Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Those who are in the DC area maybe interested to know that Jean Said Makdisi will be signing her book Teta, Mother, and Me: Three Generations of Arab Women at the "Politics and Prose" bookstore, June 1st (today) at 7 pm.
Makdisi is the author of the moving Beirut Fragments, a memoir of the Lebanese civil war.
As one of her unveiled colleagues pointed out, the Iranian cinema's excellence is not because the actresses are veiled. In fact, the veiling of the actresses in Iranian films poses serious problems for the directors, who, to their credit, come up with creative solutions, but also waste energy that they could use on other fronts.
One film I taught this semester is Leila, an Iranian film directed by Dariush Mehruji. It's very good. The female lead (as all the other women) was wearing a scarf throughout the film, even in the scenes when in real life she wouldn't be wearing a scarf, such as inside the house, with her husband, and with other female characters. And although she and her husband are very much in love, they couldn't touch each other once and a respectful distance was kept between them throughout. The director tried to show their love and intimacy in other ways, such as through food. In one scene Leila is lying in bed, covered up to her neck by the sheet and wearing a scarf. And as if this is not enough, her face was half in shadow while her husband is trying to talk to her in one of the film's most intimate moments. Unlike before, the director was allowed to use close up shots of the actress's face, and he took advantage. Also she was permitted to wear make up, a no-no earlier.
"The Civil Administration on Wednesday knocked down 13 structures - most of them toilet facilities - donated by Christian groups to Palestinians living in two cave communities in the West Bank.
Those Palestinians are really getting uppity! They now want toilets!!! On their land?!! The horror, the horror!
Aman's 7-year-old son Muhand was killed; Naima, his wife, 27, was killed; his mother Hanan, 46, was killed. His three and a half year old daughter Mariya is lying in the pediatric intensive care unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, permanently paralyzed and on a respirator. Aman is not allowed to be with her.
His youngest son, Muaman, 2, was lightly wounded by shrapnel in his back, and Aman himself was hit by shrapnel throughout his body. His uncle Nahed, 33, a father to two toddlers, is fully paralyzed and in critical condition at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center. "
But not to worry. The Israeli army, who fired the missile, will be investigating what annihilated Aman's family.
So don't rush to do anything about this. And don't lose any sleep over it.
My issues are with the way the article is written and some of its assumptions.
While there is one sentence at the beginning about the "similarities" between the American women and the Afghani women, namely motherhood and widowhood, the rest of the piece is really about "difference." And difference, as usually is the case, translates into "they are inferior to us." "Their widows," you know, are so different from "our widows" as to make them an alien species. We pamper and support our widows, and they don't. It's their culture, you see. Different culture. Inferior culture.
"Then there is the burqa..."
While the article is supposedly dealing with "war widows," the writer prefers to focus on the "widow" part and ignore the "war" part. Because wars are inevitable, you know, and they are men's business anyway and this is a story about women and their sphere.
"Then there is the burqa..."
But don't underestimate these two women's work: what they do, according to the piece, transforms Afghani women's condition, changes their society, eradicates gender inequality, and reforms their culture. All is done by giving the widows, who can't ride a bycicle, you know, a chicken or a cow.
"Then there is the burqa..."
The condesension and arrogance of this "feel good" journalism is astounding.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The even bigger question:
Can Israel agree to ending the occupation and to a two-state solution?
Since the Hamas win, the world behaves as if Israel can't wait for the Palestinians to agree with each other so it can give them their state.
Asking the right big question is half the story.
In his comments on the event, al Quadoumi comes across as a condescending bully. He aparently told al Zahhar that he's new at this diplomatic game and should learn from his elders. Not a diplomatic way of putting things, I'd say. His bullying continues in the letter he sent to al Zahhar, which you can read here in Arabic.
