September 29, 2013 |
CAIRO - One aunt cursed him to hell, another accused him of murder. The intense family passions were roused when Ahmed Samir posted on Facebook his support for Egypt's deadly crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood. The proclamation drew Samir and his irate relatives deeper into the nation's battles over politics and conscience after nearly three years of unrest. "My one aunt calls me a liar and prays for me to go to hell. She says I am covered with blood of those who were killed," said Samir, a customer relations representative for a bank.
September 28, 2013 |
TUNIS, Tunisia -- Shaken by weeks of massive street protests, Tunisia's Islamist-led government has edged closer to stepping aside, agreeing Saturday to enter talks aimed at setting up a caretaker administration, participants in the negotiations said. Tunisia's popular uprising nearly three years ago threw off decades of autocratic rule and touched off protest movements that rolled across the Arab world. But, as also happened in Egypt, the Islamist-dominated coalition that subsequently came to power proved deeply unpopular, triggering large-scale unrest.
September 7, 2013
Re "Senate panel supports U.S. strike on Syria," Sept. 5 It's time to call everyone's bluff on the Syrian chemical issue to smoke out the contending parties. Whether it be Bashar Assad's regime, the rebels, the U.S. and its allies, Arab states, the Russians or the Iranians, all claim they are against chemical weapons use in Syria. Leaving aside the wink-wink involved - obviously, some party (think the Assad regime) used the weapons in the August attack - let's put the representations to the test.
August 11, 2013 |
BEIRUT - With his pouty lips and soulful eyes, he was a stylish figure known as the King of Romance, a crooner of amorous ballads often seen cavorting with would-be starlets in MTV-style videos filmed on yachts, in upscale cafes and in swank homes. But Fadel Shaker's latest video - without a note uttered - may become his swan song, portraying the balladeer in a new and disturbing incarnation: hunkered down defiantly with a militant sheik and his armed followers, holding out against Lebanese soldiers he derided as dogs and pigs.
August 10, 2013 |
The "Arab Spring" may not have succeeded in bringing democracy to the Middle East. But it has provided powerful evidence of a different phenomenon: the illusion of U.S. influence over governments we once considered our clients. Take Egypt. Before 2011, the Bush and Obama administrations tried to nudge the autocratic Hosni Mubarak toward democracy; Mubarak ignored the advice. Last year, the Obama administration pleaded (gently) with the freely elected Mohamed Morsi to make his Muslim Brotherhood government more inclusive; Morsi ignored the advice.
March 9, 2013 |
As change sweeps across the Arab world, there are a variety of lenses through which to examine these changes: religious, cultural, political, economic. Shereen El Feki has chosen a decidedly less conventional lens with her new new book “Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World” (Pantheon, $29), due out Tuesday. The book takes a close look at the sexual lives of men and women in the Middle East. Combining original research with first-person stories from housewives, young virgins, activists and sex therapists, “Sex and the Citadel” provides a detailed account of a veiled and sensitive aspect of Arab society.