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The War on Copts in Egypt: Its Origins

There is a war on Copts in Egypt. It is unmistakable and state military and religious institutions are guilty in sponsoring and launching the war. It was no coincidence that the chief of Al-Azhar (a former puppet of Mubarak and his ruling party) was on an official visit to Saudi Arabia during the week of killing the Copts in the streets of Cairo.

Steve Jobs: Beyond the Personality Cult

The press (and even public) reaction to the death of Steve Jobs was out of proportion. Even in the Arabic press (including Al-Akhbar), coverage of his death was way out of proportion, and it was extremely laudatory. The right-wing Daily Telegraph was one of the few papers that carried a critical passage about him.

Lebanon: Divided and Dependent

Not much is happening in Lebanon: not much aside from machinations, conspiracies, and diabolical plots by different sides. Israel is not far from the picture. It can be safely maintained that Israel has always been party to any Lebanese conflict since 1948. Not once were the Lebanese divided and Israel was not secretly involved.

Nasser’s Anniversary: Toward a Reassessment

This year’s anniversary of Nasser’s death passed with more notice in the Egyptian press and culture than years past. Even the military ruler, Field Marshal Tantawi, paid tribute to Nasser and spoke about his achievements. Nasser has been a reference point in the Egyptian uprising: not so much in terms of revival of Arab nationalism, because Egyptian nationalist fervor is quite strong, but in terms of the elevation of his stature after decades of vicious propaganda campaigns by the Sadat-Mubarak regime against Nasser and his family.

Syrian Protests and the Media (II): Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya

It says something about the changes in Arab media that Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya’s coverage of Syrian developments are now compatible. In the past, the difference between the two channels was quite marked: the bitter Saudi-Qatari feud created a wide margin for Al Jazeera to operate in. Different topics and different points of views were expressed and represented on the channel, to the great dismay of the House of Saud.

Syrian Protests and the Media: Part I

The Syrian regime media are now desperate: Not only do they have to defend the regime: but they have to respond to an avalanche of “enemy” media that are focused on Syrian developments. Syrian regime media have always been what you expect from state media in the region: stale, unprofessional, boring, dishonest, deceptive, non-subtle, and fawning about the leader—whoever he is—and contributing to his (it is always a man) personality cult.

Change at Al Jazeera

The Western and Arabic press is full of stories about Al Jazeera and the new direction it will inevitably follow with the selection of a new director-general for its operating networks. The ouster (the official statement did not mention resignation) of Waddah Khanfar has opened doors for speculation. No one really knows what goes on behind the scene and it is no secret that the Emir of Qatar really runs the networks and is fully aware of its powers, as far as Qatar is concerned. More than gas, Al Jazeera put Qatar on the regional and global map.

Rick Perry embraces violent Jewish extremists

Yesterday, I attended Rick Perry's press conference at the W Hotel in New York City, where the Texas Governor and Republican presidential frontrunner denounced President Barack Obama for supposedly "appeasing" America's enemies in the Middle East and failing to sufficiently support Israel. The Perry appearance was timed to pre-empt Obama's speech at the UN in which the President would reject Palestinian demands for statehood.

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