Amal in Berlin

Amal in Berlin

Prior to the arrival of Syrians in Berlin, the city’s most overrepresented Arab passport was Lebanese. Many, of course, are held by Palestinians, for whom the ID was a convenient ticket out of the country. But, all the same, a significant number of natives have followed them, for many of the same reasons: escaping the sectarian violence that has plagued the country for the better part of four decades. More»

Terror and the Left

Terror and the Left

After the terrible events of Monday night, the British government has suspended the election and the country is left shaken. The army has been deployed to protect “key sites” as the UK goes on ‘critical alert’ fearing an imminent terror attack. More»

Manchester According to Populists

Manchester According to Populists

The current surge in the left’s propensity toward violence and mayhem should surprise no one; this is PRECISELY who they are. This is why the American left and Islam share parallel ideologies. They both see totalitarian rule as their primary objective.They will attempt to achieve this agenda at any cost. More»

Latest entries
Shopping Mall Wedding

Shopping Mall Wedding

Television is inextricably linked with public space. Everywhere you go, you’re never not in front of a screen. Whether it’s at a restaurant or a bar, on passenger jets, or waiting for a train, the experience is the same. Watching the Royal Wedding. Westfield Mall, London. April 29th, 2011.

 

Democracy Without Leadership

Democracy Without Leadership

Imagine a state about the size of Maryland. Give it slightly more people than Michigan. Divide it into three federal regions. Spice it up with three official languages (make sure these don’t coincide with the regions’ borders). Ensure it is run by variable coalitions of 10 political parties operating through 7 parliaments. Chop it into 10 provinces and, for good measure, 589 local councils. Mix well and let stew for a few decades. What do you get? Welcome to Belgium. More»

Public Enemy in Arabic

Public Enemy in Arabic

“Two great tastes, one great flavor,” joked my boss, as we overheard the strains of a booty jam sampling a piece of 1950s Arab orchestral music. Sitting in his car on the way to a recording session, we turned the volume up. Nodding his head in approval at the mix of squishy beats and vintage strings, he declared, “It’s so fucking obvious! Byrne and Eno were doing this twenty years ago.” Well, not exactly. But he was close. More»

Cultivated Listening

Cultivated Listening

I wasn’t going to write about the debut album from Cults. The very idea of the band annoyed me. I’m tired of male-female duos like the The White Stripes, Fiery Furnaces, and Mates of State. I’m tired of records that sound like they’re being played over an AM radio. And I’m especially tired of bands from Brooklyn, which actually make me long for the days when Seattle was all the rage. More»

Speakers, Cornered

Speakers, Cornered

My wife and I were at a burger joint the other day, waiting for our order. A garrulous fellow with an English accent, upon seeing my San Francisco Giants cap, began regaling me with tales of his life as a fan of the English football club Chelsea. Actually, he said “I love football, and I love Chelsea,” and proceeded to explain why he put the sport first and the favored club second. I understood his argument in the abstract, but for me, when we are talking Giants, baseball comes second. There is nothing abstract about it. More»

The Other Occupation

The Other Occupation

Israel’s killing of dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the fence surrounding Majdal Shams has again catapulted the 19,000 Druze and 2,000 Muslim Arabs of the Golan Heights to popular attention. Despite being as numerous as Israeli settlers, they lack equal rights and access to resources, as Arthur Neslen discovered in this feature, which was spiked by Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst. More»

The Road to Damascus

The Road to Damascus

The Gay Girl in Damascus blog has been outed.  Supposedly written by a Syrian-American lesbian named Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, the online personality came crashing down after her ‘cousin’ posted a dramatic story of her kidnapping by Syrian agents.  The alarm raised international attention and created a Facebook page where over 15,000 people demanded her freedom. More»

Amores Perros Revisited

Amores Perros Revisited

The bathroom was empty. The floor was clear. There was no sign of him underneath the sofa. He wasn’t on the balcony, either. Looking at the roof of the cafe below, I started to panic. Raster wasn’t the most agile of creatures. Had he lost his balance?

“Raster,” I yelled out. “Raster!” People started to look out their windows, wondering what I was going on about. I noticed a faint shadow on the cafe roof. I could hear a dog whimpering. A small black head pushed itself out from underneath a ledge. More»

Versioning Martyrdom

Versioning Martyrdom

The martyr is a universal archetype. Someone who dies for a cause, someone who is victimized for their beliefs. Every society has one. Blame it on religion. Blame it on backward concepts of national identity, of personal sacrifice. It would be a relief if we could somehow rid ourselves of the notion that we might give our lives for a greater good, when that ‘good’ is usually questionable. More»

Very Late Capitalism

Very Late Capitalism

Making my way through the vastness of my local Costco, trying to avoid the urge to buy large quantities of things for which I have small need, I was surprised to catch a glimpse of huge plastic barrels of flour out of the corner of my eye.

“Wait,” I thought, “Didn’t I just see a row of flour sacks two aisles back?” As I turned my head to ponder this riddle, I saw that the flour was grouped next to huge containers of dried strawberries and, a little farther to the right, such staples as powdered milk and eggs. More»

The Entitled People

The Entitled People

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before a special joint session of the United States Congress. A foreign leader, he looked at home as he thumbed his nose at US President Barack Obama. Just days before, Obama had reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to two states—one for the Palestinians, the other for Israelis—based on pre-Six Day War borders. Netanyahu defied Obama as he told Congress (and international audiences watching the live broadcast) that Israel would not withdraw to the 1967 lines. More»

United States of Invisibility

United States of Invisibility

Has any conflict in history had more ‘solutions’ than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? From Tel Aviv, to Ramallah, to the ends of the earth – everyone has an opinion as to who should do what to bring peace to all or victory to some.

At the same time, despite the cacophony of voices, the range of ‘final status’ visions is rather limited. The essential issue is that two self-defined peoples claim sovereignty within one small patch of land. More»