Ponder or Pander? The Point of Writing A Blog
DANIEL M. VARISCO: When you make the big decision to write a blog you are faced with a number of important choices
Street Art In Yemen: A Channel for Protest
TABSIR; It’s two years since protests broke out in Yemen and a good way to follow how politics has changed is to follow the emerging street art scene
Midaq Alley: A Slice of Cairo Brilliantly Revealed
DANIEL M. VARISCO: The incomparable Naguib Mahfouz had a brilliant eye for the detail that revealed Cairo everyday life. Here’s one of my favourite passages.
‘The Blood’ and ‘The Bang-Bang’: A Freelancer in Syria
FRANCESCA BORRI, TABSIR: The demands of the editors are depressingly obvious and there is little interest in explaining context.
Democracy and Revolutions: Drawing a Line Is Not Easy
HANI SHURKALLAH, TABSIR: How could the people of Egypt support the parody of democracy that the Muslim Brotherhood had established?
‘A Mental Defect’, Mr Brooks? Try Looking in the Mirror.
DANIEL M. VARISCO: David Brooks is taking a dangerous road by ascribing what he calls ‘mental deficiencies’ to the Egyptian people.
Satire in the Arab World: Getting to the Crux of Issues
TABSIR: Jon Stewart’s recent appearance on Bassem Youssef’s Egyptian show underscores the power that satirists have to unsettle holders of power
“Game Changer”: Is This The Phrase That Will Haunt Obama?
DANIEL M. VARISCO: For George W. Bush the phrase was ‘Mission Accomplished’. For his successor there could be another phrase that defines his foreign affair policy
Thomas Friedman in Yemen: ‘An Innocent Abroad’?
DANIEL M. VARISCO: I felt the ghost of Mark Twain speaking to me as I read about Tom Friedman’s latest adventures in Yemen.
Banished: The Man Who’s ‘Too Handsome’ For Saudi Arabia
DANIEL M. VARISCO: He’s a danger to Saudi society. Women in the Kingdom must be protected from his dazzling good looks. All hail Handsome Omar!
Declining Fertility Rates ‘A Badge of Modernity’
ANOUAR MAJID, TABSIR: It’s a phenomenon that’s being observed across the Muslim world as women are marrying later and opting to have fewer children
The Bible and Hollywood: A Match Not Made In Heaven
DANIEL VARISCO: Here we go again. Yet another filmed interpretation of the Bible stretches credulity to the limit.
Exile and Alienation: A Father’s Letters To His Son
GEORGE EL HAGE, TABSIR: I felt it necessary to express directly to my son the feelings of loneliness, isolation and alienation felt by a Lebanese exile.
Poetic and Poignant: Lebanese Hymns of Love and War
TABSIR: They reflect the everyday struggles of a people whose land has been wracked by conflict and war.
‘You Have Two Cows…”: Alternative Take on Region
KARIM SADJAPOUR, TABSIR: Politically correct it may not be but the ‘Two Cows’ version of today’s Middle East is certainly fun.
For ‘Tribal Areas’ Read ‘Wild West’: Myth and Reality
KHALED FATTAH, TABSIR: There is a lazy shorthand in much Western reporting on the Middle East, particularly when it comes to describing the influence of tribes
Teaching Syrian Children in Lebanon: Bye Bye Assad
ESTELLA CARPI, TABSIR: Classes are being organised for refugee children and it’s clear that the Assads no longer feature in a Syrian present or future.
Of Jesus, Smith and Elvis: The Prophet Issue
‘DANIEL M. VARISCO: It’s a shtick that gets trotted out in editorial conferences at this time of year and occasionally editors buy it. ‘So who’s the real Jesus?’
Thomas Friedman: PR Guy for the Israeli Government?
DANIEL M. VARISCO: Another one eyed piece from Mr Friedman. Is it too much to ask that he simply recognises the realities of Palestinian life?