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Beyond The Arab Spring

Stories of Change: - Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
An inside perspective from local visual storytellers on everyday life in North Africa.
The Storytellers.
Timeline.
The Stories.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Obelisk envy

Cleopatra's Needle, the 3,500 year old obelisk that has been installed in Central Park for the past century, is about to cleaned, with lasers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 15, 2014 - 23 comments

Jailed Al Jazeera Journalist Is Actually Kind of a Dick

Jailed Al Jazeera Journalist Is Actually Kind of a Dick by Jason Mojica (Vice News) [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on May 4, 2014 - 29 comments

The Cinema That's Always Deserted

"On a sunny day at the very beginning of this millenniums, a crazy frenchman found himself in the desert of Sinai. After some puffs of a magic smoke he wondered - how come that there are no cinemas in the middle of the desert...?"
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 13, 2014 - 28 comments

The Egyptian Military's War on Alcohol

The Egyptian Military's War on Alcohol Just before the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel, which links Egypt's main bulk of land to the Sinai Peninsula, there are two consecutive checkpoints. One of them is run by the military, and the other by the Ministry of Interior. This weekend, on a trip to Sinai with a group of friends, we were stopped at the military checkpoint. The conscripts insisted on searching us, and a mere inquiry as to what the purpose of the search was made them adamant on going through every bag.
posted by modernnomad on Mar 12, 2014 - 20 comments

The Saga of King Tut's Genes

In February 2008, Yehia Gad sequenced Tutankhamun's genes in front of a documentary crew from the Discovery Channel. Jo Marchant writes about the previous work studying his tomb and remians and the unfortunate timing of the last study. (King Tut Previously) [more inside]
posted by Hactar on Mar 10, 2014 - 12 comments

For Egypt's Startups, Unstable Government Is the Least of Their Worries

Egyptian startup culture vs. Silicon Valley: how to lock down bugfixes & VC funding in midst of military takeover? Via
posted by infini on Feb 28, 2014 - 4 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

"I will not post any casualty reports for 24 hours as I am celebrating."

The Far Post is a journalism series by Roads and Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated on global soccer culture that will run every other week until the start of "the largest theater that has ever existed in human history," the World Cup. So far there are five articles: Brazil 2014 Starts Now by Laurent Dubois gives an overview of the history of the World Cup and what it means now. Messi in Kolkata by Kanishk Tharoor is about a visit by the Argentine national team to Kolkata and the state of the game in India. Afghanistan United By May Jeong is the story of the incredible triumph of the Afghan national team at the 2013 South Asian Championship. Soccer and the Street in Istanbul by Izzy Finkel reports on the links between soccer and politics in Turkey. The Long Revolution of the Ultras Ahlawy by Patrick Kingsley is the account of how hardcore soccerfans in Egypt, at the center of the 2011 revolution, have fared in the aftermath.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2013 - 14 comments

How to get out of an Egyptian jail

Free, Tarek and John: Longread by Justin Podur about the campaign to free Canadian filmmaker John Grayson (among his films is the South Africa-based Proteus) and doctor Tarek Loubani, who were on their way to Gaza via Egypt in August 2013 when they were detained. Insight into what went on behind the scenes and what political and strategic calculations were made.
posted by larrybob on Oct 27, 2013 - 7 comments

In Egypt, a campaign to promote an ‘Egyptian Islam’

In Egypt, a campaign to promote an ‘Egyptian Islam’ “This is the new regime trying to create an official Islam, a state Islam, which doesn’t exist within the Islamic tradition,” said Emad Shahin, a professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo. “It’s providing a religious justification to tolerate the killing of possibly thousands of people, and it is sending alarming signals into many segments of society. This is exactly what you call fascism.” [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on Oct 9, 2013 - 20 comments

It wasn’t a revolution, but it wasn’t just a coup either

And that is why what happened at Maspero was so terrible. A group of Copts determined to take part in public life as free citizens had organised a demonstration to protest against the demolition of a church in Aswan by Salafis acting with the complicity of the regional governor. Before all of the entirely peaceful marchers had arrived at the Maspero building, they were attacked by army units firing live ammunition. Twenty-eight demonstrators were killed, at least two deliberately run over by army vehicles, and 212 others, my daughter’s uncle among them, injured. The message was brutally clear: whatever the supposed ‘revolution’ had meant, the emancipation of the Copts was not part of it as far as the Scaf was concerned. -- In the London Review of Books, Hugh Roberts explores why the Egyptian revolution wasn't.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 20, 2013 - 8 comments

