It’s the Believe it or Not version of the roundup. We’ve got a gigantic Qur’an, revolution tourism, revolution music, and revolution love. Also, a lovely, “So I married a gay Muslim for a green card” bromance…ish. Oh, you’ll see.


  • For $60,000 plus shipping and handling, a giant Elephant Folio Illuminated Qur’an from the 19oos can be yours to cherish and display on your very large coffee table. This gorgeous folio is over two feet wide and almost four feet tall, has 113 double sided leaves written in the naskhi (cursive Arabic) and jawi (an adaptation of naskhi for the Malay language) scripts, and three double-page carpet pages magnificently illuminated with floral motifs in blue, gold, red, green, yellow, mauve, pink and magenta. There’s only one in stock, so act fast!
  • Libyan business man, turned revolutionary leader, Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi, used an online dating site to organize opposition and to get information out to like–minded revolutionaries. Using aliases like “Sweet Butterfly,” “Opener of the Mountain,” “Girl of the Desert” and “Melody of Torture,” the revolutionaries:

    used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact. Then they had detailed follow-up conversations via text message and Yahoo Messenger.

    The phrase “May your day be full of Jasmine,” for example, is a coded reference to what’s been called the Jasmine Revolution sweeping the region, Mahmoudi told ABC News.

    […] They also communicated in code the number of their comrades supporting the revolution. The five Ls in the phrase “I LLLLLove you,” for example, meant they had five people with them.

    Coded love letters. Brilliant!

  • Liz married her best friend Emir, so he could stay in the US. Emir is is Muslim. He’s also gay. If he moved back home, he’d have to go back into the closet for the rest of his life or risk persecution, or worse. Liz felt closer to Emir than her own mother and they loved each other deeply. Both the state and Islam define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. So who’s to say their marriage wasn’t real?

    Emir and I danced down the aisle on our own and promised we’d always polish each other’s blue suede shoes and walk each other’s hound dogs — reasonable vows. What Elvis had us promising was very realistic. We crossed the threshold into the walk-in closet big enough to hold us both, with our various threads of false stories to keep straight. Emir’s father knew we were getting married but didn’t know his son was gay; his father hoped we would fall in love during the course of this green card process and I would have his grandson. My mother knew Emir was gay but not about the marriage. Neither knew the secret the other held.

    Back home, we curled up under a fuzzy gray blanket on the couch in our West Hollywood nest to watch “Sex and the City.” I was guilty of “alien snuggling,” I joked. Emir was the one person who laughed at my lame puns. Who was to say we did not “count” as “legitimate”?

    Why should I have to keep the nature of the most important relationship in my life a secret?

    “That’s how gay people feel all the time,” Emir said.

  • Finally, Yusuf Islam, or now just YUSUF, is releasing a new single inspired by the revolutions spreading through the Arab world — a “message of support from free people to people who want to be free.” My People is intended to urge the Arab world to keep fighting for their rights, and will eventually be offered as a free download world-wide. He speaks about the song, his reasons for writing it, his political views, and some of his Islamic views in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan.It’s really nice hearing that Yusuf’s position on music has changed, from saying that it’s haraam, to now embracing music with purpose — saying that it’s harmless. Check out the full interview below: