Author Archives: admin

Yale Law School

asd

Today at Yale Law School

This afternoon, I enjoyed listening to Professor Mohammad Fadel speak here at Yale Law School on: “The Quran’s Revisionist Reading of the Aqeda: Toward a Political Theology of the Reasonable and the Rational.” I’ve enjoyed every talk we’ve hosted on Islam this year, and debating the issues raised afterwards at Mory’s Club is always a treat.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Yale Law School

Sunset in Jamaica…

sdf

Sunset in Jamaica


I enjoyed taking sea strolls at sunset in Jamaica while staying at Skylark Negril Beach Resort–the perfect home away from home on the beach…

sd

Feel the peace

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Sunset in Jamaica…

Crazy for Coconuts

On the road in Jamaica

On the road in Jamaica

When I was on the road in Jamaica, my driver kindly stopped at this coconut stand so I could hydrate with some fresh coconut water right out of the coconut–just what the doctor ordered!

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Crazy for Coconuts

Churchill War Rooms…

df

Churchill War Rooms

While I was in London, I had the opportunity to visit the Churchill War Rooms Museum to explore the corridors and rooms where Churchill and his staff planned their WWII manuevers underground.

sdf

Fighting WWII

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Churchill War Rooms…

Yale Law School…

sd

My office

It’s easy to spend a lot of time in my office since it’s so beautiful–I never tired of admiring the architecture here at Yale Law School.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Yale Law School…

Ancient Ritual at Yale…

Brunch at Yale

Brunching at Yale

Today I enjoyed Sunday brunch with a former student of mine from Columbia, and then took her across the street to Yale Art Gallery to see their lovely exhibit on “Sights and Sounds of Ancient Ritual. How happy we were to be greeted by the goddess Hathor!

sdf

Yale Art Gallery

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Ancient Ritual at Yale…

Warhol at the Whitney…

Entering Warhol Zone

My Slovak brother

This week-end, while in New York City for a Sufism seminar at Columbia University, I had a chance to see the fabulous Warhol (my Slovak brother!) exhibit at the Whitney–highly recommend! The exhibition brings to life not only his famous pieces but his under-studied and under-appreciated earlier works. Warhol once said, “It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor’s finger.” He’s been, in a sense, reincarnated in this exhibit–as one artist friend of mine said, “I used to think that Warhol was too traditional, and now he seems so radical compared to today.”

sdf

Liz and Friend

It’s striking how productive he was in different mediums, despite his insistence that just being alive took up so much work. In the words of Warhol: “I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work’, because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.”

sd

Warhol at the Whitney

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Warhol at the Whitney…

Law and Order…

Brunching with Jody Milano in NYC

Brunching with Jody Milano in NYC

I met up for brunch this week-end with Jody Milano, a producer of Law and Order who was my boss for years on the show. She’s been such an amazing mentor to me these past two decades, always such a blast when we get together.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Law and Order…

Fun in London…

fun

H Club

My friend swung by my H Club, the hotel where I stayed in London, to take me out for a day out on the town before it was time for me to get ready for the premiere (and premiere party) of All About Eve. First we went out for my favorite cuisine in the world–Ethiopian–which was such a treat.

joe

Enjoying Ethiopian in London

After our vegetarian feast, we went to Tate Modern for the Pierre Bonnard exhibit and to enjoy the collection. The day only got more perfect when it was time to go attend the premiere of All About Eve and then party afterwards with the stars.

Pei

Pierre Bonnard exhibit

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Fun in London…

Rebellious Lawyering…

sdf

Yale Law School

I had the joy of attending the Rebellious Lawyering conference this week-end here at Yale Law School. I particularly enjoyed the panels on disability healthcare activism and the legal case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Best of all, though, was connecting with the students organizing and attending the conference–their revolutionary and radical politics give me hope and inspiration for better days ahead.

sdf

Connecting with students

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Rebellious Lawyering…

Sufism in Central Asia…

df

Tale at Yale

I’ve been very busy all year giving talks here at Yale, and it was my honor and pleasure to give this recent talk on Sufism in Central Asia.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Sufism in Central Asia…

All About Eve…

All About Eve

All About Eve with producer Isaac Hurwitz

I was grateful to be invited to the premiere and premiere party of All About Eve–starring Gillian Anderson and Lily Jame–in London. The premiere was also attended by cast members from the X Files, Sex Education, and Downton Abbey (and model Twiggy too)–I had so much fun partying the night away at the Waldorf Hilton with friends at the star-studded event. I chuckled at the Yale line in the play that’s also in the movie: “I have not come to New Haven to see the play, discuss your dreams, or pull the ivy from the walls of Yale. I have come here to tell you that you will not marry Lloyd.” More to come soon on the premiere, the party, and my time in London–stay tuned.

wa

All About Eve premiere party at Waldorf Hilton

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on All About Eve…

Tate Britain…

Tate

Tate Britain

While in London for the premiere (and premiere party) of All About Eve, I got taken by my friend to see war photographer Don McCullin’s Tate Britain retrospective of his photographs from Lebanon, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Congo, and many other conflict zones–a phenomenal show.

