CROSSROADS ARABIA: They came thick and fast throughout the last year. Many of them, though, just serve to devalue the meaning of a religious edict
JUAN COLE: The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi seems to have been a turning point for the people of Benghazi.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: A row has broken out among various religious figures as to whether it’s permissible to portray Islamic figures in film.
JUAN COLE: Strange statements are emanating from Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. What are they up to?
JAMES M. DORSEY: An Egyptian feminist group has challenged the fans that played a key role in toppling Mubarak to recognise women’s rights.
ROB L. WAGNER: It was a very welcome surprise – the announcement that Saudi Arabia will have at least one woman at the Olympics
AHMED AL OMRAN: A new force is making itself felt at social events in the Kingdom The mohtasbeen are an unofficial muttawaeen who have a clear agenda.
AHMED AL OMRAN: It’s all been a bit quiet recently on the women-drivers front. There has, though, been an interesting development this week.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: The Saudi government is going to get tough on debtors. Some 63,000 Saudis could find themselves in jail…
CROSSROADS ARABIA: After heated debate the Shoura Council has agreed the common characteristics between GCC nationals permit intermarriage.
M.LYNX-QUALEY: Poets have traditionally held a central role in reflecting the life of Arabs. Is that role, however, being usurped by other, more modern means of communication?
M. LYNX-QUALEY: Is Naguib Mahfouz the ‘Arabic Balzac’, the ‘Arabic Zola’ or the ‘Arabic Thomas Mann’? Who cares? He wrote novels in a tradition that grew separately from European and American authors.
JUAN COLE: I am hopeful that the book will find an eager reception in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries yearning for democracy in the Arab world.
A new translation of Boulus poem made M. Lynx Qualey reflect on how little-known the towering, excellent Boulus is in English—outside of Banipal readers.