But one interesting aspect of the letter is the fact that al Quadoumi, who is opposed to the Oslo agreements and does not respect the PA, whether it's Hamas or Fateh, is reminding al Zahhar that since Hamas ran in an election brought about by Oslo, then they need to accept (or it is assumed that they accept) the rest of the deal. Quadoumi also says that he has warned the Hamas leadership in Damascus that running in the elections was a bad idea.
Still, he is being a bully.
This Washington Post article gives an idea. I would have liked it to mention that the occupation is illegal, that annexing land acquired by force is illegal, that building a wall that steals more land from the Palestinians is illegal, that building settlements/colonies on that land is illegal, that opening roads on Palestinian land for the settlers is illegal.
But, hey, that would be asking too much.
Some bloggers are already attacking the article for being, in their imagination, "anti-Jewish." There is nothing anti-Jewish about this article. It's not about Jews, but about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Focus people.
And if you don't have time to read the whole thing, let me sum it up:
Israel loves the land. Palestinian land, that is. But they are not so fond of the people who live on that land. The Palestinians, that is. Since 1948, the policy of the state has been to grab more land (and they have both creative and non-creative ways of doing that but favorite methods are impoverishment and displacement by force), empty it of the Palestinian inhabitants (in other places of the world this is called ethnic cleansing), then look hurt when anyone objected (They don't like us; They won't accept us).
All of the above is illegal according to international law. No Buts, ifs, or maybes.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Turk, then, joins seveal other Egyptian actresses and singers (Shadya, Suhair al Bably, Shaheera) who have been assuming the hijab in the past few years. But while earlier the women would then give up their public careers, more recently they have not seen a contradiction between the hijab and acting in what they term Islamically acceptable roles. Al Turk's point is that the roles written for women should reflect Egyptian women in real life, the majority of whom happened to be wearing headscarfs.
Of course, al Turk should be free to wear what she wants. And we should be free to watch what we want.
What I find unacceptable is the "congratulations" and the "mabrouks" and "cheers" that this decision receives from some people and make its way into public space. It's in response to this kind of response that I'd like to say that her wearing the veil does not make her a better human being (which is the only point of reference I care for). If anything, it shows her to be the little conformist that she always was. Her overacting and religious sanctimoniousness make her a bore with or without the veil.
This afternoon, while browsing at my favorite bookstore, "Politics and Prose," I chanced on a wonderful little discovery: A children's story called Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! A Palestinian Folktale. It tells of a woman who has no children and who prays to Allah to have a child. Instead, she gets a pot who behaves like a child and gets in all sorts of trouble. Margaret Read MacDonald, who rendered the story into English, has this note at the end of the story:
"The tale 'Tunjur Tunjur' was told by fifty-five-year-old Fatme Abdel Qader of the village of 'Arrabe, Galilee. It is included in Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales by Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989, pp.55-59). The collectors' children were present when Fatme told the story, which encouraged her to provide a lively rendition. The word tunjur is derived from the Arabic word for cooking pot , tunjura. Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! is the imagined sound of a cooking pot when it's rolling..."
The wonderful illustrations are done by Alik Arzoumanian, who grew up in Beiurt.
And I tested it this evening on my 6-year-old-critic in residence, and he highly approved.
What I don't understand is this: since Hala Jaber says she's a good friend of Atwar Bahjat, why couldn't she just simply ask the family how the woman died?
More useful than an apology (and a belated one at that since blogs broke the fake story weeks ago), Jaber perhaps should do an investigative peace about who fabricated the tape and why.
But not to worry. World Cup visitors, including those with dark skin, are welcomed in all of Gemany's brothels, which are known to be safe and multicultural.
How about writing letters on behalf of single mothers working for minimum wage?
They chained his mouth
Tied his hands to the boulder of the dead.
Then said: you are a murderer.
They took away his food, clothes, and flags
Threw him in the dungeon of the dead
Then said: you are a thief.
They kicked him out of all ports
Took away his little sweatheart
Then said: you are a refugee.
You, whose eyes and hands are bleeding, [remember]
The night will not last
Neither the interrogation room,
nor the iron of the chains will remain
Nero died, but Rome did not,
Fighting with her eyes
The grains of one stalk of wheat will die to fill the valley with many new ones.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Namibia: 2 million
US: 298 million
US: $12.41 trillion
* INFANT MORTALITY
* LIFE EXPECTANCY
Namibia: 21.3 per cent
US: 0.6 per cent
* TELEPHONE LINES
* LITERACY (OVER AGE 15)
Namibia: 84 per cent
US: 99 per cent
For insulting the motherland, the rapper is being put on trial.
One would wish that the politicians who are offended by these lyrics would be similarly offended when the women in question are real and not abstract. But I somehow doubt it.
The images of young Egyptian runaways addicted to drugs, engaging in petty crimes and burdened by extra-marital pregnancy, provide contrasting images to the conservative family lifestyle known to the
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Pakistani women. Poor Pakistani women. Poor Pakistani women who are payed starvation wages.
But the villains of this piece are those heartless human rights activists, who just won't leave women and children alone to be exploited in peace.
"Noting that he had been raised with the deep conviction that the Jewish people would never have to relinquish any part of the "land of our forefathers," Ehud Olmert told Congress in his address to a joint session on May 24, "I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land." He did then concede that dreams alone cannot bring peace and will not preserve Israel as a "secure democratic Jewish state." But what stands out in this little-noted statement of Jewish attachment to the land is its affirmation of a supreme Jewish right to all of Palestine, never mind who else may live there. In the context of any hope for a just and equitable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, this is a deal-breaker par excellence."
It's the Iraqi's fault. They didn't throw rice and flowers at the Marines. What else do we expect the Marines to do? The Marines are really the victims here.
They made them do it.
The justification given for this erasure of women from public life is to protect men from being "led astray." The king didn't talk about the real reasons behind such policy: the political pressures from the conservatives within the kingdom to undermine reform efforts. As usual, women are the sacrificial lamb. Now they will return to invisibility and the Saudi youth will only be led astray by the Wahhabis propaganda.
Friday, May 26, 2006
This is maybe a temporary and pragmatic solution to help against sexual harassment. But it's not a theoretical solution (why not believe in the Saudi system of gender segregation then?) I'd rather have laws that punish men who sexually harass women and education that teaches them not to do it.
And the reason she can do that is
"Since a ruling of the European court of justice 10 years ago, it has been unlawful to discriminate against transsexuals in the workplace. The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 make it clear that this covers employees who intend to undergo gender reassignment, are going through the process or have done so in the past."
Historian Bettany Hughes "has written the first scholarly book about the mythical Helen, whose abduction by Paris caused the 10-year Trojan war. She will tell the festival that historians from Plutarch onwards have ignored Helen as a serious figure, preferring to reduce her to an object of sexual obsession. "She walks through history for 28 centuries holding up a mirror to the way men think of women....Though Homer's account of Helen in the Iliad and the Odyssey is largely positive, said Hughes, by the 5th century BC she was already seen to embody dangerous female sexuality...The dramatist Euripides called her a "bitch whore". A medieval writer called Joseph of Exeter wrote a condemnatory, but virtually pornographic epic about her in 1184, in which she "robs Paris of his semen". In Shakespeare's Lucrece she is a "strumpet", in Marlowe she "sucks forth my soul."
In what is being viewed as the gravest allegation to date of war crimes in Iraq, a military investigation is expected to present findings in Baghdad next week that a small group of troops shot dead 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including five men in a taxi, and women and children at homes in the town last November 19.
Other marines then tried to cover up the killings, the investigation has found."
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Palestinian Transportation Minister Ziad Zaza described the hudna during the interview as "the cease-fire that will be renewed automatically each time."
What also bugs me about the "cease fire" is Hamas's insistence on maintaining the fiction of a "war" between two equal parties, which is how Israel loves to represent matters.
