Wednesday Open Thread | The Statue of Liberty Was Originally a Muslim Woman

Statue of Liberty 2The United States has debated immigration since the country’s founding, and the Statue of Liberty—a potent symbol for immigrants—is often invoked as an argument for why we should usher in those who seek safety and opportunity with open arms. A little-known fact about Lady Liberty adds an intriguing twist to today’s debate about refugees from the Muslim world: As pointed out by The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly in a recent op-ed, the statue itself was originally intended to represent a female Egyptian peasant as a Colossus of Rhodes for the Industrial Age.

That might be surprising to people more familiar with the statue’s French roots than its Arab ones. After all, the statue’s structure was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel), and Lady Liberty was given to the United States by France for its centennial to celebrate the alliance of the two countries formed during the French Revolution.

The statue’s designer, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, was also French, but he found inspiration in a very different place: Egypt. In 1855, he visited Nubian monuments at Abu Simbel, which feature tombs guarded by gigantic colossus figures. Bartholdi became fascinated by the ancient architecture, developing what the National Park Service calls a “passion for large-scale public monuments and colossal structures.” Eventually, he channeled that passion into a proposal for the inauguration of the Suez Canal.

Bartholdi envisioned a colossal monument featuring a robe-clad woman representing Egypt to stand at Port Said, the city at the northern terminus of the canal in Egypt. To prep for this undertaking, Barry Moreno, author of multiple books about the statue, writes that Bartholdi studied art like the Colossus, honing the concept for a figure called Libertas who would stand at the canal. “Taking the form of a veiled peasant woman,” writes Moreno, “the statue was to stand 86 feet high, and its pedestal was to rise to a height of 48 feet.” Early models of the statue were called “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia.”

Edward Berenson, author of Statue of Liberty: A Translatlantic Story, writes that Bartholdi’s concept morphed from “a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant” into “a colossal goddess.” But Egypt, which had invested enormous amounts of time and money into the landmark canal, was not as eager about Bartholdi’s idea. Isma’il Pasha, the reigning khedive, rejected the plan as too costly.

Eventually, a 180-foot tall lighthouse was installed at Port Said instead. But Bartholdi was not discouraged. He eventually repurposed his concept into “Liberty Enlightening the World”—the official name for the statue that has been overlooking New York Harbor since 1886.

(image via

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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137 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | The Statue of Liberty Was Originally a Muslim Woman

  1. Ametia says:

    These are some POWERFUL, TRUTHFUL QUOTES. Thank you, eiliihaas

  2. eliihass says:

    As his wife is under federal investigation for her use of a private email server, former President Bill Clinton met privately with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix Airport Monday evening in what both sides say was an unplanned encounter.

    Asked further whether there was any “impropriety” to meeting with Clinton while the email investigation is ongoing, Lynch replied merely that the case is being handled by “career investigators and career agents.”

    “My agency is involved in a matter looking at State Department policies and issues,” she said. “It’s being handled by career investigators and career agents. It will always follow the facts and the law and do the same independent and thorough investigation that they’ve done in all.”

    Regardless of Lynch’s downplaying of the conversation, CBS News Justice reporter Paul Reid called it “shocking, absolutely shocking.”

    “The most high-profile national security investigation under the attorney general is the investigation into whether or not classified information was mishandled in connection with Hillary Clinton’s server,” Reid told CBSN. “Now, President Clinton and his foundation are also tangentially involved in that investigation, so the appearance of impropriety is just stunning.”

  3. eliihass says:

    “…Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton in Arizona on Tuesday, but Ms. Lynch told reporters that the two didn’t discuss the investigation into his wife’s email use as secretary of state.

    The impromptu meeting comes at a sensitive time in the criminal probe of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government business while she was secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

    Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation have interviewed many of Mrs. Clinton’s senior aides from her tenure as secretary of state, and they plan to interview the former secretary herself in coming weeks, according to officials. As attorney general, Ms. Lynch will have the final say on whether any charges are brought against Mrs. Clinton.

    Mr. Clinton nominated Ms. Lynch as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she held from 1999 to 2001…”

    • What was she doing meeting privately with Bill? Bill remind her that she owes him?

      • eliihass says:


        He’s very good at that…She’s probably been avoiding his calls, and he waylaid her in Phoenix…

        Her response is so muddled up and tries to deceive by pretending they happened across or bumped into each other on the ground…while they actually met privately aboard her plane…

        “Actually, while I was landing at the airport, I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as I was leaving, and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” she said. “Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels. He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix, and he mentioned travels he’d had in West Virginia.”

    • eliihass says:

      “…How dumb do they think we are…?”

      Very dumb…stupid dumb…dumb as rocks…easily hoodwinked…

      And they just might be spot on…as their silly firewalls and useful idiots …no matter how high in position…continue to gleefully and gratefully kowtow …play interference in return for a pat on the head…and an audience…

      As long as they can keep us all completely focused and distracted with their now completely convenient foil Trump…they can get away with even worse stuff that actually negatively impacts us all right now…

      But don’t mind them…

      Look over there…Trump…and over there…Trump …Brexit…oh wow..

  4. rikyrah says:

    Ah…those 2520 tears


    This white lady from Glenn Beck’s TV channel is mad as hell about the ‘very black’ BET Awards
    29 JUN 2016 AT 16:06 ET

    Tomi Lahren, who is a conservative host at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV, expressed anger this week after actor Jesse Williams spoke at the BET Awards about ending racism.
    During the “Final Thoughts” segment of Lahren’s The Blaze program on Monday, she lashed out at Williams.

    “The BET Awards were last night, notably they were very black,” she opined. “Oh, but can I say that? What with my whiteness and all? Well, too damn bad.”

    “Are you kidding me, Jesse?” she asked, accusing the actor of being anti-police because he spoke out about the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

    “The term unarmed black man may be literally accurate, but it doesn’t tell the whole story in most cases,” she insisted. “In a number of cases, if the victim ended up being unarmed, it was certainly not for a lack of trying.”

    As for equal rights, Lahren demanded to know “what rights black people don’t have.”

    “Also, white people, yeah, we do have a record of critique of your oppression,” she ranted. “You know how many of our ancestors fought in the Civil War to free your ancestors? Bloodiest war in the United States history was over what was right and it was largely white people fighting it.”

    “It’s not white people working to divide America, it’s you!” she exclaimed as if Williams could hear her. “You and Beyonce and Jada Pinkett Smith and Al Sharpton. Do you see yourself as a victim?”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Woman awes internet with national anthem at Lincoln Memorial
    Jun. 29, 2016 11:43 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida woman’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Lincoln Memorial led to a burst of applause from onlookers — and a hugely popular online video.

    The Washington Post reports Star Swain is an assistant principal in Tallahassee, Florida who was visiting Washington, D.C.

    In the video Swain says “I’m scared,” before launching into the song. After she finishes the final notes, visitors at the memorial cheer.
    Benny Bolden, a friend and elder at her church, told the Washington Post it started out as a dare.

  6. LIZA

    A private meeting to talk about golf and Bill Clinton’s grandchildren? We are not fools @LorettaLynch

    • Liza says:

      I saw this earlier today, SG2. AG Lynch has no reason to meet with Bill Clinton unless they’re cooking something up regarding Hillary’s email / server problems. Maybe Hillary is going to ask AG Lynch to be AG in her administration in exchange for ???

      If that is true, we can forget criminal justice reform for at least four years.

  7. rikyrah says:

    He’s such a fool!


    • Ametia says:

      Dayton selects McKeig as next Supreme Court justice

      First Indian jurist and first female majority since 1991.
      By Ricardo Lopez Star Tribune
      June 28, 2016 — 9:54pm

      Gov. Mark Dayton has selected Fourth Judicial District Judge Anne McKeig as the next Minnesota Supreme Court justice, giving the state’s highest court its first American Indian jurist and its first female majority since 1991.

      McKeig, 49, a descendant of White Earth Nation, has specialized in child protection and Indian welfare issues. GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty first appointed her to the bench in 2008. She will replace retiring Justice Christopher Dietzen, also a Pawlenty appointee.

      Dayton has now made a majority of appointments on the seven-member court, likely ensuring his legacy on the bench long after he leaves office. He has appointed five justices; former Justice Wilhelmina Wright joined the federal bench earlier this year.

      McKeig delivered an emotional speech Tuesday to reporters, members of her family and Minnesota dignitaries, including the state Supreme Court.

      “Today is a historic day, not only for myself and for my family, but for all native people,” McKeig said.

      She thanked trailblazing Judge Robert A. Blaeser for paving the way for other Indians pursuing legal careers.

  8. Liza says:

    SG2, I had recently moved to San Diego when this happened. Years later, I would move to the neighborhood, Clairemont, where this girl lived. I remember this so well, it was shocking back in those days.

    • She told authorities, I enjoyed watching little kids get shot. 16yrs old… cold and callous as hell.

