Wael Abbas on HardTalk

Does a very good job.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.

Links for Dec.13.09 to Dec.16.09

â�© Egypt puts archives on Web to boost Arabic content | But what's the address? â�© Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities | Open Society Institute | Tons of interesting questions raised by this ground-breaking poll. â�© Abkhazia Is Recognized by Even Smaller Nauru - NYTimes.com | Sharqeya next? â�© Pro-Israel Lobby Group’s Iran Petition Features Lots of Questionable Names « The Washington Independent | Such as "Porn Sex Video" and Comfylovely". â�© LedgerGermane: Karzai Says Afghan Army Will Need Help Until 2024 | Yikes. â�© Future of US-Egypt Relations: A View from the Next Generation | Notes on another POMED event. â�© POMED Event: U.S. Military Assistance: Obstacle or Opportunity for Reform? | Steven Cook, Emile Hokayem, etc. some discussion of Egypt-US military relations. â�© Mideastwire.com | Zaitout: reports about Algeria-US agreement over temporary military bases | Handle with care. â�© British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni | The Guardian | More of this please. â�© Nights to remember - The National Newspaper | Arabian Nights conference in NYU Abu Dhabi. â�© Obama's Big Sellout : Rolling Stone | Must-read Matt Taibbi story on Obama's bailout of Wall Street. â�© Al-Masry Al-Youm | Police raid home of prominent blogger | Wael Abbas sentenced to six months of prison in absentia for stealing his neighbors' internet??!?! â�© We will not bow to this Moroccan king | Paul Laverty and Ken Loach | Comment is free | The Guardian | Strongly worded op-ed for Aminatou Haidar. â�© David Ignatius - Jordan's ex-spy chief wasn't too good to be true | On former GID chief Saad Kheir - a dubious tribute. â�© Orientalism in Reverse | Brian Whitaker critiques Joseph Massad's "Gsy International" theory.
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Twittered out of trouble

Yesterday's detention of Wael Abbas at Cairo Airport, as he returned from the Tallberg Forum in Sweden, is now resolved. (Rather troubling is Wael's claim that pro-NDP Egyptians at the conference may have reported him to the authorities.) But Wael still had his laptop and papers confiscated, and is having trouble filing a complaint with the police. It was interesting to see the story unfold from the early morning, when Wael started posting what was happening to him on Twitter, the reaction of the Egyptian Twitosphere, most notably that of Hisham Kassem, the president of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights (EOHR), a prominent commentator on Egyptian politics and publisher (he was the CEO al-Masri al-Youm at its launch in 2004 till 2007 and previously owned the Cairo Times). Hisham is also a Twitter addict, and it was fascinating to see him provide Wael and the wider community dispatches about his efforts to dispatch EOHR lawyers, talk to security, and try to get Wael out of his situation. It may not be a Twitter revolution, but it's a very practical, transparent and engaging way to rally people around a cause. Congrats to Hisham on getting Wael out of trouble and letting us know how it's done. And Wael, rest well and I hope you get your laptop back soon!
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Blogger Wael Abbas held at Cairo airport

Egyptian mega-blogger Wael Abbas is being detained at Cairo Airport after his passport was confiscated last night. This is the first time this happens to Wael, who is currently holding a sit-in with a banner at the airport requesting his passport back. He's been Tweeting his situation - below are his updates as of 8:40am Egyptian time. Update: Wael tweets at 10:40am: waelabbastwitter2.png
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