However, there is still the need to distinguish the way men use make up from the way women use make up:
"[Men ]want makeup not to alter their appearance the way women traditionally use it. They want it to enhance what they've got, their masculinity. They want to create the illusion of being healthy and looking younger," says some guy with a PhD, who apparently thinks we are really stupid.
If Hamsa and Fateh have these militias to fight the occupation, then they should be underground. They should not be strutting around in the streets.
But these are militias for show. They exist to score points against other factions and to boost the egos of young men who equate manhood with guns.
These militias are a disaster. Disband them all.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Just reading those comments show what a long and hard way Helm has ahead of it.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I must confess that no one is better than Hamas at political theatre.
ة وكانت مفاجأة الحملة عرض سترة القائد العام لكتائب القسام صلاح شحادة للبيع لصالح الحملة حيث قامت امراة فلسطينية بدفع مبلغ الفي دينار اردني ثمنا لها.
The other piece of theatre was the Hamas's spokeman's attempt to "smuggle" in close to a million dollars that he had wrapped around his waist. It's a win win situation: if he is not caught, he will get the money in. If he's caught, then Abdul Bari Atwan, my favorite Arab columnist, can celebrate those who are trying to feed the Palestinians as angels and heroes and wearers of "money belts" (which is a great act of resistance equivalent, in his opinion, to wearing suicide belts) and denounce as traitors who are preventing them from feeding the Palestinians. Fateh is worried that the money is raised in the name of the Palestinians but is going to a specific party, namely, Hamas. Fateh should take some private lessons in "how to sound sincere about law and order" from Hamas politicians because they are really bad.
Meanwhile, an assassination attempt on a Fateh guy, armed clashes, and serious, serious fears of a civil war. One Palestinian columnist called on the people (the civilian population, remember them) to take to the streets in an attempt to reclaim them from the armed men of both sides.
All this makes me sick to my stomach.
Bad form, old boy.
And this "laxness" does not sit well with the conservatives, so they want to promote "Islamic fashions" instead. Got it.
"For me, (my) music is rock 'n' roll, colored by what's inside me -- and what's inside me is I'm European, Arab and Muslim." Rachid Taha
Algerian Rock Rai singer Rachid Taha is born to perform. I saw him in concert twice: once in the West Bank in 1998 at Birzeit University and the other is a few years later in DC in some club. Although the crowds were different, he was awsome in both places.
Here's his classic "Ya Rayeh," an all time favorite of mine (although I'm still clueless about the lyrics), and the more recent "Rock the Qasbah."
Friday, May 19, 2006
They have extra large pockets for glasses, trinkets and prayer beads and also feature discreet green seams at the top of the belt loops, in honor of the faith's sacred color."
A collection of short stories by Saudi writer Zaynab Hanafi. (Review in Arabic).
One thing the review highlights is that while Hanafi exposes the injustice affecting women and is calling for resistance, unlike others (who?), she does not approve of homosexual relations between women as a form of rebellion. One of the stories apparently focuses on that.
"President Bush gestures during remarks at the Republican National Committee Presidential Gala fundraiser on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)"
This photo and caption appear in today's Washington Post. I find the caption fascinating.It reminds me of the way Jordanian media (and official Arab media gnerally) covers the king (The king came, the king went, the king shook hands with..., and the king gestured).
Oh, yeah, you'd better know how to spell Mississipy.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The irony of all this is that the the anti Islam phobia that is enveloping Holland did not spare Ali, who is an Islam basher herself. There should be a lesson here.
I would have respected the faculty report if it were conducted before Churchill's stupid and tasteless remarks about September 11th victims. But the whole investigation came as a result of the uproar about these comments--which, all agree, are protected speech. Consequently, the report is tainted.
This is not about plagiarism and good vs. bad scholarship. If it were about that, Ward's department and univesity should have been investigating him a decade ago. He was hired with tenure, and he was promoted to full professor. The hiring and promoting committees must have been asleep to miss all that plagiarism, fabrications, and falsifications. Even so, there were other complaints about his scholarship. Nothing was done. That is until he made those remarks. Suddenly, academic integrity is an issue.
