Saturday, July 15, 2006  


at this:
Qatar, the only Arab nation on the council, received widespread support during closed council consultations late Saturday for a press statement calling for an immediate cease-fire, restraint in the use of force, and the protection of civilians caught in the conflict, council diplomats said.

But Argentina's U.N. Ambassador Cesar Mayoral said the United States objected to any statement and Britain opposed calling for a cease-fire.

The U.S. and Britain want to wait for the outcome of this weekend's Group of Eight meeting in Russia, an Arab League foreign ministers meeting, and a mission sent to the Middle East by Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, Mayoral and other diplomats said.
the rest
Excuse me, but what the fuck is WRONG with the US and Britain? You want to fucking wait for the outcome of this weekend's meeting? What, several hundred dead aren't enough for you?

Oooops, sorry, forgot- you guys, the US in particular brought us one of the most brutal and incompetent invasions and occupations in living memory. One in which 1,000's of people died and are dying still.
So, maybe not.
And something else.
Did the IDF turn to you and say we watched your little shock and awe show a few years back and were not impressed? Watch and learn. This is how it's done.
Is that what you are doing, watching and learning?
Well, the rest of us are watching and learning, too.

I am SO PISSED BY THIS that I could spit (well, actually- more things that are unprintable and probably illegal, so...). Excuse me while I have a fit of apoplexy.


You must be kidding...

"I was not prepared," the actor said, describing how he drove for miles and saw street after street of devastation.

Maybe with the new baby and all that jetting around, he's not been sleeping well..
but still!
"Not prepared"?, where the hell have you been, Brad Pitt?
Could you, like, pay attention, before you make a stupid statement like this? Did you, like, believe the Feds when they said they were doing something? Know who Halliburton is? Ever talk to Harry Connick, Jr.?
It's nice that you want to do something, but get a clue, man. You're in Bush's America- he doesn't do disasters.
see the rest here


Sometimes being a witness is not an option...

but a necessity and without these people, the Iraqi freelancers, stringers, translators, etc. who risk their lives every day, writing for such outlets as, the NYT, etc., would not be possible.
It's not safe for him and the others to broadcast their achievements too widely. Most describe their work only to close family members or a friend or two. Others might dodge the question by saying they work as interpreters for government agencies.

The threat of exposure wears on them and can grow acute when they venture into public with one of their pale-faced American colleagues. Tension swirls around routine visits to the Convention Center — the seat of parliament and the fledgling government — because dozens of television news crews gather outside.

Being caught in the background of a TV news spot could reveal their ties to the American press. "That would not be a good thing," says one of the younger interpreters, a man in his late 20s and the father of a newborn.

read the rest here and think of Alaa of and others who died bringing you the news.


Ladies and gentlemen, I did not want to burden you...

with the troubles of war...
From Zena el-Khalil
I am at home with some friends who have taken refuge with us. A lot of them foreigners. We are trying to explain... Who, what, why... But, we're also trying to be normal. Because being normal is what got Lebanese through 20 some years of war. We are joking about how the airport is on fire because of all the alcohol in the duty free. We are trying to be normal.

Up until now, Israel has done the following:

# blown up our international airport, runways, and gas tanks for planes. No one can leave or enter the country.
# blown up small military domestic airports (both in the north and south)
# blown up all bridges and roads linking beirut to the south
# blown up areas/villages of the south, everything from the deep south to saida
# blown up ... As I type this now, another jet is flying by, it is so loud ... Continue... Blown up the suburbs (Dahiye).. Three missiles
# blown up the Beirut-Damascus road at several points
# we are surrounded at sea as well, there are military ships launching attacks

read the rest here

"in times of moral and social crisis, artists must rise up like lions and defend humanity..."

Courtesy of the Beirut International Documentary Film Festival comes this charming cartoon:


Source info

Courtesy of Issandr over at The Arabist comes electronic Lebanon from electronic intifada.

Friday, July 14, 2006  
The refridgerator is still the best spot in the house, except that S., the guest kitty (aka - the feline that came to stay (according to my friends)- until owner has finished house...I think), has opted for the bathtub.

My patience survived my class, my class survived me (put it this way- nobody got hurt and the janitor doesn't have to clean up anything reddish).

It's Bastille Day! so D. and A. (who has currently forgiven France for even existing- thanks to the French team) and I are going to feter la fete! (m'enfin!)

Doris sent some lovely picts of Lebanon- of places that may not exist in a few days. I will ask her permission and then post if I receive it.

A word about the situation:

It's badder than bad. It feels worse than when I sat on a bench at school reading in the Boston Globe about the Shabra and Shatilla massacres, and feeling so bad for F. and D. and A. It was so ghastly, it seemed beyond comprehension.

Now it feels equally ghastly, but worse because I know a bit more, know people in and of these places and it just tears at one.

But I also have a depressing suspicion that all this is somehow cynically orchestrated, in a way often found in Borges. One does one thing, the other does something else. Look, Ma, we reached Haifa! Oops, was that the airport in Beirut?
What is the point? Was Hizbollah so tired of the quiet, and feeling so left out of things in Iraq, that it needed to stir up a hornet's nest? Does Israel think "defending itself" is a license to wipe out other populations? Who is wagging whom here? And is Bush so blind, he cannot see certain parallels?

I have a suggestion: how about conventional weaponry at 20 paces in the Negev? Here are the rules:
- no hitting civilians
- no taking out religious buildings
- no destroying places of historical value

Whoever wins, gets to go home with whatever concessions they need. If it is a draw, get a divorce mediator and work it out.

Thursday, July 13, 2006  

And one last thing...

before I turn to mush...I can't in good conscience collapse next to the ice without saying something about what is going on in Palestine and Lebanon. All together now, say Mass Punishment. As I have said before, it's not about poor Lt. Shalit- it's about bigger, nastier things like subjugating the block, like being an offensive neighbor, like pouring gas on the region...
I don't think Hamas or Hizbollah did anyone a favor by kidnapping the soldiers, although, arguably, their demands are pretty reasonable and in the past this kind of thing has worked. On the other hand, how could they not know that Israel would bring down the wrath of the IDF? Meanwhile, like always, its the civilian population who suffers.

A few places with very articulate assessments:
The Arabist
left End of the Dial
Blogger Roundtable
Crossing the Line: Life in Occupied Palestine

And Bush defended Israel. Well, of course he did, the shmuck, part of a coordinated game plan to control the region.



would say more, but the brain is unwilling ANDI have some deadlines to meet. Enjoy the following, comment if you like, and I'll write some more tomorrow.I am crawling off to sit in the refridgerator.



is everywhere. From Doris Bittar, (see sidebar for links) come these pictures:

Local Palestinian artists work to tweak the aethetics of the wall.


Excuse me...

but you must have mistaken us for people who might believe you...
In my sworn testimony, I said what I have contended in my columns and on television: The role of Joe Wilson's wife in instituting her husband's mission was revealed to me in the middle of a long interview with an official who I have previously said was not a political gunslinger. After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent.

After allowing other journalists to twist in the Plame affaire, after allowing Judith Miller to engage in her cinema, Robert Novak has graciously deigned to speak. Well, well, well.

You can read the other 250 or so words here.
Novak's testimony implicated Libby and Rove. Hmmmm. Let's see:
Israel is blowing up BOTH Palestine and Lebanon
Ken Lay conventiently died
Bush and Koizumi had a cosy party
The US military has been enjoying a run on war crimes while the Bush Adminstration is looking for ways to get around the Supreme Court's ruling on detainees and The Geneva Conventions...

Yup, sounds like time for Rove to try to fall on his sword. (he won't, actually, he'll just cut himself and hang out with Cheney for awhile). Don't worry, Karl, Novak is holding the sword and then he'll write about it.


Condolences to

to India for the horrific train bombings in Bombay (Mumbai) which left several hundred dead, more than Spain and England put together.
India has been detaining people, and has announced the arrest of two suspects, but has not confirmed whether or not they were Pakistani, or other. A possible Al-Queda sympathizer group has praised the attacks, but stopped short of actually claming them for Al Queda. The loss of life and the amount injured were truly horrific, but this seems more like a Kashmiri-based act. Time will tell. The hard part will be to keep Bush from trying to get some mileage out of the situation while not offering India a whit of real assistance.