Don

Don McCullin from Beirut

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Tate Britain…

Javanese Gamelan Concert…

lk

Tonight at Yale

Tonight at our Javanese gamelan rehearsal at Yale, we prepared for our upcoming spring gamelan concert and wayang (shadow puppet performance). Check back for more details soon on the dates, times, and location.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Javanese Gamelan Concert…

Loving Jamaica…

ne

Negril sea stroll

My recent adventure to Jamaica was a total blast! I didn’t do any research beforehand, but fortunately it all worked out perfectly. I will be blogging soon about all that I experienced while I was there–stay tuned for many photos and details about how to visit a number of special corners of Jamaica.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Loving Jamaica…

Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

kj

If I had a hammer…

This tiny mallet gives me life! Love playing Javanese gamelan every week at Yale–a joy to have performed this meditative music from Indonesia around the world…

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

lk

Tonight at Yale

I was reunited with my favorite Javanese gamelan instrument tonight at our rehearsal at Yale–so grateful to have played it in concert for two decades. I can’t imagine my life without it…

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

Waking Up in Jamaica…

waking

Lashings in Treasure Beach

Best way to wake up in Jamaica? With coffee on the balcony of the penthouse at Lashings looking out at the sea. I will be blogging soon about my adventures in paradise in Jamaica–stay tuned!

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Waking Up in Jamaica…

Peace from Jamaica…

jad

Sunset in Negril

I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Jamaica, and will be blogging extensively about it soon–stay tuned!

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Peace from Jamaica…

Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

lk

Tonight at Yale

Last night, our Javanese gamelan group, Yale Gamelan Suprabanggo, performed at Yale in concert for the community. It was a delight to perform again with my gamelan teacher from Java (master player and teacher Darsono Hadiraharjo) with whom I studied while on a Fulbright in Indonesia and my gamelan buddies with whom I’ve been playing for nearly two decades in America (and Solo).

asdf

Setting up

Fortunately, we had some strong, able-bodied Yale students to help move the instruments (cue the football tight end) from our practice room to the stage. To adjust to the acoustics of the concert hall, we rehearsed all of our meditative melodies before the audience arrived.

gong

Gong show

I was impressed with how much the Yale students had learned in just one semester of studying gamelan with Maho A. Ishiguro, and it brought back fond memories of first studying gamelan as an undergraduate at Brown University. Such a privilege and joy to share the beautiful music of Java with the Yale community in concert!

sd

Readying for showtime

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Javanese Gamelan at Yale…

North Korea Memories…

sadf

To North Korea

I was delighted when I got the news that a train had passed from South Korea into North Korea on Friday. I had the chance to explore the Joint Security Area and DMZ when I was receiving rabies treatment in Seoul (after being attacked by a yurt dog in Mongolia), and I enjoyed visiting the train station and railroad tracks linking the two countries on the most heavily militarized border in the world. Crossing into North Korea was one of the most unusual and exciting travel experiences that I’ve had…

train

Railroad into North Korea

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on North Korea Memories…

Giving Thanks…

df

Good times

There’s so much to give thanks for this fall, and I was grateful to spend Thanksgiving back in the United States for the first time in over half a decade (as I had been off living in the Middle East). I’m grateful for my Spanish friend’s recovery after he was attacked by a crazy Albanian while playing soccer–he needed 36 stitches on his beautiful face!

asdf

Best pal

I’m grateful for my friend Isaac, who astounds me every day with his talent, superior wit, and astounding wisdom. His mother (below) should be so proud (and is)!

asdf

Thanksgiving fun

I was also grateful this Thanksgiving for the opportunity to talk ballet and choreography with the Cavalier (cue the Sugar Plum Fairy!) from the New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

sdf

The Nutcracker

Lastly, I was grateful to speak in Czech with my Czech friend who nurtures my Czech/Slovak self and shares my Slavic pride. I even got to say one of my favorite Czech words — zmrzlina — when the “ice cream” was added to the pecan pie! That’s five consonants in a row! An amazing feeling to be back home and reunited with friends — grateful for so much.

sdf

Czech mates

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Giving Thanks…

Yale Law School…

k

Today at Yale Law

I enjoyed giving a talk today at Yale Law School on post-Soviet Islamic law in Central Asia — grateful for the stimulating discussion and comments it provoked which I hope to incorporate in some way into my research.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Yale Law School…

Seeking Sanctuary…

ice

Just say no

I noticed this t-shirt on a fellow gamelan player tonight at Yale, and inquired about it. He told me there is going to be an upcoming political action in Hartford for Nelson Pinos–an undocumented immigrant who has been holed up in a sanctuary church on the New Haven Green for a year.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Seeking Sanctuary…

Yale Gamelan Concert…

asdf

Concert time

Yes that’s an image of a bulldog playing bonang! It’s been a joy to play Javanese gamelan this fall at Yale–come to our performance this week-end on campus to relax to the tune of meditative music from Java.

Yale gamelan rehearsal

Yale gamelan rehearsal

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Yale Gamelan Concert…

Elimination of Violence Against Women

In remembrance...

In remembrance…

Like millions of other women around the world, my mother was murdered by a man she knew well. This International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I’m thinking of her and all female victims of gendered violence. The epidemic of murderous violence against women must end–enough is enough. According to a new report, more than half of the 87,000 women killed in 2017 died at the hands of those closest to them–approximately 30,000 women were killed by an intimate partner and another 20,000 by a relative. The most dangerous place for women, according to a UN study, is her home. In these sixteen days of activism, let us not be afraid to share the violence we have experienced, give voice to the horrors of being a woman in this violent world, and come together in solidarity to combat the worldwide epidemic of violence against women.

asdf

Marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Elimination of Violence Against Women

Islamic Law…

wael or

wael or

It was such a pleasure to speak with Professor Wael Hallaq about Islamic law at our Marshall Hodgson and the Contested Idea of a Discernible Islamic Civilization conference in the Abdullah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization here at Yale Law School. I have fond memories of reading his book Sharia: Theory, Practice, Transformations while studying Islamic law at Columbia University as a graduate student.

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Islamic Law…