      • Liza says:

        In subsequent interviews she has said that she really wanted to commit suicide, she wanted the police to kill her. She also said she was sexually molested by her father who she was living with at the time.

        I doubt she will ever be paroled. No one seems to buy her story, or even care.

      • rikyrah says:

        Damn. That’s cold as ice.

  9. rikyrah says:

    With Blacks, Trump is as Unpopular as Obama is Popular
    by Martin Longman
    June 29, 2016 12:44 PM

    Back in April 2011, Donald Trump went on Talk Radio 1300 in Albany, New York. He told the host that he was mulling a presidential bid, but he was disappointed that the black community was so supportive of the Kenyan Muslim usurper despite the fact that his birth certificate was clearly a fraud. “I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump said. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

    Contemporary polling in the Empire State showed that 95% of “the blacks” there were behind President Obama, but Trump thought it was more about racial solidarity than job performance.


    It’s also interesting that Obama had a 95% job approval rating with New York state blacks in 2011 and that Trump currently has a 94% unfavorable rating from blacks nationally.

    A recent Washington Post poll highlights the Achilles’ heel of Donald Trump’s campaign: Minority voters, namely blacks and Hispanics, don’t support him.

    The poll, released Wednesday, only shows the problem is evolving for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A staggering 94 percent of black adults surveyed view Trump negatively, a 13 percent increase since the same poll was conducted in May.

    While Trump’s likely general election opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, is boasting a 79 percent favorability rating among black Americans, Trump is fighting claims of racism after launching attacks on a U.S.-born judge of Mexican descent.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Sotomayor Shows Us What it Means to Have a Wise Latina on the Court
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 29, 2016 8:55 AM

    With the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 term, the New York Times has provided a helpful infographic on how things shaped up. The title provides the kicker: When the Eight-Member Supreme Court Avoids Deadlocks, It Leans Left. Essentially what we have is a solid 4-person liberal majority with Justice Kennedy occasionally joining them.

    One move that has shown up during this term is that Justice Sonia Sotomayor has now inched into being the most liberal member of the Court. She is now just slightly to the left of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (with Justice Elena Kagan right on her heels).

  11. rikyrah says:

    Has Justice Kennedy Left the Conservative Movement?
    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 09:50:48 AM EST

    I love this piece in the Atlantic by Garrett Epps. I particularly love the way he concludes it:

    And then came Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. In its aftermath, the Senate Republican leadership dropped once and for all any pretense that law is anything but the crassest of partisan politics. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Grassley told the world that no justice would be confirmed who did not toe the line—a line that the chief justice, a confirmed Reaganite, was now too “moderate” to be trusted with. The Court, Grassley and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Republican base, was and would remain the GOP firewall; its job is to strike down Democratic programs and rubber-stamp Republican ones—nothing more and nothing less. Justices are in effect elected at the polls; Donald Trump could possibly select the next name.

    How did this cynicism sound to Kennedy, who considers the majesty of the Court the defining virtue of the American system? O’Connor was once a loyal GOP foot soldier, who did her duty in Bush v. Gore. By the time she left the Court, according to Jeffery Toobin’s book, The Oath, she told a colleague, “It’s my party that’s destroying the country.”

    Has that same realization begun to insinuate itself into Kennedy’s opaque mind? Has he had an O’Connor moment? This is just speculation on my part. But Kennedy really has shifted. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case, the states opposing marriage equality discovered that it is unwise to question Kennedy’s central dogma of “dignity” as the aim of constitutional law. Perhaps McConnell, Grassley, et al., should now resolve never again to treat the Sphinx of Sacramento as if he were Reince Priebus’s errand boy.

  12. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Rikyrah, with your love of nature (and remembering your friend), here is a photo for you:

  13. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Director Lloyd Richards was born on this day in 1919 and died on this day in 2006.

    From Wikipedia is this listing of his awards and nominations:

    1987: Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play – Fences
    1987: Tony Award Best Direction of a Play – Fences
    1987: Tony Award Best Play – Fences
    1990: Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play – The Piano Lesson
    1991: Regional Theatre Tony Award – Yale Repertory Theatre
    1993: National Medal of Arts
    2002: The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
    1960: Tony Award Best Direction of a Play – A Raisin in the Sun
    1981: Tony Award Best Play – A Lesson From Aloes
    1987: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play – Fences
    1988: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
    1988: Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
    1988: Tony Award Best Direction of a Play – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
    1988: Tony Award Best Play – A Walk in the Woods
    1988: Tony Award Best Play – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
    1989: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival – Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    1989: Tony Award Best Revival – Ah, Wilderness!
    1990: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play – The Piano Lesson
    1990: Tony Award Best Direction of a Play – The Piano Lesson
    1990: Tony Award Best Play – The Piano Lesson
    1996: Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play – Seven Guitars
    1996: Tony Award Best Direction of a Play – Seven Guitars

  14. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift”


    DETROIT — On the face of it, Ana Rivera could have had almost any choice when it came to educating her two sons. For all the abandoned buildings and burned-down houses in her neighborhood in the southwest part of this city, national charter school companies had seen a market and were setting up shop within blocks of each other, making it easier to find a charter school than to buy a carton of milk.

