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Massar, which calls itself a “Consultancy firm, providing investment promotion, management solutions and development services to the Palestinian private and public sectors.” based in Ramallah, has begun working on the first ever ‘Palestinian settlement‘ in the West Bank. There are roadblocks along the way (ie: the Oslo Accords), but they’re bulldozing right through them (pun very much intended, Daniel Varisco has permanently rubbed off on me). Primarily funded by the Qatari government, Rawabi is the name of the intended first ever Palestinian city, meant to provide a place with a higher standard of living in the West Bank.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this settlement.
Well, we all thought the “dating” scene at Midd was bad… This article on urfi marriages in Egypt details how far young couples have to go to hide their relationships from conservative families. The danger here is, of course, if the girl gets pregnant.
We in the United States of America support liberty and justice for all, we really do. But when it comes to our own wants and needs, well… of course those come first. Supporting a despotic corrupt ruler is much more important than supporting freedom of expression in all parts of the world. For the past few weeks, to mark the anniversary of the Gaza Attacks, (over a year ago now) activists marchers have been attempting to enter the Gaza strip, despite the Egyptian-backed siege. This article from a British news source covers it quite well.
Some argue the Iran-Israel tension should be at the height of American Foreign Policy concern, but others argue it is simply overhyped by the media. The situation between the two powers provides eerie parallels to the US and USSR during the Cold War. But not for everyone. A recent article on Foreign Policy makes a case for how the Iran-Israel situation is far worse than the Cold War ever was. The article, in my opinion, offers a few interesting arguments, but seems biased and more outrightly fearful of Iran than anything else.
Well, the Onion hopes so, anyway. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not actually make traffic remarks, one may hope she’s thinking it. And perhaps she’ll pass on the message?
The writer has a point, though, besides making readers chuckle at the impossibility of this situation. Is the tension between the Israeli and Palestinian representatives so high that they cannot even admire the rainbow in the sky that they share? Beyond that, maybe its about time that both sides put aside the major differences (ie: preconditions) and actually sat down and discussed what everyone has been hoping for: peace.
Any chance they read the Onion over yonder and they’ll be inspired?
[Also: For people wondering about Indo-Pak tensions, here’s another. (I think this one is biased towards the Indian, but maybe thats just personal.)
One of my friends, who is sadly not an MES major, asked me yesterday, “So… have we caught bin Laden yet?”
In her defense, its easy to forget about that hairy man who is probably still hiding in a cave somewhere in Central/South Asia. Especially since he’s taken the backseat to Saddam Hussein, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and even Maj Nadal Hassan in recent years.
But where is he? We really just don’t know, says US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
So I know this is not concerning the Middle East, we were talking about “Muslim music” in one of my (to-remain-unnamed) classes. And I thought this might be interesting to share.
I remember my mom remarking, 4 years ago when I was last in Dubai, that the sudden rise of this little Gulf state was dangerous. I, along with most of the Dubai residents we were with, scoffed at the notion. Unfortunately, as always, the mom was right? After a short era of international fame and reputation for the most modernized place in the Middle East, Dubai has to pay for its 15 minutes (though slightly more) of fame. Literally.
Okay, so the US and UN disapprove. Now what? Are we going to do something about it?
Frankly, some of us are getting impatient.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared that he will not run for President again in 2010. He seemingly based this decision on the lack of progress in peace negotiations, and expressed particular disappointment in the Obama administration.
Abbas’ has been receiving backlash from supporters for his wavering stance on the Goldstone Report, some people suggest this may play a role in his decision. However, he mainly stressed the inability to reach a feasible resolution, even with President Obama’s attempts. The greatest disappointment, he mentions, is the US’s inability to stop illegal Israeli settlements. Despite all this, he maintains a belief that a peace deal is still attainable.
He emphasized that his decision was not a “compromise or a maneuver” on his part, but suspicions remain. This decision not to run follows Abbas’ presidential decree that elections would be held this coming January. This move is a difficult one, considering Hamas has shown no indication of cooperating with these elections in Gaza. There have been protests against Abbas’ decision, making the situation even more complicated since the people are already dissatisfied with a new president. On that point, who can the Palestinian people (or at least those of the West Bank) look to for future leadership?
No, not quite a food fight… though I’m sure falafels falling from the sky could not be that bad. There’s definitely enough hummus to fuel one, though.
This past weekend, Lebanon prepared over two tons (2036kg) of hummus to declare their ownership of the Middle Eastern dish. This hummus race is more than just a matter of size, though. Its all about the ownership and origin of the dish. The record was previously held by Israel, whom Lebanon is fighting for culinary rights. The Association of Lebanese Industrialists used this event to affirm the Lebanese origin of the popular dish, and to push for the registration of this dish as authentically Lebanese- like Feta cheese for the Greeks.
Hmm, I wonder what they do with all the food when they’re done proving their point…?
Oh and apparently, there was a tabbouleh war, too… 3538kg of tabbouleh…
Cairo, Egypt was recently the site of President Obama’s “outreach” speech to the Middle East, signifying the importance of the state in the Middle Eastern political sphere. While it is certainly important to keep an eye on the ever-tense Israel-Palestine conflict, Egyptian internal politics should not fall by the wayside. Looking to the 2011 Elections, one wonders how much longer President Mubarak will retain his tight grip on power.
Questions of succession after 28 years of President Mubarak’s reign, or regime, if you will, loom in the distance. An interesting BBC piece covers ground with some of the opposition: