January 31, 2013 Roundup

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Anniversaries and Controversies ...

Dear readers,
Welcome to Al-Akhbar English’s latest weekly newsletter, in which we have amassed a selection of this week’s highlights in one place for your convenience.

This week, Maha Zaraket looks at an inflammatory fatwa by Lebanon’s mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani who declared it a grave sin to legalize civil marriage.

In a remarkably candid interview, the mufti strongly defends his fatwa as “plain and clear” and “based on texts from sharia.”

Meanwhile, Ismail Iskandarani spotlights the Egyptian military’s return to the political arena, after Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a state of emergency in the cities of Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez following protests that erupted during the second anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.

Also, visitors to the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad provide a peak into what the mood is like at the Presidential Palace in Damascus.

Mufti on Civil Marriage: “The Fatwa is Plain and Clear”

Egypt: The Return of SCAF
Assad: We Regained the Upper Hand

In Other News ...

This week in Politics, Lebanese MP and head of the Marada Movement Suleiman Frangieh speaks to Al-Akhbar about the country’s upcoming elections, the situation in Syria, and a recent ski trip by Salafi Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.

Meanwhile, tensions are on the rise in Beirut as protesters flock to the French embassy to express their outrage over Georges Ibrahim Abdallah’s delayed release from a Paris prison. As Abdallah looks set to remain behind bars for resistance activities against Israel, Amal Khalil highlights the ongoing theft of southern Lebanese land by the Jewish state.

From Nazareth, Jonathan Cook analyzes the results of the Israeli election. He notes that despite attempts by commentators to characterize the results as a dramatic upset for the Israeli right-wing, the Israeli Left provides nothing for Palestinians.

Heading to Egypt, the 25 January Revolution has produced few economic benefits for the country’s poor, who were instrumental in overthrowing the old order, as friends and families of those who died in the struggle still await justice.

A self-described optimist, Sarah El Sirgany revisits the heady days leading up to Mubarak’s departure two years ago, and makes a stirring appeal to maintain hope – both as a weapon and a worthy battle in itself.

In Yemen, current President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s attempts to dismantle the old guard’s grip on the country have been faltering.

See you next week!

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