Profile Picture for Maha Bali

Maha Bali

Stories from Palestine

After spending time offering facts about Palestine, it seems right that now what I want to share are first-person stories of Palestine. There are three I want to share, but first of all, remember poet Mourid Barghouti in I Saw Ramallah, who said: “It is easy to blur the truth with a simple linguistic trick:…

Explaining Palestine to a 9 Year Old

I spent some time yesterday trying to explain Palestine to people who meant well but understood very little about the Palestinian situation. And then my husband and I discussed whether it’s time to discuss it with our daughter, but it kinda fell on me. It is difficult to know how to start and how far…

About Palestine

I’m no political expert, but Palestine is in my heart and what happens there makes my heart bleed. It’s ongoing with spurts. And I don’t have energy (maybe even enough knowledge) to explain. So here are some tweets from articles and such that can help, if you wanted to understand a bit more. Start with…

Prayer, soft deadlines and makeups

Watching my daughter learn to make daily prayer a habit has inspired my to think about the power of soft deadlines and makeups. If you’re familiar with Islamic prayer habits, skip the first section. If not, then read the first section for context. Islamic Prayer Praying 5 times a day is a pillar of Islamic…

Intentionally Equitable Hospitality & Liberating Structures

Keith McCandless, co-created of the Liberating Structures invited me to contribute around 300 words as part of a larger article about the principles of Liberating structures in practice. I talked to him about different possibilities, and one of those we discussed was the relationship between Intentionally Equitable Hospitality (IEH) and LS. So I wrote this…

On Privilege & Sharing Power

I have a personal experience that I think can be used as a metaphor for privilege and power, but I need to brush up on my reading on power. All I remember from readings back during my PhD, was there are multiple theories of power and in some of them (postmodern ones, I guess), power…

Roumy Cheese Analogy – First Draft of Visual (feedback welcome)

So I kind of spent some time making my own Roumy Cheese analogy visual. Here it is below… I made a last minute change to the terms under the diagram from “race” to “racism”, gender/sexuality to “hereopatriarchy” and “disability” to “ableism” because that way I would be naming the problem (racism, ableism, heteropatriarchy) rather than…

Walking: Why Drive When You Can Walk?

“No need to drive if you want your place on earth to be a world you can encompass walking.” (bell hooks, Belonging) I was reading bell hooks today and this sentence resonated with me on so many levels. I have a vague memory of Sherri Spelic asking people to talk about walking last year at…

Pedagogy of Care – Caring for Teachers 

“Committed acts of caring let all students know that the purpose of education is not to dominate, or prepare them to be dominators, but rather to create the conditions for freedom. Caring educators open the mind, allowing students to embrace a world of knowing that is always subject to change and challenge.” (bell hooks, 2003,…

Pandemic Perspective and Tragic Optimism

Yesterday, in a talk by the wonderful Mays Imad on healing, hope and recovery, and I was inspired by several things. The one I want to focus on today is that of “tragic optimism”. I was recently in a private conversation, discussing how we would all recover/heal from this pandemic, the impact on the elderly…

Students Talk to Me About Webcams

This post is co-authored with students in my CORE 2096 Spring 2021 class. I suggested we do not tie each quote with each student’s name, so as not to put them at risk in any way, but I am collecting names of people who want to be identified as co-authors of the article as a…

Noticing Gender & Race, Age 9

I just tweeted this: I once got kicked out of class for passing notes with the other smartest kid in class. I was so proud, because nerds rarely get kicked out of class. For some reason, he (other note-exchanger) didn’t get kicked out of class. Uhh maybe coz it was a math class & uhh…

On Proctoring & Internalized Oppression #AgainstSurveillance

I’ve been having a lot of private conversations around proctoring and surveillance, and we’ve been having a lot of conversations on my campus about academic integrity. Thankfully, in many of these conversations on my campus, there are people other than me who bring up the importance of centering care and pedagogy and equity in all…

Beauty Where No One Expects It

My daughter teaches and inspires me every day. I noticed that she writes on the drawstrings of her school uniform – she is a Doodler, and I guess this is one more place to express her individuality and also make the uniform hers? As a mom, I am grateful that she is less likely to…

Experiment: Journaling Delights

I’ve written before about how my daughter and I have been discussing our gratitude every night, and how oral gratitude journaling helped my daughter through the time I had COVID. On the day I recorded this OneHE/Equity Unbound resource about gratitude journaling, I also learned about Ross Gay’s Book of Delights. When I met the…