Middle East bloggers discuss all things entertainment in the region.

 Susan Al Shahri

Enchanting Mirbat: A Paradise to be Lost

Enchanting Mirbat: A Paradise to be Lost

SUSAN AL SHAHRI: The little known Mirbat is home to some of the most beautiful unspoiled white-sand beaches in Oman, while its bays are home to an incredible variety of marine life…

 Juan Cole

Palestinian UN Move ‘Too Little, Too Late’

Palestinian UN Move ‘Too Little, Too Late’

JUAN COLE: The Palestinians are heading to the U.N this week hoping to change the dynamics of the wretched situation they find themselves in.

 Abu Muhammed

The Grade Factories of Education: Saudi Schools

The Grade Factories of Education: Saudi Schools

ABU MUHAMMED: Eventually I figured out why no one seemed receptive: The first is that most government and private schools are being run for profit.

 Common Ground News Service

Clash of Civilisations? Two Men Who Lived the Alternative

Clash of Civilisations? Two Men Who Lived the Alternative

LEWIS GROPP, CGNEWS: A recently released documentary highlights much that was little known about Muslim Spain. Its two ‘stars’ are a couple of Islamic and Jewish philosophers.

 Crossroads Arabia

Soap Operas: The New Front on the ‘War on Syria’

Soap Operas: The New Front on the ‘War on Syria’

CROSSROADS ARABIA: Syrian soap operas have eclipsed Egyptian productions in popularity across the Arab world.

 Common Ground News Service

Saudi Youth Points The Way for Arab Civil Society

Saudi Youth Points The Way for Arab Civil Society

LULUA ASAAD, CGNEWS: The Young Initiative Group, founded in Saudi Arabia in 2010, has already had a significant impact in effecting positive change within the Kingdom.

 Common Ground News Service

How a Singing Competition Changes Perceptions

How a Singing Competition Changes Perceptions

RUTH EGLASH, CGNEWS: It’s become an instant sensation across the Arab world so it was time, in spite of my concerns, to experience ‘New Star’ first hand.

 The View From Fez

Yusuf Islam Reflects on Morocco, Islam and the Arab Spring

Yusuf Islam Reflects on Morocco, Islam and the Arab Spring

THE VIEW FROM FEZ: The ‘artist formerly known as Cat Stevens’ is appearing at the Mawazine Festival, in Rabat, Morocco this week. In interview he was in reflective mood.

 Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

The Fairy Tale Wedding, Here’s to a Happy Ending…

The Fairy Tale Wedding, Here’s to a Happy Ending…

SHELINA ZAHRA JANMOHAMED: At this wedding, one bride will – literally – become a princess. For their lives together, I wish them every happiness.

 Rachel McArthur

Interview: Arabs’ Got Talent’s Amr Qattamesh

Interview: Arabs’ Got Talent’s Amr Qattamesh

RACHEL MCARTHUR: Being part Egyptian, I’m happy to say I was the first UAE-based writer to interview the performer. Here’s what Amr Qattamesh had to say.


Comment on The Real Damage of Vanity Fair’s Attack on Dubai by Sam

By: AmyAus82 ..

I’m so sick and tired of this junk.

It’s the same story ‘locals are rich, lazy and stupid’, ‘westerners (whites) are ‘drunks here for the money living lives they couldn’t in their own country’, and the ‘poor unfortunate workers struggle through every day more humble than the last’…


Let’s call it as it really is, shall we?

Locals: living a country that developed around them so have known nothing other than living the way they have and are trying to enjoy it, They value education and love their family but enjoy active social lives, whether it be with friends or just their family.

Whites: offered better deals so came here to get forward because 1) they would have the chance to move up a level, and 2) they would return to their country with cross cultural experience, extra bonus for future jobs. Don’t love everyday, but work hard to get to the next because they are living in a mixed bag of cultures and it IS tough so YES they do enjoy those nice five star events because, while away from their families and friends, they do tend to substitute the sadness with ‘things’- but still hard working and do it every day because that’s life

Drones: Not always as ‘woe as me’ as the papers make them. They came here for the same reason the whites did, the money is better than in their country. Many of them suffer, but let’s face it, they suffer in their own countries regardless and it’s not an issue of ‘UAE treating them bad’ it’s an issue of the world declaring some countries are third world and have poor passports so don’t have education/quality to first world standards. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are all in need of help, many will stab you in the back if they get the chance – because they’re born evil? No. Because they were born and taught from birth that survival is battle of the strongest. Not everyone with a sad face is a victim.

That’s a better stereotype. One our ‘learned’ friend didn’t bother to find out about. He flew in, stayed for a day or two and flew out. He wrote a high school newsletter article and left.

The same insulting article could have been written by me about holidays in the US, UK, Asia, Africa… many countries… if I chose to look at the things he chooses to look it.

‘Deafening journey to loud mouthed, narrow minded America’
‘Who will England whinge to next?’
‘Australia: Are you sure it’s not Asia or the Middle East?’

You can angle anything you want from anything you want.

It’s a case of whether your journalists really wants to write or just wants to make a word count.

We can see from his opening paragraph that rattled off possibly four or five metaphors, wasting even more of our time, that he had a word count that needed to be filled and to have filled it with ‘real’ information would have required references, the time for which he did not want to spend.

Boo to you AA Gill.

I will never read an article by you again.

I am stupider for having read it and would like those 10 minutes of my life back.


 Corinne Vella

Comment on Libya’s Rebels – “Who Are These People..?” by Corinne Vella

What are “Ibrahim’s” credentials? The many ex-patriate Libyans I know do not fit his disdainful description.


Comment on The Real Damage of Vanity Fair’s Attack on Dubai by CR

I’ve lived here for almost 5 years, my wife for nearly 10. Whether people want to accept it or not most of what he said is true to varying extents. When you read the article, look past his rather bitter tone to core of the it. I admit he is making rather broad generalizations, but the core of his article is pretty much on target. Emirati’s have lost virtually all their own culture, most of them live in an economic fairy tale, this entire country would COMPLETELY FALL APART without its poorly paid and extremely mistreated Asian labor force, there is most definentely ” a generation of kids who expect to never seriously work—but do expect secure jobs” ( I have met or have friends who have met way to many for it to be untrue and alot of the early 20’s and younger actually laugh about the way their parents or grandparents lived before the money), most expats (not all) are “single, greedy, and insincere” living lives that “revolve around drink and sex and pool parties and barbecues with a lot of hysterical laughing and theme nights, karaoke, and slobbery, regretful coupling” (go to any friday brunch to meet them). Not everyone (Emirati and expat) can be defined by the above,some are actually “normal”, but they are the exception not the rule. Don’t get me wrong though, most days I like it here (wadi’s, dunes, beaches, camping, variety of restaurants, endless sunny days) and at least Dubai really tried to be a fun place to live and a tourist mecca . Abu Dhabi waits to see how something works in Dubai, then does a cut rate, waste of money version of its own.


Comment on ‘Bethlehem is where?!’ Yet another Palin Whopper. by Brandt

For one of the first times in her life, Palin will leave our continent in pursuit of spreading her insane and violent rhetoric to another part of the world. What impression will the most vane and vile political figure of our time leave on the people o…

 nour soliman

Comment on Note to Saudi Ministry of Planning: ‘Please Plan’ by nour soliman

I am organising the affordable housing development summit in Riyadh in October 2011
Please get in touch with me so we could have a chat about this.
I am writing a preliminary agenda and would appreciate talking to you, pasrt of my research.
Best regards,

 Editor, MEP

Comment on Online Dating: A Muslim Guide on How to Be Safe by simone

Really interesting Munira – even for a non Muslim like me…

 Varun Dubey

Comment on The Parallel Ends of Mubarak and Don Giovanni by Varun Dubey

Egypt starts a new democratic movement in whole Africa

 James M. Dorsey

Comment on Palestinian Emerges as Israeli Soccer Star by James M. Dorsey

I suggest you check on Google or otherwise who won the 2003-4 Israel Cup

 Orr G.

Comment on Palestinian Emerges as Israeli Soccer Star by Orr G.

Bnei Sakhnin did not win the 2004 Israeli championship. Where did you take this data from?


Comment on A Billion Images is Worth a Trillion Words by Nihiltres

Have you seen Wikimedia Commons? It’s the media repository used by Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects—it essentially *is* the “Wikipedia of images”.