I just had to post this picture (by Jonathan Player for the New York Times) from today's edition of the Gray Lady. It accompanied an article, "Christian Rock for Muslims," by Samuel Loewenburg, on Christian evangelical rock bands' participation in a concert in Morocco.
In what passes for our mainstream media, especially our televisual media, we rarely see images of young Muslims, or Muslims of any age, who look like this. Accoutured in the garb of hiphop and rock-influenced youth culture, with their hair colored and picked ('froed) out, flashing signs... (They remind me of [young] people I see in Jersey City, New York and Chicago, that I've seen in Santo Domingo and Rio de Janeiro and Paris and Toronto.) In fact, we rarely see depictions of the Muslims--the millions of them--who live next door to us.
Some many questions arise as I look at this picture. Who are they? What are their lives like? What are they thinking? What influences are shaping their lives, and how do they articulate these influences, their experiences in the world? How do they see themselves? How do they view and talk about their cultures, their society, their country, the world? What do they see in their future?
The image: I can't stop looking at it.
Here's a link to a really engaging but brief exploration, with great links, of the intersection of pop culture and the Middle East on Bill Sebring's FFactory Arts Site.