✩ Les voix de la nation : chanson, arabité et caméléonisme linguistique | Culture et politique arabes | Very interesting post on Arab singers adopting accents and styles of different countries -- has great clip of Abdel Halim Hafez trying out a traditional Kuwaiti song.
✩ Comment l’Algérie a exporté sa « sale guerre » au Mali : Algérie-Maroc | How Algeria exported its dirty war to Mali: AQIM conspiracies.
✩ Fatwa Shopping « London Review Blog | On Nakheel and Islamic finance.
✩ The women who guard other women in conservative Egypt | On female bodyguards.
✩ Yemen’s afternoon high - Le Monde diplomatique | On the drug Qat.
✩ US Congress frets over anti-Americanism on TV in Mideast | The leading inciter of anti-Americanism in the ME is Congress itself, when it keeps voting for wars for Israel.
✩ Baladna English | New newspaper launched in Syria, but nothing on its site yet.
✩ EU Action Plan on combating terrorism | Document on EU CT strategy.
✩ What the US Elite Really Thinks About Israel « P U L S E | Most Council of Foreign Relations members think US favors Israel too much - v. interesting analysis of foreign policy expert poll by Jeffrey Blankfort.
✩ ‘The Battle for Israel’s Soul’ – Channel 4 on Jewish fundamentalism « P U L S E | British documentary on Jewish fundamentalism.
✩ BBC News - Dubai crisis sparks job fears for migrant workers | On South Asians in Dubai.
✩ The Interview Ha’aretz Doesn’t Want You To See « P U L S E | Interview Ali Abunimah not published by Haaretz.
✩ Attention Christmas Shoppers: Top Ten Brands to Boycott | Sabbah Report | Brands to boycott at Christmas.
✩ FT.com / Middle East / Politics & Society - Egypt’s media warn ElBaradei off politics | On the campaign against ElBaradei.
✩ Flourishing Palestinian sex trade exposed in new report - Haaretz | Amira Hass: "Young Palestinian women are being forced to into prostitution in brothels, escort services, and private apartments in Ramallah and Jerusalem..."
Dubai: A pressure campaign targeted at Gulf states was launched in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday by a coalition of 170 Palestinian organisations urging Arab states to boycott companies complicit in Israel's expansion in the holy city. In a rare public pressure campaign, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine, a grouping of Palestinian civil society organisations, has turned its focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing to build a multi-billion dollar railway to link its six members. The BDS campaign has called on the GCC and its member states to shun French transport giants Alstom and Veolia, both of which are involved in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an Israeli project that is expected to link the eastern and western parts of Occupied Jerusalem as well as Jewish colonies on the West Bank. Critics say the JLR will hinder Palestinian aspirations to have occupied East Jerusalem as a capital of a future Palestinian state. Unaware The BDS campaign has proven successful in Europe, where companies have excluded the two transport companies from tenders and divested from them, leading to a loss of $7 billion (Dh25.69 billion) to $8 billion in opportunity cost, according to campaigners. "Despite these important achievements in the West, no Arab state, especially in the Gulf, has to date excluded Alstom or Veolia from bidding for their public contracts," read a press release issued by the movement yesterday. The two companies are now facing a lawsuit in France filed by Palestine Liberation Organisation and French advocacy group Association France-Palestine Solidarité for their activities in Occupied Jerusalem.Now instead of the silly anti-normalization campaign in Egypt, kept alive by dinosaurs over non-issues, let's see a national movement against selling gas to Israel and joining the BDS strategy.
A few day's worth...
✪ Orientalism’s Wake: The Ongoing Politics of a Polemic | Very nice collection of essays on Edward Said's "Orientalism" from a variety of supporters, critics, academics including Daniel Varisco, Robert Irwin, Roger Owen, etc.
✪ The Sources of Islamic Revolutionary Conduct | I have not read in detail this small book by a US Air Force analyst, but scanning through it I see rather odd choices. For instance there are long chapters comparing Christianity and modern secularism to the Islamist outlook, except that it's never quite clear whether the latter means the outlook of engaged Islamist activists or ordinary Muslims. There is also copious quoting from Sayyid Qutb's "Milestones" as if it was representative of all Islamic thinking. Someone should give this a detailed look (and I'd be happy to post the result.) [PDF]
✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | A clean break | On Cairo's garbage collection crisis.
✪ Irving Kristol, Godfather of Conservatism, Dies - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com | Leaving behind a disastrous intellectual, social, economic and political legacy: alleged liberalism on social issues that shirks from real change, supply-side economics, and of course an imperial war doctrine.
