Showing posts from 2014
A movie:  Omar

Please Explain this Map

In early May the website Vox made a small splash on the Internet with “ 40 Maps That Explain the Middle East .”

The Sociologist Has Left the Building

On my final day in Tehran, I chatted up the obligatory cab driver. Can Rouhani pull it off, I asked? “If his heart is pure, then it will be fine,” the old Turk said. “If the only thing that comes of it is a new group of rich sons-of-bitches, then it is over.” I rephrased the question: Is this the last chance for the Islamic Republic’s elite to reform their own system? “Yes, that’s a good way of putting it.” Iran’s elite consensus may be substantial and its mild aims feasible, but its supporting popular front is fragile. Or, to put it another way, revolutionary states are not “external to the historical system but the excretions of processes internal to it. Hence they have reflected all the contradictions and constraints of the system. They could not and cannot do otherwise.”   [12]   Iran’s elite may want to read Wallerstein again. Luckily, he’s still in all those Tehran bookstores.

The Qarmatians (Al-Qaramita)

By Nadeem Mahjoub Documentary film-makers G. Troeller and M. C. Defarge once asked a cabinet minister in South Yemen, why socialistic ideas were so readily acceptable in that part of the Arab world. He replied: “Because we have been communists for a thousand years! My mother was Qarmatian.” Official Muslim scholars and clerics, and many so-called moderates (whether individuals or groups) oppose sedition ( fitna ). Tensions and contradictions in society should be solved peacefully and even if the ruler was unjust and impious, it is generally accepted he should still be obeyed, for any kind of order is better than anarchy and sedition. “The tyranny of a sultan for a hundred years causes less damage than one year’s tyranny exercised by the subjects against one another.” Revolt was justified only against a ruler who clearly went against the command of God and His prophet.” 1 Here we look at not what happened in the minds of people who call for calm, oppose dissent and preach the


Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse

Hanna Mina

Hanna Mina, the renowned Syrian novelist turns 90 Hanna Mina’s ‘Sun on a Cloudy Day’: Potential of Revolt Always Present

Mecca's changing face

Mecca's changing face: Rejuvenation or destruction?
The Arab Gramsci


"Sisi has never disclosed his plan for the country’s future – assuming he has one. He projects himself as a new Nasser, but his idol had vast resources thanks to the land he confiscated from the rich, the foreign companies he nationalised, and the Soviet Union. Nothing like this is available to Sisi. Since the late 1970s, Egypt’s economy has come under the control of private businessmen able to li quidate their investments and move their funds offshore at the first sign of trouble. And the pockets of Egypt’s supporters in the Gulf are not as deep as those of Communist Russia during the Cold War. Partnership with Egypt’s capitalists in a US-style military-industrial complex might prove useful to the armed forces, but it won’t bring social justice any closer. What will happen when those who currently believe that Sisi’s presidency is the answer to their problems – to unemployment, poverty, inadequate healthcare, under-funded education, shantytowns and all the rest – come to realise

Palestine's Capitalists

A powerful group of Palestinian capitalists are profiting off occupation.

The General's Property - To Ariel Sharon

By Sameeh Al-Qaasim A flower vase on the general's table Five roses in the vase The general's tank has five mouths Under the tank a boy of five, a rose A boy and five stars adorn the general's shoulder In his vase five boys and a rose Under his tank five roses and five boys The tank has countless mouths.

The Arab Refugee

By Abul Wahaab Al-Bayaati Translated by Abdullah Al-Udhari Ants gnaw his flesh Crows peck his flesh The Arab refugee nailed to the cross. The Arab refugee Begs and spends his nights in railway stations Crying his eyes out. And Jaffa is just a small label On a box of oranges. Stop knocking on my door There's no life left in time. And Jaffa is just an orange label It leaves the dead undisturbed. They've sold the memory of Saladin They've sold his horse and shield They've sold the grave of refugees. Who would buy an Arab refugee for a loaf of bread? My blood is running dry But you go on laughing. I am Sindbad I store my treasures in your children's hearts. Ants gnaw his flesh Crows peck his flesh The Arab refugee begging at your door.

An Arab Traveller in a Space Station

By Mohammad Al-Maghut Translated by Abdullah Al-Udhari Scientists and technicians, Give me a ticket to the sky: I come on behalf of my grieved country, Her aged, her widows, her children. Give me a ticket to the sky I have no money... Only tears. No place for me? Let me stay in the hold Or on the deck. I'm a peasant, I'm used to it. I won't hurt a star. I won't be rude to a cloud. All I want is to reach The sky as soon as I can To put the whip in God's hand: He may stir us to revolution.