On Monday 23 January 2012, Egyptian parliament elected the first Islamist speaker in its 188 years history, while one Islamists member added his own ‘conditions’ to the traditional oath of allegiance to the nation which every MP is required to give at the end of their maiden speech. As each MP vows to give his full support and allegiance to the nation, its constitution and laws, an Islamist MP added ‘as long as they don’t contradict Allah’s laws’. It was evident to many that not all Islamists, accused by liberals and nationalists of ‘pretending’ to accept parliamentarian democracy as means to an end not as a political system, can manage to stick to the script until the end of act one. (more…)
In ordering Egyptian police to storm the offices of 17 human rights groups and NGOs ( Non-governmental organisations)on Thursday ( Dec 29), the ruling military junta sticks up two fingers to President Obama’s administration and to the United States Congress as well silencing internal voices of criticism. A muted response, that didn’t go beyond empty rhetoric exposes president Obama’s weakness and cast doubt on his commitment to democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. (more…)
The media coverage of the Iranian’s quest for nuclear weapons and the subsequent threat to regional and world peace seems to fall into an obvious trap of missing a crucial point, namely Iran’s true objectives of obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran’s radical Islamists leaders are not targetting Israel as they say, but they wanted to blackmail Arab neighbours into accepting Iran’s stratgey for the region. (more…)
Ten years passed since the tragedy of 9/11, during which some lessons have been learned and many lessons missed both in the Britain (and the west in general) and in Islamic nations. Remarkably, same errors of the past have been, and still, being repeated.
the fall of col Gaddafi’s 42 year dictatorship is so far the most remarkable and optimistic news for revolutionaries and reformists in Middle East and North Africa region (MENAR). It is even better news for humanity and the future of democracy than those heralded by the two, half successful, Jasmine and Lotus Revolutions in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.
They played a most crucial rolem and without NATO air campaign Gaddafi would have won.
British special forces helped by other commonwealth forces as well as some French must be given credit for training the Libyan rebel forces ( Freedom Fighters as they like to be called)0n the ground and directing them.
Adel Darwish, SOAS, London university, 1 June 2011
I was asked by some media academics (mainly leftwing Arabic and pro-Arab) to give a 30 minute talk followed by Q & A as port of in a two day conference and work shop held at London university on what they called ‘“Misrepresentation” of ARABS by Western Media Arabs in Western Media), which sounded a bit bizarre, since we journalists don’t have an agenda against anyone or any race.
here is what I said:
When I attend seminars or conferences like this, I often wrestle with two conflicting thoughts. One is have the organisers found evidence of which I wasn’t aware to suggest holding conference?
The second is my very own knowledge based on experience that repeated accusations of this type are often exaggerated or based on selected emotional experience, since my fellow journalists who didn’t know much about the region would always come to the foreign desk and ask experts to give them the background. And would I then spoil the party by saying the very substance of the conference doesn’t exist in the suggested format?
A Mubarak factus est vile tricephalus Aegypti: As soon as I heard the news of the arrest of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and his two sons, Gamal and Ala’a; the Latin expression ‘Vile Tricephalus’ came to mind : Is it a trucephalus scapegoat diverting attention away not only from the Military abuse of power and violation of human-rights but also, worse still, pulling the wool over the eyes to hide a sophisticated wider conspiracy? Different parties, especially the innocent revolutionaries, received news of the Mubaraks’ arrest with gratifying vengeful jubilance, taking it as the first signs of the victory of the Lotus Revolution. The national committee of the revolution called off the Million persons demonstration scheduled two days later, making Friday April 15, the first weekend without a demonstration in Tahrir Square this year.
When the Munich Olympic Games started in 1972, hardly any one heard of ‘Black September Organisation’ BSO( Ayloul al-Aswad) the Palestinian terror organisation, apart from a handful of Middle East specialists and intelligence services’ agents following the deadly game of assassinations and counter assassinations between Palestinian guerrilla groups and Israeli intelligence service Mossad. The game, sometimes spectacularly violent, was often more about revenge rather than a pre-emptive step.
Majority of Britons think Islam is unfair to women, lacks justice and is linked in their minds with extremism and terrorism, according to a recent opinion poll. The poll, conducted by You Gov on behalf of Explore Islam Foundation, a moderate Islamic organisation trying to promote Islam as a faith for peace and self discipline, found that 58% of Britons linked Islam with extremism while half of those asked associated the faith with terrorism. Last week’s poll also discovered that 69% of Britons believe Islam encourages the oppression of women while less than four of out ten asked thought Islam was having a positive impact on society. Only 13% believed it was a religion based on peace, while a mere six percent associated Islam with justice.
Left wing Egyptians have turned Egyptian popular diplomat, Mohamed El-Baradei’s London lecture into Farce……but he still walks tall and remains popular, thanks to public at large.
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and a hopeful candidate for 2012 Egyptian Presidency election, was in London tonight where he spoke for 20 minutes on need for change in Egypt and his hope for restoring democracy and rule of law that existed before the 1952 military coup.
Last month a cartoon in the Daily Telegraph depicted ‘Mr Middle Britain’ raising a finger covered in purple dye – the visual image of Iraq’s budding democracy among Britons – saying to his wife ‘ I have just voted to abstain in the coming election.’ (more…)
The war might be illegal, but removing Saddam was legitimate I am still a bit bemused by this whole Iraq War inquiry. Like the ones before it, the outcome is known in advance, although T.Blair’s act was the best when the circus came to town. Is it worth the money spent?
This is the original piece, which was printed in Arabic in Asharq al-Awsat Saturday January 2, 2010, but then they back-translated into English (http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=19420 )which made little sense, hence I had to put it on the blog ( which I normally wouldn’t do with pieces published in the media)
ONCE AGAIN the derogatory term “Londonstan”, resonated among world security chiefs referring to Britain as soon as it was revealed that that Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to trigger explosives on a passenger flight approaching Detroit airport, had been radicalised by Islamists extremists during his three years study in Britain.
When former Prime Minister Tony Blair was giving oral evidence to a House of Common Select Committee last month, a leading New labour figure was overheard whispering to a colleague ‘ my god, what have we done !’.
Appearing in his current role as the Middle East Peace Quartet (EMEPQ) envoy before the all party Foreign Affairs Select Committee (FASC) Mr Blair articulated his assessment of how to overcome obstacles impeding the peace process towards the two state solution in Palestine, while remaining in a calm control of the two and half hour session. (more…)
This is the full version as space restrictions in the Middle East Magazine rquired a much shorter one.
The 21st League of Arab Nations summit in Doha, was supposed to be a two day summit of conciliation and dealing with issues ranging from Iranian threats to world financial crisis as wells as the customary Israeli Palestinian settlement, and Palestinian/Palestinian conciliation; but it was cut into one day, most of the agenda ignored.
I was not planning to put this information on my blog, since I thought it to be a personal matter. but since my name has been mentioned, in the past few days, in the media both in print and in blogs and forums, in association with Just Journalism, an organisation from which I resigned as a director on 31 December 2008, I had to alert every one to the fact that I have nothing to do with the organisation any more. A significant part of the information published was wrong and some claims were false regarding both my identity and my association with Just journalism. (more…)
*This the original piece I wrote before the subs cut and changed it.
Spending Christmas and New Year bound to my sickbed by tubes and drip-feeds, with a mobility of an Egyptian mummy following a complicated surgery on the spine, my heart played with the usage of the word ‘siege’, as I reflected on the conditions of the silent majority of non-partisan Gazans in the thick of a bloody war. (more…)
My fellow reporters covering the Middle East, admit that the narrative of reporting Israel has changed in the British media, making the job of Israel’s new ambassador to London an unprecedented challenge. (more…)