✪ Are Morocco And Algeria Gearing Up For Arms Race? « A Moroccan About the world around him
✪ Big mouth - The National Newspaper | Bernard Heykal on how the strength of al-Qaeda is impossible. Which makes sense, at least if you try to do it from the Bin Laden tapes as all the silly pseudo-analysis of last week showed.
✪ Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website | Very much like the new look of the Muslim Brothers' English website, which I hadn't checked in a while. They have a very useful "today's news" feature that can also be used for archives by date.
✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Economy | Depleting Egypt's reserves | A good article with details on the Egypt-Israel gas deal and why it may be a bad idea in terms of resource management, never mind political and financial sense.
✪ Al-Qaradawi's Fatwa Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English) | The alleged liberal paid by intolerant Islamists in Riyadh attacks the alleged moderate Islamist paid by Doha:
A news item reported in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi had issued a fatwa prohibiting Iraqis from acquiring US citizenship on the grounds that this is the nationality of an occupier nation. However this fatwa has nothing to do with the reality on the ground, and contains more political absurdity then it does religious guidance. Sheikh al-Qaradawi himself is an Egyptian who possesses Qatari nationality, which was given to him after he opposed the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. However when an Israeli office was opened in Doha, al-Qaradawi did not renounce his Qatari nationality.
| "His brother Uday told Reuters: "Thanks be to God that Muntazer has seen the light of day. I wish Bush could see our happiness. When President Bush looks back and turns the pages of his life, he will see the shoes of Muntazer al-Zaidi on every page.""
✪ BAE to axe 1,100 jobs and close site | Business | guardian.co.uk | So Tony Blair quashed the Yamama inquiry to save jobs (or so he says) but BAe still carries out layoffs?
✪ Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen and Natalie Portman slam Toronto Film Festival protest - Haaretz - Israel News| Some stars come to Israel's side in the tiff over TIFF.
✪ GDC | Economist Conferences| Economist infographic shows public debt around the world.
✪ FT.com / Middle East / Politics & Society - Investors seek to revive faded glory of Cairo | On investment in Downtown Cairo properties and plans for gentrification. Look out for another article on this soon.
✪ No concrete proof that Iran has or has had nuclear programme – UN atomic watchdog | Just a reminder that the press reports have spinned things wrongly - this comes straight from the UN: "17 September 2009 – Refuting a recent media report, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today reiterated that the body has no concrete proof that Iran has or has ever had a nuclear weapons programme."
✪ Egypt Islamic Authority Says Women Can Wear Trousers - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - FOXNews.com | The world is going to hell -- what next, capris?
✪ BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'Many killed' in Yemen air raid | Serious turn in Yemen's trouble -- bombing a refugee camp!?
Signatories to an open letter called The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation – among them the filmmaker Ken Loach, the actors Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, the singer David Byrne, the Canadian writer Naomi Klein, the US playwrights Eve Ensler and Wallace Shawn, and the Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman – complained that the selection contained no Palestinian filmmakers and linked the programme to an Israeli government promotional campaign. (The festival insists the selection was made independently.) “We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine,” they stated in the declaration, which was also signed by several Israeli filmmakers and by the Canadian director John Greyson, who withdrew his short film, Covered, from TIFF.You can read the full letter here. As it mentions, the Israeli government has devoted considerable resources since the Gaza war--and the international condemnation that followed--to a PR campaign that focuses heavily on cultural events to rehabilitate its image. You can learn more about what strikes me as the increasingly dynamic movement for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel by going to the website of PACBI.
Mauritania formed a transitional national unity government on Friday (June 26th) in Nouakchott, Journal Tahalil reported. International mediator Habib Kabachi was quoted as saying that the rival political poles had successfully reached "an accord on all points". In the presence of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, deposed president Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi officially resigned and signed the decree for the installation of a new Mauritanian cabinet. Mohamed Ould Moulaye Laghdaf was chosen to lead the transitional government. After signing the decree, Abdellahi called for unity among all Mauritanians and affirmed that the country would hold presidential elections next month.Worth remembering that this was a mediation that did not significantly involve the West. Iran's Post-Election Uprising: Hopes & Fears Revealed | The story of Iran's elections, from the dissenters' viewpoint, told in the same comic book form as Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. Very, very cool. Mousavi remains defiant – Tehran Bureau | Letter from Mousavi to Guardian Council calls for annulment of elections on the grounds that electoral law was violated multiple times.