For this I can't view the report apart from the reason it was commissioned. That reason has a lot to do with politics and freedom of speech.
This Islmaization of the Palestinian national movement will undermine the Palestinian cause (more than it's already undermined). What do the billions of Muslims in the world have to do with Palestinian nationalism? And where do Palestinian Christians, who were always a crucial part of the Palestinian national movement, fit in this "fight"? The Palestinian cause was never about religion: it's about national rights for a group of people who were displaced from their land and denied self-determination.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Read more about censorship and resistance in Lebanon here. (in Arabic)
In this article (in Arabic) about Fairuz, she is referred to as "Al Sayyeda" (Mrs./ Lady/ Madam) six times. It's even used without her name following the title. The title becomes her name. I don't like it. Even if her pay is half a million dollars per night, she's still Fairuz. She never needed adjectives or superlatives or titles. If I sound cranky, it's because I am cranky.
Hirsi Ali in D.C.? Maybe its time that I ask for political asylum in Holland. Unlike Ali, I won't lie on my application.
As if this city doesn't have enough ...
I should mention that these fireworks were less impressive than and far inferior to the REAL fireworks the Gazans watch everytime they are shelled.
"A booth babe ... is a typically scantily-clad actress-waitress-whatever employed to loiter near a booth at a trade exhibition. Upon spying or being approached by a typically young male showing advanced signs of geekdom, the booth babe will engage the geek in conversation, normally of a flirtatious nature. Almost immediately, the relationship will be consummated with a photograph of geek and babe entwined, before the geek hands over large amounts of money for something produced by the booth babe's employer."
"Phil Collins, 35, born in Runcorn, Cheshire, uses video, photography and live events in his work, often visiting politically sensitive regions. One of his best-known works, they shoot horses (2004), saw Collins travel to Ramallah to organise an eight-hour disco marathon with nine young Palestinians. In a single, real-time take, Collins films all the youngsters' emotions from exhilaration to determination to exhaustion."
To learn more about "They Shoot Horses", read this.
Monday, May 15, 2006
The editorial acknowledges that other reasons than "security" are behind this decision. This law continues what the Nakba in 1948 started: emptying Palestine of its Arabs inhabitants in order to establish a Jewish state.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Update: I tried to fix the link. But here's the invitation in words as I got it in my mailbox from Helm:
"Helem cordially invites you to attend the “Meen Shaz?” (“Who is Deviant?”), a celebration of the second International Day Against Homophobia on Wednesday, May 17. We will be screening six locally produced short films on homosexuality followed by a discussion session at the Monroe Hotel, Ain el Mreisseh,
On Friday, May 19 we will be launching "Rouhab al Mithliyya" (Homophobia), a book published by La CD-Theque in collaboration with Helem. This edited anthology is the first book in the Arabic language to deal explicitly with the theme of homophobia in the Arab world. Drinks and food will be served, and there will be musical entertainment. Bring your friends!
But I'm suspicious. Could this favoring of home births now has anything to do with saving money? It's England we're talking about here. The article does not mention the economics of it all, but I have a hunch that pounds are a factor.
Also why don't we try to reform hospital births? Surly the experience can be made more pleasant if we stop treating the delivery rooms as assembly lines. It will help if gods, I mean doctors, learn better side manners and don't reach for forceps so quickly and if we put an end to drive by deliveries.
I'm all for women having options, on the condition that they are real options and not the "lesser evil" kind of choice.
This law has nothing to do with security; security is the excuse. It's aim is to limit the number of Arabs in the Jewish state. Suicide bombings only offered the excuse for the state to have this law, a law that continues a policy that's been going on from day one since the establishment of Israel.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
I'm sure some will say this is an isolated incident and that in Egypt, as many studies have recently shown, it's women who beat up men.