Time for a thought or two..

about something. It's too hot to be terribly coherent + I just got home and have realized that tomorrow I am teaching a class that actually, if I am honest with myself, I really truly
So, before my brain turns to goo, let's do this:
So, Zizou gave his long awaited interview and said...not much. This puts me in mind of Paul Bowles' autobiography, Without Stopping, which Truman Capote archly suggested should really be called, "Without Telling." And we are basically back at pundits and pontifiction (to which I modestly contribute) about what Materazzi said. He says no mama references, Zidane suggests otherwise, although Zizou is not repeating the offense in public and Materazzi is bending himself into a pretzel.

Can't blame Zidane, if the lip readers are only partially right. Repeating such things for print only makes it worse because, then it's printed. So.

On the other hand, Asaad over at Angry Arab News Service doesn't see why Zizou is a model or why a model is even necessary. Sorry, but I disagree. Zizou (except for headbutting) is an excellent Beur model because he takes on the system, makes it look at itself and demands to be treated equally. And he provides a model for young Beurs (Arab and Kabyle) to look up to and gives them hope in the hlms, that maybe one day, Black Blanc Beur will be a reality.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  

The things people do with Flash...

and they come up with this hilarious animation about Dr. Fill, Hijab, Bush and Condi. A must watch!


Coming attractions!

(otherwise known as utterly shamless plugging on my part)

Women as Scapegoats, Lebanon through the Photography of Doris Bittar, Hoda Barakat's 'Disciples of Passion,' Golden Age of Arab Science, and Much More in forthcoming Al Jadid no. 53

Women as Scapegoats, by Ghada Samman. Ghada Samman offers a smart and well-crafted critique of a fellow Arab intellectual who published a scathing newspaper article, in which he unleashes his anger toward Westernized Arabs and on one Arab woman he met at a party. Samman does not rashly jump to this unknown woman’s defense, but she questions if her fellow Arab intellectual is any different, other than in gender, than the woman he critiques. Samman suggests that all Arab intellectuals – she includes herself in this argument, too – focus too much on women and their “bedazzlement” by all things Western, while ignoring the influence of the West on both men and women and the real underlying problem affecting both genders: the loss of identity through the importation of culture.

To See and to See Again: Doris Bittar Looks at Lebanon Through Another Eye, by Rebecca Romani. Rebecca Romani talks with Lebanese-American artist Doris Bittar about photography as a new form of creative expression for Bittar, particularly during her travels in Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Bittar has made a name for herself through her paintings, and only recently introduced this new medium, photography, to her artwork. The conversation between Romani and Bittar shows the artist’s love of photography, and how this love led to an emotional journey within her birth country, Lebanon, and ultimately led to an awareness of self and a deep connection with the Lebanese people and society.

Translated Novel Mirrors/ Refracts War in Lebanon, by Pauline Homsi Vinson.

A review of “Disciples of Passion,” by Hoda Barakat. Distinguished Arab author Hoda Barakat is now able to spread her influence even further with Marilyn Booth’s masterful translation into English of Barakat’s novel “Disciples of Passion.” Pauline Homsi Vinson offers insight into this novel and its gripping account of the splintering of the mind as well as society during the war in Lebanon. Barakat skillfully pulls her readers into the psychological nightmare that occurs when one faces the atrocities of war, which in turn infect and dictate the behavior of both the individual and society. Vinson also applauds Barakat’s ability to blur gender lines through her use of a “male narrative voice” and through characters whose actions defy clear-cut male and female roles.

Bandar Abdel Hamid on Poetry, Cinema, and a Small Room, Door Ajar, by Rebecca Joubin. Renowned Syrian poet and film critic Bandar Abdel Hamid discusses with Rebecca Joubin the influences of his childhood on his creative works and on his generous hospitality. Many writers and wayward travelers have sought refuge in Abdel Hamid’s small office in Damascus, and there they have discovered not only a warm welcome but also a safe space to debate one another openly. Joubin also talks briefly with Abdel Hamid about the challenges facing modern Arab poetry and the connection he sees between his poetry and his work with film.

Nahda Salah Balaa: Opening Doors for Arab Art, by Fayeq Oweis. Fayeq Oweis offers insight into another Arab-American artist’s personal and professional life in an article that explores the challenges, triumphs, and changes that have faced Lebanese-American artist Nahda Salah Balaa. Balaa, who is originally from Lebanon and currently resides in California, has impressed many with her bold use of vibrant colors, her watercolors of lively landscapes and detailed Arabesque doors, her elegant silks, and her humor and grace in the face of her battle with cancer.

