  • 47:45 – Closing Statements

Support the mission of SAND and the production of this podcast by becoming a SAND Member.

#94 One Human Family

Podcast with , , ,

In this episode we present excerpts from the recent conversation (June 2024) as part of SAND’s “Conversations on Palestine” around the premiere of the film Where Olive Trees Weep hosted by the directors of the film and co-founders of SAND, Zaya and

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#92 Gaza & the Bodhisattva Path

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A conversation from the <em>Where Olive Trees Weep</em> premiere on Palestine

The Heart Goes Rogue

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Suzuki’s Waterfall: On Separation and Death

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Living with a Courageous Heart in Times of Crisis

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More than ever, we need the inner reflections and meditations that help us connect with our capacities for clarity, bravery and openheartedness.

#89 Arab Jewish Mysticism

Podcast with

Deep connections in Arab Judaism, mysticismm science and activism

One Human Family: Interfaith Solidarity with Palestine

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In this powerful interfaith gathering, renowned spiritual leaders from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions come together to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom, equality, and human dignity.

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