Has anyone noticed the division of labor involved in fertitlity tourism: fair-skinned women sell the egg, and dark-skinned women house it by renting out their wombs.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
First condition: the sender should be the husband. In other words, the husband can't delegate the divorce statement to his friend or butler. He still has to do it himself. But now that I think about it, how about if the husband dictates the message to, say, his secretary? Some men are busy, leading demanding public lives and we need to accommodate their schedules. After all, isn't convenience what this technology is about? The ambiguity of this condition need to be attended to because we really do not want to take this matter lightly, do we?
Second condition: the husband should have the intention and desire to divorce his wife. Just as there is no coercion in religion, there is no coercion in divorce, you know. If a second wife is holding the gun to the man's head and demanding that he divorce the first, the divorce is not legal. Do not underestimate the wiles of women: they can really harass men into doing things they do not want to do. So this is an important condition to guard against the abuse of men's free will.
Third condition: The text of the message should not contain anything beside the statement of divorce. This is very important if you think about it. If a man sends a text message saying, for example,: "u divorced. will b home late 4 dinner," the woman may think that the second statement cancels the first. She may conclude, and females are not particularly known for logical thinking, that the man changed his mind (because women are fickle they think men are fickle too). So instead of worrying about being divorced, she should worry about keeping his dinner warm (which if you think about it she could (should?) do even if she was divorced). Definitely mixed messages are a no no. We don't want to create the impression, and I'm sorry to say that females are impressionable, that men can be fickle or inconstant.
Fourth condition: the message must be received by the wife. We all know how considerate some men can be. In order to save their wives the shock of receiving the news dirctly from them, they may choose to spare them and send the SMS to the woman's father or uncle or grocer. But this too can cause problems. The wife can claim that she never received the divorce message and will continue to consider it her legal right to nag her husband, drain his coffers, and, if he is Egyptian, beat the heck out of him. So this condition is a must to offer the man some measure of protection from exploitation and abuse.
ن قبول الطلاق عبرالرسائل القصيرة مرهون بأربعة شروط هي: أن يكون الزوج هو المرسل، وأن يكون لديه العزم والرغبة على تطليق زوجته، وألا تعني صياغة الرسالة أكثر من معنى غير الطلاق، وأن تستقبلها الزوج
Oh, the joys of travel.
Not Salman Rushdi. I know some people love to hate the man, but he is no native orientalist or turncoat. He doesn't belong in the same sentence with Ajami and Naipaul (the two I know). I taught Rushdi's Shame and Midnight's Children, and I taught Naipaul's Among the Believers. While the latter clearly has a problem with Muslims and Islam generally and is condescending and down right offensive (Edward Said, rightly, described him as "an intellectual disaster"), Rushdi has a problem with the way those in power use Islam and he is merciless satirizing them. Before the unfortunate controversy about The Satanic Veses, Rushdi was a public advocate against British racism twards immigrants.
My beef with Rushdi is his fictional female characters. But let's leave that for another day.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Hamas's slogan "na3am lil jou3, la lil rukou3" (translation: yes to starvation, no to kneeling) is being criticized by some Palestinians. Fateh columnists have been writing against it, but not only them. Independents, like my brother who have kids (not symbols) that they need to feed, are not happy with this line of argument.
Here is a rewrite that I won't even charge for: We will not starve, We will not kneel.
or No to starvation, No to Kneeling. Both versions rhyme.
Needless to say, I'd love to see the play. Maybe we can get Lina Khouri to tour with it here. Anyone saw it in person and can tell us more about it?
"Ebadi has never lost faith in her nation or her Islamic beliefs, despite death threats, multiple arrests, and imprisonment. Summarizing her career, especially in the realm of women's rights, Ebadi says that she has advocated "an interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy.... It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered."
I know that Islamophobes will be pointing out to how "civilized" Catholic protests to the series have been, compared to the violent Muslim protests of the Danish cartoons.
