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Friday, February 10, 2006

Am I disillusioned??

I don't know, really. I made my way back to Lebanon because I felt that I needed to do something: find my dad. I don't know if I am disillusioned or what, maybe I should give up on it and accept reality. But what is reality?? I am not sure I believe that my dad was killed. I just hope that he wouldn't be in one of those mass graves that are being found occasionally - or those that will never be found. It's so difficult to go about getting information. I feel like I'm going nowhere. I don't have anything to start from.

Forgive me for this personal post, this blog is not meant to be a personal one. But I just felt like ranting.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blogging the Middle East

My friend (well, best friend, it's almost as if we're shadows of each other), who wishes to be identified only as "Freedom", has started a blog. The bad part is that it's not on blogger. The good part is that it's not as controversial and extremist as mine. ;) Anyway, just thought I'd do my bit and advertise the blog. Feel free to pass on the link, I suppose. She has a *gasp* moderate take on the Muhammad cartoons. Anyway, not to spoil the fun, go read it.

As for me, I'm sorry, I keep saying I will update the blog but I get lazy. I think it's in the air or something. Or maybe it's the water. I don't know. Maybe being stoned is a prerequisite for blogging the Middle East.

Interesting debate about the Danish cartoons / Muslim reaction here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Cartoon from Jordan
Cartoon by Emad Hajjaj, Al-Ghad Newspaper, Jordan

Sunday, February 05, 2006

In support of freedom of speech

Visit this blog (brought to you by the Arab European League) and see it all for yourself. Let's see if those "conservative" Danes who published those cartoons will come out and express their solidarity for "freedom of speech"! About time someone exposed the hypocrisy of the West.

The following explanation was made available on the Arab European League website:
After the lectures that Arabs and Muslims received from Europeans on Freedom of Speech and on Tolerance. And after that many European newspapers republished the Danish cartoons on the Prophet Mohammed. AEL decided to enter the cartoon business and to use our right to artistic expression.

Just like the newspapers in Europe claim that they only want to defend the freedom of speech and do not desire to stigmatise Muslims, we also do stress that our cartoons are not meant as an offence to anybody and ought not to be taken as a statement against any group, community or historical fact.

If it is the time to break Taboos and cross all the red lines, we certainly do not want to stay behind.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Israeli Journalism

I am officially done with my first semester of graduate school, and so I can now take a deep breath and dedicate some time to making some observations about the Middle East (never really stopped doing that, only that I didn't do it online). But first I must apologize for the mysterious silence (just going through some rough financial and personal problems). Anyhow, I have taken a keen interest in Islam lately, and I might end up converting one of these days. And that's all I will say on the personal front.

The Palestinian elections are interesting to say the least. I was actually hoping for a Hamas win, because the Palestinians deserve accountability after years of corruption that they have suffered from. And it seems that they made the right choice, at least when it comes to internal politics. As for external politics (and relations with Israel), people have been marketing the Hamas win as a tragic ending, but allow me to ask, what has Fatah done so far?? What has Mahmoud Abbas done so far?? Except for maintaining the status quo, that is, under the guise of "sitting at the negotiations table"? Moreover, why is a Likud win hailed as democratic elections while a Hamas one is not, having in mind that Likud has had a history of racism, hatred, and mass murder (note: not that Labour does not have such a history as well!)? I forget, Israelis are supposed to be democracy-loving while those backwards Arabs and Muslims only understand the language of violence... And I will not even attempt to demolish the American position because it's not worth my time, really. Maybe when the U.S adopts a position more worthwhile to be talked about I will consider discussing it.

Moving on, I have been following Israeli reports of the Qassam attack that hit a caravan in a kibbutz, supposedly causing critical injuries to a 7-month-old baby boy. Well, after reading that report (on all three major Israeli news websites, Ha'aretz, JPost, and Yediot Achronot) I got curious so I ran a search on Yahoo News Photos, and here's what I found. Here's the picture of the baby in a "critical" condition:

Osher Amar

I suppose the Israeli definition of "critical injuries" excludes life-threatening condition, blood, and loss of consciousness, and includes crying and absence of visible injuries... JPost was kind enough to publish my criticism of the wording in the talkbacks; unsurprisingly, there were calls for censorship, because apparently any criticism of false reporting (in favour of the poor, oppressed, persecuted Israelis) is ... anti-Semitic. There was also someone who actually wondered what difference terminology (critical /moderate / light) made... You can experience the glory of idiocy first-hand by clicking here. And where's MEMRI when you need it??

Update: I just got banned from the Harirists' forum for being "unsecular". I kid you not. That was the message I received from the administrator before I got banned. Perhaps Mr. Administrator would like to check out the LF-ers on the forum who are defending the crusaders. Not to mention that more than half of the people at the "demonstration" today were Harirists... Mr. Administrator might also like to check out how hypocritical he is when he seems to be justifying the cartoons by pointing to "freedom of speech". I call on people to respect and practice freedom of speech! But shhh, don't tell anyone, I neither believe in it nor practice it.

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