Links for Feb 1.2010

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month:

✪ Arabic and the Roman alphabet | Brian Whitaker chimes on the Arabic transliteration debate.
✪ Sunday Afternoon Thoughts: Arabic transliteration « The Moor Next Door | Bottom line, let's not get too anal about it, but be consistent. I agree.
✪ Coptic orgs call for voting against Mubarak in next election | Bikya Masr | Free Copts and American Coptic Assembly goes against the Pope!
✪ Dubai police say Mossad may have killed Hamas chief - Yahoo! News | So let's not hear complaints when there's retribution.
✪ Egypt could face sanctions over sectarianism | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt | Chairman of US Commission on Int. Religious Freedom said Egypt's could be cut over discrimination.
✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Opinion | When the alternative is not so different after all | al-Anani on the MB's murky politics.
✪ Mahmoud Abbas: Israel's West Bank occupation leading to one-state solution | World news | The Guardian | Interview with Abu Mazen, still trying to scare the Israelis with talk of one-state solution they perfectly know he's not serious about.
✪ Le jour où l’Egypte a frôlé la catastrophe : foot, télévision et conflits asymétriques | Culture et politique arabes | A very nice post on the politics of Al-Jazeera's purchase of the Orbit sports channel.
✪ Michael Totten: Muslim Arabs hate everybody « the human province | Why do Totten and Smith hate us?
✪ gulfnews : UAE editors back emiratisation of media | Goodbye expat journos? Not likely soon...
✪ Panetta traveled to Israel - Laura Rozen - POLITICO.com | And also to Egypt to meet with Omar Suleiman last week.
✪ In Egypt, Religious Clashes Are Off the Record - NYTimes.com | Slackman reports from Naga Hammadi.
✪ Repopulating an antique land: Egypt’s forbidding Western Desert - The National Newspaper | A look at the New Valley project by Jack Shenker.

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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.