America ‘Discovers’ Morocco, by Rebecca Romani. A review of “Morocco Bound: Disorienting America’s Maghreb from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express,” by Brian T. Edwards. As Rebecca Romani points out in her review, Brian T. Edwards offers not a tour book of Morocco in which Americans can lose themselves in nostalgia, but rather a critique and questioning of the very nostalgia and impressions Americans have towards Morocco. Edwards shows his audience the thick, distorted lens through which Americans have viewed and still view Morocco, stating that for them, Morocco has only ever been a reflection of American fears and ideologies.

Speaking in Tongues: Film Examines Languages in Israel, by Brigitte Caland.
Spoken language is one medium through which we communicate with one another, but how do we choose which language best expresses our thoughts, ideas, emotions and dreams? Brigitte Caland examines Nurith Aviv’s thought-provoking film on languages found among people living in Israel and finds that it provides an accurate portrayal of the rich diversity found there. Aviv shows how each person in her film, from a Russian-born Jewish actress, to a Moroccan-born Jewish singer, to two Palestinians she interviews, has a different relationship with his or her mother tongue, languages learned throughout his or her life, and the one language that all have in common: Hebrew.

I am thrilled to be writing for Al Jadid, and am really looking forward to Brigitte Caland's piece on Israeli film.

To subscribe to Al Jadid. just click on the linl to the left and follow the instructons.

Monday, July 10, 2006  

Zizou va dire ca...

"He was very sad for everything that happened," Migliaccio told BBC Radio Five Live. "He is a human being, not a god. He hasn't told me exactly what Materazzi said, I know that he was provoked. Materazzi said something very grave to him, I don't know what it was. I know Zizou [Zidane] will, in one or two days' time, explain his reaction.

Speculation is rife about why Zidane exited such a glorious career in such an inglorious manner. One theory is that Materazzi called the French player of Kabyle (not Arab) Algerian origin "a dirty terrorist. (SOS Racisme)" Another is that he called Zizou's sister a prostitute (probably p.p. in Italian)(O Globo). In two days we will know something...
read the rest here


dis, donc...

Great essay by NaimaBouteldja in The Guardian:
'Zizou is still one of us'

The butt that ended his career will never dilute Zidane's iconic status for the 'scum' of the suburbs

Naima Bouteldja
Tuesday July 11, 2006
The Guardian

How could he do it? How could Zinédine Zidane, captain of the French football team, regarded as the best player of his generation and in the final match of an illustrious career, head-butt an opponent and hand victory to an Italian side playing for penalties? "A moment of madness," ventured Alan Shearer. "Materazzi must have said something, but whatever it was, there's no excuse for what Zidane did," opined another. His career, they said, had ended in inglorious failure.

But what Marco Materazzi said clearly did matter to Zidane. The speculation yesterday was that he may have insulted Zidane's family or made some kind of racial slur. If the latter, it would hardly be a shock. Racism in football has a long history and, despite campaigns such as Kick it Out, remains ingrained in the beautiful game. Think of the monkey chants directed at England's black players in Spain, after the description of Thierry Henry by Spain's coach, Luis Aragonés, as a "black shit"; Paolo Di Canio's fascist salute in Italy; or, in Britain, Ron Atkinson's vicious racist jibe at Marcel Desailly.

The question is not what made Zidane throw away the final chapter of his career, but why he has become such an iconic figure around the world, in particular in his country of birth. The politics of race and football in France are particularly revealing of French society. The predominantly African make-up of the French team and its unimpressive early World Cup performances had the National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, fuming at the French coach, Raymond Domenech, for having "exaggerated the proportion of players of colour" in the team. Le Pen claimed that they did not show enough passion when singing the Marseillaise. To the great disgust of Le Pen, France's only emerging white star of the World Cup, midfielder Franck Ribéry, is a convert to Islam.

Despite Le Pen's xenophobic outpourings, the great majority of the French population were behind the team. The victory against Brazil saw people celebrating across the country, including the black youth from the banlieues. After the semi-final, more than half a million people gathered in the Champs-Elysées, waving French tricolours alongside Algerian and other African flags. It was a reminder of how France greeted its 1998 World Cup victory, with commentators, politicians and intellectuals suddenly celebrating "multicultural" France.

