Look out for Mohamed Salem, because chances are you’re going to hear a lot more about him in the coming year. One of the first stand-up comedians to emerge from Egypt, the 30-year-old Alexandria native has caught the attention of social network users thanks to his show Moga Stand-up, not to mention a few celebrity fans (word has it Egyptian actresses Basma and Donia Sameer Ghanem are just two of the big names who have attended his gigs in the past).
RACHEL MCARTHUR: Look out for Mohamed Salem, because chances are you’re going to hear a lot more about him in the coming year.
JAMES M. DORSEY: This weekend’s Syrian victory over Iraq in a soccer match is being seized by the regime as ‘a great national achievement’.
SUSAN AL SHAHRI: I’m amazed at the attitude of the Salalah’s adults to their children’s safety. Once they’re out of diapers the kids are expected to look after themselves
NADA ZOHDY, CGNEWS: You’ll find them at Costa or Starbucks. They’re happy to discuss rather than denounce and they’re seeking ways to build Egypt’s civil society.
MICH CAFE: I’d like to see a wonderful idea which has brightened up the streets of Amman implemented in Dubai.
INES ZGUIDANE, CGNEWS: A new sense of civic engagement has taken root in Tunisia with individuals working together to deal with major societal issues
JAMES M. DORSEY: Two leading football executives have withdrawn from election to the Egyptian Football Association. The Ultras have prevailed
THE VIEW FROM FEZ: It has enjoyed a glorious past but faces a very uncertain future. There’s a case to be made for restoring Fez as Morocco’s capital city.
JAMES M. DORSEY: The opposing fans of Cairo soccer clubs Al Zamalek and Al Ahly are engaged in a separate but parallel struggle with the authorities
M. LYNX-QUALEY: Ahdaf Soueif said it first but many of her peers agree that the tumultuous events wracking the Arab world leave fiction irrelevant.