Monday, April 28, 2008

Top Stories 4/28

Al-Ahram (Egypt): Can Bush attack again? Article about the possibility of the US attacking Iran, while Bush is still in office.

Turkish Daily News: Turkey mediates peace between Syria and Israel. This hasn't happened yet, but apparently the Turks are volunteering.

Gulf News (UAE): Iran discusses 'serious' nuclear ideas with Russia. Iran is right across the Gulf from the UAE, so they're always watching what goes on.

Tehran Times (Iran): Pakistan, Iran finalize gas pipeline deal. Nice photo of Musharraf and Ahmadinejad. They look a little odd.

Is Barbie Bad?

Iran wants to ban the Barbie Doll, saying it's bad for the morals. Personally, I find the whole thing amusing. Especially, considering how Barbie has occasionally been bashed in the West for her unrealistic body and for saying things like "Math is hard." We'll see if anything comes of this, or if it's just more posturing.

Free Fouad - Fouad Freed!

A friend sent me this article from the Christian Science Monitor on Sunday, but I didn't get a chance to post it. Here's the BBC article.

Fouad has been freed!!!!!! I'm very excited about this. Officially, I think the government was near or just past the time where they could hold him without charges. That doesn't mean he still couldn't end up in jail, but for now he's at home with his family. I hope this hasn't scared him away from blogging. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next week or two.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Top Stories 4/21

Yes, it has been a while, but Top Stories are back! For new readers, these are the top stories from papers around the Middle East:

Gulf News

A lot of news from the Gulf this week.

*Women in Saudi Arabia. Human Rights Watch says that the way their rights are curtailed, they're treated like children.

*Who needs GMT when you could have Mecca Time! Some scholars think Mecca should replace GMT, especially as it's a product of colonialism that was imposed on them by the British. Also some info about a Mecca Watch that shows the direction of Mecca. No pictures, unfortunately.

*Condoleezza Rice is in the Gulf too, for the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) meeting in Bahrain.

*And Ethiopia has broken it relations with Qatar, claiming they are funding rebels from Eritrea.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yemeni Child Brides

Okay, this is just freaky! A Yemeni girl went to court to get a divorce. But she's only eight years old! In some societies it's not uncommon to have a marriage contract for children, but they don't actually do anything until they're of legal age. Well, Yemen's legal age appears to be puberty. And it looks like the marriage was consummated (he's in his twenties). This is just so wrong I really don't know what to say about it. Women's groups are trying to get the government to pass a minimum age law, but nothing has happened yet. Read the Yemen Times article here.

More BAE Nonsense

This is the story that does not end. See my previous posts. Here's the link to the latest update. In short, BAE (a British company) was going to supply fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. Apparently, though, these jets contain many American parts. So the US government is getting involved. The linked article is an interesting summary of what's been going on. The whole thing is a fiasco.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lefty Jews Get Voice

The US has a new Jewish lobby. The current big lobby, AIPAC, is pretty conservative and the new lobby is more left-wing. They're called J Street, and the executive director was an adviser to former President Clinton. I wish J Street good luck.

Pope Parody Pulled

The Metro website in Washington took down an advertisement that parodies the pope, after the local Archdiocese contacted them [edit: see video on the linked site]. The ad was to convince people to ride the metro, and had a bobble-head pope taking an escalator. Metro's excuse for removing the ad is that the bobble-head used was not "authorized" merchandise, and the pope's robes were not correct on it. Hmm.... I'm pretty sure that the Islamic prophet Muhammad did not wear a "turban" and it certainly did not look like a bomb. The West has been screaming Freedom of Speech for all the anti-Muslim cartoons, but we can't do a simple goofy advertisement with a bobble-head pope? What's controversial about that?

Pay no attention to the man in the brothel

Fun news! The chief of police for Tehran (Iran) was caught red-handed with 6 naked women in a brothel. But wait - there is no prostitution in Iran! At least not officially. Apparently prostitution is growing though.

One more thing on Sderot

Former President Jimmy Carter was in Sderot recently, and he condemned the rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. He also met with Hamas, which has gotten him a lot of flack. I would like to point out a few things though: First of all, the US and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist organization, not everyone does. Secondly, Fatah was also a terrorist organization and the US worked with them and Arafat. Thirdly, the entire world led freaking Milosevic stay in power for years! But we can't try and deal with Hamas.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Gaza & Sderot

One quick link. Just found this blog about Gaza & Sderot:

Health Problems

You may have noticed my blogging has been hit or miss recently. I'm having a few health problems, so it will probably be that way for at least another week, maybe two. If you don't want to be checking back all the time, subscribe to my RSS feed. I hope to be back soon, because there's a lot going on in the Middle East right now.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Is Peace Possible?

Two women have been corresponding, one in Palestine and one in Israel, through the BBC. The first letter was published in March, the second was last week. To me, reading their letters is indicative of the entire problem. Both sides have valid points, but can't seem to relate to what the other is saying. There's an expression in the US, put yourself in someone else's shoes - neither side has been able to do that. And I don't think peace is possible until both sides can.