However, the millions who have supported this predominantly black team and consider Zidane a hero will have no problem voting for Nicolas Sarkozy, the rightwing politician who called the youth of the suburbs "scum" last November, or even for Le Pen. The players epitomise the "good Africans" who have integrated and rarely speak about politics. Instead of setting cars on fire or feeding jobcentre queues, they chose the right path.

In 1998, an anti-racist organisation close to the Socialist party launched a patronising campaign on the theme "Tonight, all French people have dreamt about kissing a Beur" (Beur is slang for Arab) - implying that Zidane was not a French citizen. It is easy to understand why he commands such respect among black and North African people in France. He is the working-class son of migrants who came from Algeria in the 60s. He grew up in an impoverished suburb, and finds difficulty expressing himself in the glare of the media spotlight.

For the past three weeks, the "scum" from the banlieues have been celebrating the genius of one of their own. As Bouziane, a social worker from Toulouse, told me yesterday: "In defeat or victory, the attitude of France to us remains the same - but Zizou, more than ever, remains one of us."

· Naima Bouteldja is a French journalist and researcher for the Transnational Institute.


Closed doors...

The denial of visas and residency permits for the West Bank to Palestinian-Americans by the Israelis may mean that the following artists will probably be unable to live, teach, work and create in the area that feeds their art:

* Emily Jacir *

*Anne-Marie Jacir *

*John Halaka*

*Naomi Shahib Nye*

*Jackie Salloum *

I leave you with a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye...


Paul Robeson stood
on the northern border of the USA
and sang into Canada
where a vast audience
sat on folding chairs
waiting to hear him.

He sang into Canada.
His voice left the USA
when his body was not allowed
to cross that line.

Remind us again, brave friend!
What countries may we sing into?
What lines should we all be crossing?
What songs travel toward us
from far away
to deepen our days?


Sound of doors slamming...

From Amira Hass at Haaretz:(thanks Issandr at
For the first time since 1967, Israel is preventing the entry of Palestinians with foreign citizenship, most of them Americans.

Most of those refused entry are arriving from abroad, but have lived and worked for years in the West Bank.

According to a growing number of ...The Interior Ministry and Civil Administration made no formal announcement about a policy change, leaving returnees to discover the situation when they reach the border crossings.

By various estimates, the ban has so far affected several thousand American and European nationals, whom Israel has kept from returning to their homes and jobs, or from visiting their families in the West Bank. This could potentially impact many more thousands who live in the territories - including university instructors and researchers, employees working in various vital development programs and business owners - as well as thousands of foreign citizens who pay annual visits to relatives there. The policy also applies to foreigners who are not Palestinian but are married to Palestinians, and to visiting academics.

The first group to suffer are Palestinians born in the territories, whose residency Israel revoked after 1967 while they were working or studying abroad. Some eventually married residents of the territories, or returned to live with aging parents and siblings. Israel rejected their applications for "family reunification" (i.e., requests to have their residency restored). However, until recently Israel permitted them to continue living in the territories on tourist visas, renewable every three months by exiting and reentering the country. In some cases the State also granted them work permits.

whose residency Israel revoked after 1967 while they were working or studying abroad. this should answer a few questions about why many Palestinians living outside the territories are so upset by this.

Don't have much time to comment right now, but this would be a huge loss for academics and artists living in the West Bank.

the rest here

Sunday, July 09, 2006  

And one last thing...

Found this absolutely delightful photo on Slate as part of their decisive moment series for Sunday.

Of course, not all decisive moments are as charming as this one.

What did you decide today?
Cross-posted in Confessions of a mouse)


What a game!

Wow~! What a game! Viva Italia! Mes condoleances aux Bleus. Quand meme...everyone played SOOOOOOO well! A shame about Zizou, but frankly Marco had it coming and I do not understand why he didn't get a card, too. Went to Costa Brava to meet D. and S. was there, too! Yay- soccer (calcio, foot) among friends! Nice bar, too. And the game was so close! D. is going to watch the match again tonight...dio, me no. Got other things to do, d'autres chats a fouetter. (like the kitchen floor, bleah). And zffffppppttttttt! a jean marie le pen et ses fistons racistes. Ils etaient bien braves, les gars, sans exception.


Black Blanc Beur-Ewa!

Thought I would post this before going to watch the game. I am going to root for Italy, although I think the French team is pretty hot (in several ways...). And Lilian Thurman is pretty cool in his reply to Jean Marie Le Pen, the crapaud raciste qui a sali la France depuis plus que vingt ans,
Le Pen's efforts to use the pitch as a battleground for his Neanderthal views about immigration and Islam have not gone unanswered. After his latest comments, France midfielder Lilian Thuram said, "Clearly, he is unaware that there are Frenchmen who are black, Frenchmen who are white, Frenchmen who are brown. I think that reflects particularly badly on a man who has aspirations to be president of France but yet clearly doesn't know anything about French history or society.... That's pretty serious. He's the type of person who'd turn on the television and see the American basketball team and wonder: 'Hold on, there are black people playing for America? What's going on?'"
read the rest here

(salut Bruno, Benedicte, Djamila, Beatrice, Isabelle, Pierre, Laure et Hakim
...tanti auguri Francesco, Luca, Federico, Arianna, Valentina, Iside, Pierro e Pio, la famiglia Romani, Rossi, Cascella, Benedetti,Romanini, Bianchi)
Ci vediamo piu tarde.

Off for a brief nap...I think the mosquito that was after me has left out of boredom...and then off to the World Cup where D. will root for France and I will root for Italy.

Any thoughts about the score?


A Maghrebi state of mind...

Found this charming, if slightly exoticised report on gnaoua music and the Essaouria Music Festival at the end of June. From Cnn


Calling the ghosts

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell — or Miss Bell, as the Iraqis still call her — is interred in the Anglican Church's cemetery in a raised tomb. It's dried up and crumbling in the Iraqi sun. The British delegations that used to pay homage stopped coming months ago because of the danger. A ring of jasmine trees and date palms planted last year by Ahmad Chalabi's daughter, Tamara, "in recognition of Gertrude Bell's historic contribution to Iraq" are mostly dead.
(how utterly appropriate)

NOW you conjure up Getrude Bell? Now?

NYT writer Dexter Filkens waxes lyrical about the hubris of empires past and present in Iraq. Apparently Filkens went beyond the Green Zone for a little cemetary jaunt and came up with a (probably not intentionally) portrait in linked futility (US and British dead). What Filkens seems to have forgotten is that Bell's exercise in playing the god of mapmaking has now come to full fruition in the mess that is Iraq today, as she blythly cut against great swaths of tribal lands and groups. He also seems to have forgotten that she helped install Faisal, creating a colonial situation with a monarchy, which eventually led to a coup which led to Saddam which led to...
You get the point.
And here we are again, with the American version of colonialism, with an army with a bit less class than the British (more predators, for one thing), still hated, still being waited out...
for the rest of the article, read here.
Like the Battle of Algiers, a reading of Gertrude Bell and Freya Stark would have been instructive before we went into Iraq- that is, providing anyone was paying attention to the lessons therein.


Uneasy lies the head...

that bears the crown-so they say. Things are not so good in the most recently annointed democracy in North Africa, which would be (no, not Tunisia! What were you thinking?), drum roll, please...Egypt! For above the Valley of the Kings and smack dab among the pyramids (how's that for Orientalist placing?), are actually the makings of a true democracy, but as usual, from the bottom up, being sat on by Mubarek and our coterie in the White House who look the other way as journalists, bloggers, and others go to jail for what should be one of the hallmarks of democracy: Freedom of Speech.
The United States has found itself stuck fast in a tarry mass of its own prejudice and financial interests in Iraq and yearns for allies, any ally, in the region. The price for this is paid by Egyptians who are victimized in the name of domestic political stability as well as by Americans, even Utahns, who find themselves witness to domestic imprisonments without trials, remote European “interrogation facilities,” or warrantless domestic surveillance in the name of insulation from terror.

From Hassam El-Hamalawy at The Arabist comes a great essay on the current state of affairs in Cairo by John William Salevurakis (from The Monthly Review). As The Arabist has observed, the last month has not been kind to a number of (US) 1st Amendment rights: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble as practiced in Cairo.

As one answer to the question (as old and ridiculous as it may be- and this question must be uttered in a bewildered whine and with a look of wounded astonishment at being betrayed so) "why do they hate us?" Here it is, live and in color. Nothing is so insidious as the Quiet American helping a government oppress its people in the name of "Democracy." Unless it is a Quiet American doing it in the name of the "war on terror."

You can read this essay and more on The Arabist.

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