Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beinin on the Mahalla al Kubra strike

Joel Beinin has penned an article on the Mahalla al Kubra strike in Merip.

This is the third Beinin article published in Middle East Report on the broad theme of strikes and workers rights since March this year. The other two, co-authored by journalist, blogger and friend Hossam al Hamalawy, can be found here and here.

Go read it!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do we hate America ?

The fall issue of Arab Insight is out. The theme this time is ¨Do We Hate America? The Arab Response¨. Among many interesting articles is Confusing Hearts and Minds: Public Opinion in the Arab World by Sobhi Asila , Media Matters: The Arab Portrayal of the United States - Hosma Mohamed and Missing in Action: The Democracy Agenda in the Middle East, written by Mohammad Yaghi.

There are also two Egypt related articles, one about the portrayal of the American on the Egyptian cinema screen, by Khalid El-Sargany using the title of Youssef Chahine´s last part of his Alexandria trilogy From Alexandria to New York: Uncle Sam in Egyptian Cinema. The second article is by Hanaa M Ebeid on the US AID program to Egypt, with the catchy title: Money Can’t Buy Love: USAID Assistance to Egypt.

You can find all of these articles and a few more in the 140 pages new issue here(PDF)

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Kareem, happy Rosh Hashana(Jewish New Year) and happy new Ethiopian Milenium to all my readers.

UPDATE: This year´s greeting (1429/2008) can be found here.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Alaa al Aswany quote on freedom of talk

The best selling author, political commentator-activist and dentist Alaa al Aswany was quoted as saying this in yesterday´s Observer.

¨'In Egypt, we have freedom of talk, which is not the same as freedom of speech,' he says. 'In a democracy, freedom of speech is a tool of evaluation and change, but in my country, you can write whatever you want, but also the government does whatever it wants. The ruling party is controlling everything so you are not going to change anything. Every now and again you have a case like [Suleiman]. I have friends who have been arrested and tortured, but this is more because of political actions than writing. ¨

The name within the brackets is of course Kareem, who´s currently serving a four year prison term for insulting Islam and the President.

As i have written about earlier on here, the novel Yacoubian building was launched in the UK in February this year. The coming weekend will mark the beginning of a joint effort by ICA and Harper Collins to maximize the chances for a Yaquobian frenzy in Britain, The film is released this Friday and the paperback version has been out in the bookshops for the last week.

Gavin Esler interviewed Alaa al Aswany on hardtalk extra in February, you can find it here. The author has published another novel in arabic, Chicago which was first serialized in the Cairo weekly al Destour, and then published by Dar al Shorouk . An English translation is expected in 2008 by the AUC Press in Cairo.

Those of you who live in the UK, and have not had the opportunity yet to read or watch the film are in for a treat.

UPDATE: Chicago, Aswany´s latest novel has now been translated to french. You can find a review in Le Monde´s book supplement at arabist.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Welcome back, Sandmonkey!

The Sandmonkey is back.

Nice to have you back blogging again!

I´ve been away from following the Egyptian blog scene lately, and didn´t hear the news of your grandmother´s passing, until this morning, when i read your lovely and very moving piece, that made me cry. She seemed to be such a remarkable lady.

Sam, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to you and your family, God rest her soul.