    But hers became the story of public education in a city grasping for its comeback: lots of choice, with no good choice.

    She enrolled her older son, Damian, at the charter school across from her house, where she could watch him walk into the building. He got all A’s and said he wanted to be an engineer. But the summer before seventh grade, he found himself in the back of a classroom at a science program at the University of Michigan, struggling to keep up with students from Detroit Public Schools, known as the worst urban district in the nation. They knew the human body is made up of many cells; he had never learned that…

    … Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, considered the gold standard of measurement by charter school supporters across the country, found that students in the company’s schools grew less academically than students in the neighboring traditional public schools.

  15. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Who will show up? Who will pay? The many unknowns of the GOP convention.”


    Dozens of well-known Republicans aren’t showing up. There’s no word yet on who will speak. A growing number of corporate sponsors are taking a pass. Groups of white supremacists and other agitators are on the way, while the official protest routes are frantically being redrawn after being thrown out in court. And then there’s the fight to dethrone the big star.

  16. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    June 28, 2016
    “SPLC President Richard Cohen testified today about the threat of radical-right terrorism before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts.”

  17. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Here is a warning-type article from Shaun King. I can’t really evaluate it very well because I don’t know how to analyze politics. Would one of you please take a look at it and share your thoughts?
    Here is the tweet with the article link:

  18. Ametia says:

    Here you go, SG2!

    With a kick and a spin, a sudden surge in soul line dancing
    By Victoria St. Martin |June 26

    The beat speaks through his feet.

    Nelson Spires twists his body, slides to the right and then to the left. He’s moving in unison with more than a dozen other dancers. It’s soul line-dancing night at a community center in Jessup, Md.

    What exactly is soul line dancing? The simplest explanation is that it is line dancing to R&B and hip-hop songs. You know, those group dances — the electric slide, the cupid shuffle, the wobble — in which participants seem to magically know the choreography and do flash mob-style dance routines at picnics and weddings and on cruises.

    But soul line dancing goes deeper.

    Many soul line devotees — nearly all of whom are African American — take classes, attend socials and even travel together in line-dancing groups. For many of them, the dancing brings a cultural connection that traces its roots to Africa and the Caribbean. Such synchronized movements were a staple of the Harlem Renaissance and have recurred again and again through the decades at sock hops, disco soul lines and choreographed hip-hop dance routines.

    The tradition of group dance instruction songs stretches back to a time when African Americans were enslaved and when spirituals were used to help find the Underground Railroad, said Thomas F. DeFrantz, a Duke University African and African American studies professor who specializes in black dance customs.

    African Americans also maintained a tradition of dances with “callers,” he said, where a leader announces what to do next. And that evolved into traditions like the “Soul Train” line and soul line dancing.

  19. 165 more pages of Hillary Clinton emails released, including some she deleted

    An additional 165 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department surfaced Monday, including nearly three dozen that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee failed to hand over last year that were sent through her private server.

    The latest emails were released under court order by the State Department to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. The batch includes 34 new emails Clinton exchanged through her private account with her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. The aide, who also had a private email account on Clinton’s home server, later gave her copies to the government.

    The emails were not among the 55,000 pages of work-related messages that Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. They include a March 2009 message where the then-secretary of state discusses how her official records would be kept.

    “I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State,” Clinton wrote to Abedin and a second aide. “Who manages both my personal and official files? … I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want.”

    In a blistering audit released last month, the State Department’s inspector general concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal records-keeping standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.

    The audit also cited a then-unreleased copy of a November 2010 email Clinton sent Abedin in which the secretary discussed using a government email account, expressing concern that she didn’t want “any risk of the personal being accessible.”

    • Ametia says:

      Shocking! Of course, if you’re given all the advantages without question in a white supremacist system, for being white, you’re going to say LIFE IS GOOD for everyone, what’s the matter with ‘BLAH’ folks, HMMM?



  20. rikyrah says:

    You dropped some knowledge today. Had never known this story about the Statue of Liberty.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😆

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