Howdy folks, apologies for the long absence. Work at the Mezrab Cultural Center took over and I was crazy busy. Anyway, I'm back now, and hope to be back for a while, posting news and reflections on politics, culture and life in the Middle-East.
The ongoing struggle in the Arab is in danger if dropping off the front pages as unrest in some of the countries has been subdued or doesn't seem to go anywhere (Bahrain, etc), while in other countries it has become civil war or is in danger of becoming civil war (Libya, Syria, etc). Not the sexy success stories we would like to consume.
However, even the messy stories of people getting killed by the dozens, rebels taking and retaking quarters in embattled cities are all part of a larger narrative that will fundamentally change the face of the region.
Now since any grand narrative can be broken down into smaller pearls of human experience, here's a few that you should know of:
Some Libyans have set up an English language radio show. It's really funny since they're discussing serious stuff, but in a strong Cockney accent. It's a station of Ali Gs!
The most moving story from Syria is the blog of Amina A. who writes from Damascus. She's put her life on the line, writing about her life as a lesbian dissident, staying in the country with her father while the rest of her family has left the country:
Radio Zamaneh does a great time covering the conflict between Ahmadinejad and the clerical leaders on their English language site. This conflict reads like a complicated game of Chaos Chess, with many pawns and moves and shifting rules and alliances. The highlight of it was when one of the Ahmadinejad clique was accused of witchcraft and Djinn-binding. Here's the latest move: