Monday, October 31, 2005

UPDATE Baheyya

She,s back ! With among others Sheikh Ahmad al Tuni that i had the pleasure to listen to live last year !

Kifayya Demo tonight at 9 PM

Kifayya is holding a demo, on the theme of Enough of Sectarianism and for national unity among all Egyptians , regardless of creed. Tonight at 9 PM at Midan Talát Harb in Central Cairo. This is in response to the incidents that happend in the Muharam Beq district in Alexandria over a period of 11 days where a nun was stabbed and three people died, during riots between the demonstrators and the police outside of the St George(Merri Girgis) church. The crowd was demonstrating over a play, supossedly insulting Islam, for furter details on the background story look here . For further information about the Kifayya demo at Taálat Harb

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Desperately seeking Baheyya

I really miss the unquiestionable Queen of the Egyptian Blogsphere, Baheyya. Her unique style and profound insight is such an inspiration to all of us, and one has already become addicted to her mini-essays. She hasn´t been blogging that much lately.

For all of you, feeling the same way, go read her old stuff, while waiting for her next appearance

Friday, October 28, 2005

14 year old Egyptian boy faces execution in Saudiarabia


Human Rights Watch stated today in a report that a 14 year old Egyptian boy faces capital punishment in a flawed trial. Having been convicted of the murder on a three year old Egyptian boy living in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits capital punishment for offenses committed by individuals under 18 at the time of the crime and protects the rights of all children accused or convicted of crimes. The Saudi has also stated it´s commitment to the Islamic shariah, that don´t allow capital punishment for minors. The last known capital punishment of a minor in Saudi Arabia was in 1992.

The Egyptian consulate has not been of much assistance to the boy. Maybe due to the extremly important bilateral relations between the two countries.

The HRW urges King Abdullah to commute the sentence.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Simpsons muárab

MBC started showing Simpsons arabic style during Ramadan. It has gone trough some changes , to adapt to teenage audiences in the Arab World.
The series is called Shamsoons in arabic. The familiar characters like Homer and Bart, has become Omar and Badr, but according MBC tyhey will try to stick to the storyline , as much as possible. Omar does not drink alchohol, a Homer trademark for instance.
The popularity of the sitcom , has a lot to do with the famous voices, like Muhammad Heneidi and Hanan Turk. The show has proven to be a success, so it will continue after Ramadan as well.

BBC goes inte Arab orbit

The BBC world service has decided to join the train of arab satelite news. In 1938, the first foreign language radio station from the BBC was launched, to counter Mussolinis Bari radio station. During and after the second world war , the system of foreign language BBC radio stations in Europe become widespread. It played it´s role as a free radio station in the midst of unfree Europe briliantly.

It has broadcasted arabic language radio programs for 60 years, and has already made an attempt at launching an arabic channel in the 1990´s, together with the Saudi company orbit. That failed in 1996, but out from the ashes came what would be the most successful and important arab satelite tv station, al Jazzera. In the middle of the 90`s the BBC was out on a virgin mission alone in an untapped market. This time around they are entering a vibrant and fiercely competitive news market, with one of the world´s most known brands as their number one competitor, togheter with the fellow pan-arab, but more western leaning station al Arabiyya, and a whole bunch of local news outlets who want´s a piece of the action.

The proccess that the BBC world service are going through, from the outside looks a lot like the voice of America, when it shifted focus from traditional radio broadcasts in foreign languages, to trying to "capture the hearts and minds" of the Arab audience, with Radio Sawwa and al Hurra. Hopefully the BBC has drawn the right conclusions from that failing project.

I don´t think the BBC should change very much , they have their unique style, which is known and admired all ower the world. The fact that this is a government funded project, at a time when the United Kingdom, is the junior partner to the U.S in Iraq, could be a focus for criticsism and a lack of trust from the audience, but the project will be launched in 2007, and it could look , somewhat different on the ground in Iraq, than today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bad Democracy Award

Tom Burgis from open Democracy has introduced the Bad Democracy pool, where YOU can participating in choosing the worst democrat of the month. It could be a politician or an institution. At the end of the year, each month´s winner will take part in the vote for the Bad Democracy Award for the entire year worldwide.

If choosing the bad democrat in Egypt, the Arab World or the entire planet , who would YOU vote for ? And what about the opposite , a best democracy award ?

My nominatitions for this month is Nouman Gouma and Ayman Nour, who could´nt bury their hatchets and form an all inclusive opposition list, the National Front. If Tagamau and the Ikhwan could make a partial truce, it seems rather odd, that the two party leaders with the most in common ideologically, can´t put their personal problems aside for a bigger cause.

In the arab world the award this month in my view must be a chrushing victory for the Syrian regime, perhaps with a suplementary award to Emile Lahud.

The idea is a little bit like my own list , Hot & Not