An Arab Renaissance against all odds?

Pan-Arabism, which crystallised during the 50’s and 60’s of the last century as a quasi secular socialist movement is, by all accounts, dead. The Arab Intelligentsia has grieved and mourned for the last four decades the premature death of a promising progressive movement. Arab unity movements, from the ocean to the ocean, have been spiralling downwards towards oblivion.

Far from taking any steps towards institutionalized political unity, the Arabs of today appear incapable of reaching any agreement in response to any of the serious and dangerous situations facing the Arabs collectively. Any follower of mediatised intra-Arab political or social debates would note the absurd pattern where the majority of debates amongst Arab representatives turn into un-intelligible disputes, worthy only of sighs of frustration and disbelief. Read More »

Travel to Lost Places

Fjords in Norway, appearing and disappearing amidst clouds, make one wonder if it was the mountains that ventured too far into sea or the water that pushed further inland. Or is this just nature dreaming? Read More »

At the Black Iris of Jordan: Best Internet Service Provider in Jordan

Naseem’s war with Orange Telecom continues, while discussion in the comments is useful for anyone living in or traveling to Jordan.

“12 Angry Lebanese”: interview with Zeina Daccache

What kind of a girl saunters in to a maximum security prison and starts telling the inmates what to do? One with a lot of guts—and training.

Originally published in JO.

IN 2008, Zeina Daccache made headlines by doing the impossible: she got access to one of Lebanon’s toughest men’s prisons and staged a play there, starring the inmates. After months of work, she brought the great and good of Beirut society, from the Prosecutor General to the Minister of Interior, to sit in a makeshift theater and watch a group of convicted murderers, rapists and drug dealers act out a parable about the failure of criminal justice. Read More »

At Inanities: Guide to writing about Egypt

Hilarious satire of a recent NYT piece on Egypt.

Arbitration & mediation in the Arab world: a growing phenomenon

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in the Arab world have been growing hand in hand with the resurgence of various countries as members of the fast growing club of successful emerging markets. The flexibility of arbitration, mediation and other ADR methods, as well as their speed, efficiency and confidentiality, have made them more attractive to investors and parties in contracts of an international nature. Consequently, a significant number of Arab countries have been busy updating and enhancing their laws and regulations on arbitration and mediation in particular. There is momentum behind ADR in the region. Read More »

At Muslimah Media Watch: Newsweek Turns a Widow into a Terrorist Mastermind

A curious article in Newsweek, dissected.

“Fasten your seatbelts”: a Royal Jordanian flight as symbol of a culture

“Final call for Royal Jordanian flight 178 to Montreal. Passengers are kindly requested to proceed to Gate number three immediately.”

At Queen Alia International Airport, I tucked away my laptop and lunged to the security check point before the gate. On my way I double-checked the flight departure monitor. It flashed: “RJ178 Gate 3 Last Call.”

Right before the X-ray machine stood an airport security guard that checked passports and boarding passes. Upon seeing my pass he said: “Montreal not yet open. Please wait in the other lounge.” Read More »

The pen is mightier: Remi Kanazi talks back

Palestinian-American spoken word poet Remi Kanazi isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. The opening lines of his Rambling Poem on Israel and America are characteristic of his unapologetic, in-your-face poetry. Read More »

The IPAF reminds us that Arab writing is alive and flourishing

The Western world has yet to fully grasp the number of excellent Arab fiction writers due to the language barrier. However, it seems that things may are about to change for those Arab writers the rest of the world needs to hear about.

Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan metropolis. With its burgeoning economy that has made it a popular destination for expats, as well as its cultural initiatives, it is no surprise that it recently played host to the first international nadwa (workshop) for Arab fiction. Read More »