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Roxane Assaf
Roxane Assaf teaches journalism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and North Park University and also directs and edits short videos. Her reports and opinion have appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Durham Herald-Sun, Arms Control Today and in television reports from Capitol Hill for the CBS affiliate in Monroe, Louisiana. She is co-author of the 5th edition of the Lonely Planet travel guidebook Israel and the Palestinian Territories. She is Outreach Director for Chicago Area Peace Action, local chapter of the nation’s largest grassroots peace network Peace Action. National 1st Place winner of Society of Professional Journalists "Mark of Excellence Award" for 2003 in Television General News Reporting. She volunteers for lively arts organizations including theatre and opera companies as well as for peace and social justice initiatives.

Entries by Roxane Assaf

Kate Davis: All About That Bass but So Much More

(3) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 12:01 PM

2014-12-13-KateDavisresize.jpgVideo virality can be had in the musical cyberworld if you've got "all the right junk in all the right places." Bassist/singer Kate Davis would be a multimillionaire if she had a dollar for every click on her collaboration with the online video project...

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Chicago Neighborhood Grocery Goes Global

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:56 AM


When it comes to grocery stores, any attempt to be the arbiter of what's right and good is just folly. It's personal. But you know when you're in a tricked-out supermarket, and it's clear when a shopkeeper goes above and beyond to stock...

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"Buy a Gun for Your Son" But Let the Neighbors Know About It

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 5:43 PM

In 1965 Pete Seeger didn't "feel like applauding" at the end of Tom Paxton's live performance of "Buy a Gun for Your Son." Then he added, "But it's a good song."

Four years prior to Seeger's death at 94 in January 2014,...

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Architecture as Protagonist: The Oak Park Traviata

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 11:08 AM


When Alexandre Dumas saw his novella La Dame aux Camélias ("Lady of the Camellias") come alive on a Paris stage in 1852, he could not have been more ecstatic than Giuseppe Verdi who was hotly inspired to set it to music. By the...

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Who's Afraid of a Muslim Man? One Play Tells Who and How Come

(3) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 12:48 PM


Did you hear the one about the Syrian Slovak Pole who started a theatre company with a Pakistani businessman, then a famous downtown Chicago church gave them a permanent stage for plays about sex, religion and politics?

Surprise: It really happened!


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When Arabs Experiment

(1) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 12:13 PM


It might be common knowledge that the historic influence of Arab civilization upon Western culture was critical to bringing Europe out of the Dark Ages. Say what you will about trigonometry and algebra, but we owe it to the Arabs. Innovations in...

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Opera vs. the Economy: Verismo 2.0 Pulls 'Wildcard'

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 6:44 PM

In the 1990s when Bradley Schuller was a fidgety young tenor slumming at apartment musicales in Chicago's Lakeview, he knew his performance path would cement him in years of creaky vintage walk-ups with arthritic pianos and dilettante divas. But his signature qualities, a surging energy and uncommon drive, were destined...

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Culture Over Conflict: Middle East Music Ensemble Plays It All

(9) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 11:50 AM

In an age when fusion is so ubiquitous that 'world music' no longer has a definition, and historic flashpoints can burst into discord with the faintest spark, institutions like the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago provide purity of form and safe haven from resentment....

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Mary Magdalene Madness

(38) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 12:32 PM

When Goethe wrote, "The eternal feminine draws us upward," he couldn't have guessed that a cult of personality would come to employ that phrase in the exultation of Christianity's misunderstood mistress: Mary Magdalene. After generations of dualistic saint/sinner, Madonna/whore treatment, the woman known by some as the favorite apostle of...

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Fossil Fuel Fury: Climate Change Activist Barnstorms Through 21 Towns Inciting Fiscal Revolution

(54) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 1:30 PM

If Noam Chomsky is right that there's no way the ordinary citizen could possibly understand the threat of climate change by getting their news from mainstream media, no worries.'s revered enviro-guru Bill McKibben makes housecalls. Assuming McKibben gets his point across the way he hopes...

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Chicago Helps Crack Code to the Matter of Life, Doesn't Get Invited to God Particle Party

(15) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 1:41 PM

Chicago should be mad as hell. For that matter, so should the whole United States. The world scientific community is breathless with anticipation over a press conference on the 4th of July that can only mean one thing: the God particle has been discovered. No one has actually said it,...

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So Lady Gaga's Not Madonna, but Is She the Lost Star?

(62) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 2:17 PM

Scroll through the public comments following any treatment of Lady Gaga's "Judas" video, and you'll find the pop phenom crucified on two Golgothas. She is not only castigated for her depiction of Mary Magdalene dallying alternately with her MainSqueeze Messiah and her heart-tug Judas, but also resented for appearing to...

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What's the Big Deal About Iran? And What Could I Possibly Do About It?

(4) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 12:12 PM

If I were to walk into two separate movie theaters in Anywhere, USA -- one playing, say, Casablanca and the other Caddyshack -- and asked folks to raise their hands if they are actively concerned with averting war with Iran, I think it wouldn't matter which crowd I polled. The...

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