But Catholics in Germany and Europe generally are not a persecuted minority. The Pope is not an underdog. European Catholics don't live in countries invaded by other countries that believe they are, on the whole, brutes that need to be exterminated. Only if you have these similar conditions (among others), you can compare the reaction.
I usually read evolutionary biolgists sitting at the edge of my seat, worrying about what ammunition they will hand over to sexist ideologues. But I like this one.
The article is trying to explain why %30 of German women choose not to have children. So instead of seeing them as freaks, as unnatural women deformed by birth control and their ambitions for a career (and contributing to the extinction of the nation at a time brown people continue to have lots of babies), he sees it as totally natural and human.
But like other evolutionary biologists, the writer maybe neglecting the obvious. Yes, free will is at work here and birth control and autonomy are allowing for its exercise. But could the fact that German women are the ones expected to raise the kids (and therefore have to sacrifice their careers) be a contributing factor (if not the main one?)
Maybe if German men get over their aversion to changing soiled diapers they will have a better shot at perpetuating their genes, not to say saving the great German nation from extinction.
Two more Iraqi TV reporters were assassinated: Al Nahrain correspondent Laith Dulaimi, 29, and technician Muazaz Ahmed, 28.
This reminds me of the Lebanese Uncivil War when people were slaughtered because of the identity card they were carrying.
"Today in Iraq, all the cards are shuffled," said Maytham Shbani, a 29-year-old political reporter at the Egyptian-based TV channel Baghdadiya. "You don't know who is killing whom. Is it the militias? Is it the insurgents? Is it the Ministry of Interior? You will never know."
This passage reminds me of the Alegerian war on civilians; maybe one day in Iraq, after hundred of thousands of innocent people are slaughtered, they will have their "truth and reconciliation" fiasco to cover up the injustice. And, just like in Lebanon, some war criminals will be elected to office and become "leaders" of the country. But don't get too excited: lots of poeple have to die first. Lots.
Since Muslim student associations tend to be dominated by men, this might be a way for young women to have a space of their own to hone their leadership skills. Or it could be a marginalized space of their own to memorize dogma. It's up to them which way they go.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This explains why when women are often heard yelling at their men: "I curse the day I ever set eyes on you."
What I would like to know is who funds these idiotic research projects.
Is anyone left with a reputation in Iraq? 4000 civilians have been slaughtered in three months and we need to behead a woman to smear reputations? I think reputations of all concerned are besooted and all the industrial-strength detergent of the world won't unsmear them.
The video reportedly shows a woman being beheaded. The body seems to have been mutilated as well. (I'm relying here on the Sunday Times article. I don't want to see the video). Whether it's Atwar or another woman, this is a horrible act. The fact that the victim is nameless and has no knowable identity we can relate to does not make this act less horrible. Let's call her Layla, or, Zaynab, or Salwa. As to identity, she's a fellow human being, as helpless as we are.
Some are saying it's a hoax that uses the execution of Nepalese workers and project Atwar's image on it. Not less depraved.
This link, which is graphic, shows Atwar Bahjat dead, but not beheaded.
Think of the depravity and insanity of it all: now we breathe a sigh of relief to hear that someone is shot dead. They are among the lucky ones, we think. At least they weren't ....
Sunday, May 07, 2006
In the meantime, throats of innocent women and men are being slit on daily basis in the name of Islam. How about finding that offensive for a change?
What I find really irritating about the article is that the author lists several names of Saudi male writers, but forgets to mention the name of the best Saudi novelist: Abdul Rahman Munif, author of Cities of Salt and East of the Mediterranean, among other powerful books.
Munif lived and died in exile. His obliteration seems to continue.
I beg to differ.
Murder is worse. Maybe he needs to watch the vidoe of the murder of Atwar Bahjat to get the point.
True or not, this is very bad. It's going to lead to increased tensions between Hamas and Fateh. Not what the Palestinians need right now.
Ironically, the Arab kid, whose name is Aziz, had to be renamed "Izzy" to make him palatable. So much for cultural sensitivity.