It only gets worse from here

It became necessary to finish this thing. A U.S.-funded 'ally' has carried out one of the largest massacres of protesters since the 1989 assault on Tiananmen Square. At least 525 people (and counting and counting) have been killed since Egypt's police and army attacked two sit-ins in support of ousted president Muhammad Morsi on August 14th. Armored cars, police officers, and soldiers marched on the protests in Nasr City and Giza, opening fire with birdshot, tear gas, and live ammunition. It only gets worse from here. [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall on Aug 15, 2013 - 143 comments

Millions of Egyptian Demonstrators Vanish in a Puff of Logic

How far in advance was the coup in Egypt planned? After the army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood president, gas shortages that had crippled Morsi's popularity magically disappeared, and a local billionaire bragged about secretly financing the opposition. The coup was predicated on enormous street protests that seemed to represent another revolution, but one analysis suggests that the army and opposition massively exaggerated the scale of the protests in order to justify the seizure of power. Egyptian liberals however, defend the overthrow, saying that 'democracy is not reducible to the ballot box.'
posted by A Fine Mess on Jul 18, 2013 - 65 comments

To the Collapse

To imagine the scale, picture this: almost every city in Western Europe and North America destroyed. Not reduced, not scaled down. People-don't-live-here-anymore-just-ruins destroyed.
Between about 1200 and 1150 BC, civilization in the northeastern quadrant of the Mediterranean collapsed. Mycenae and the other Iliad-era Greek city-kingdoms; the Hittite Empire; the Levantine possessions of New Kingdom Egypt—cultures which had flourished for five hundred years fell and dispersed within a single lifetime, their palaces razed, their every city toppled, burned, and abandoned. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 18, 2013 - 95 comments

"Armed demonstrators had attempted to break into the building...."

Killing in Cairo: the full story of the Republican Guards' club shootings
posted by lalochezia on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 comments

He listens to people a lot and uses his brain

I'm here today to help prevent Egypt from becoming a commodity owned by one person. A 12-year-old Egyptian comments on the political situation in his country. (SLYT)
posted by shivohum on Jul 16, 2013 - 9 comments

"No doubt about it, journalists are targets now,"

Shooting The Messengers
So, what guides a journalist's decisions in these unlovely places? The frequently repeated maxim that "no story is worth dying for" rings a little hollow. The awkward truth is that, in this field, personal bravery is simultaneously discouraged and rewarded.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 13, 2013 - 2 comments

Rupert Everett, Really Into Dead Victorian Dreamboats

In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 4, 2013 - 52 comments

Live from Tahrir Square

Live from Tahrir Square courtesy BitTorrent Live [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 3, 2013 - 63 comments

No skin, please.

The doings of the Egyptian post office (SLpicasa, SFW?)
posted by slater on Jul 2, 2013 - 10 comments

Morsi, more like Lessi.

A sense of foreboding is rising across an increasingly troubled land.
One year after being democratically elected Egypt's President Morsi defies threat of military coup.
Some say the Egyptian Army Can’t Oust President Without ‘American Approval'
Al Jazeera - Egypt opposition to continue mass protests.
Background: Financial Times Egypt in transition.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 1, 2013 - 127 comments

Ancient Egypt, back from the depths: Alexandria, Canopus and Heracleion

Franck Goddio, an underwater archaeologist, shares the explorations of three recently re-discovered cities off the coast of Egypt, including Alexandria (1997 NOVA documentary *), Canopus, and Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names for the city, not to be confused with the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis). A new documentary on Thonis-Heracleaion was produced for the Franco-German TV network, Arte, and you can watch the German version here. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 4, 2013 - 16 comments

WSJ's Middle East Real Time blog

Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
posted by mediareport on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

She Who Tells a Story

I feel creatively emboldened to personally say something on the subjects that I am documenting. In terms of how it is produced, intellectually I am more excited than I have been in years. I am envisioning so many more possibilities for the work ... I feel for first time empowered on my own terms. We are calling our own shots and have created somewhat of our own institution.
An interview with the six-woman Middle Eastern documentary photography collective Rawiya, whose name means "female narrator" in Arabic. [more inside]
posted by nangar on Mar 13, 2013 - 2 comments

Fourth Wave?

'I'm sick of being ashamed." Three days ago, an anti-harassment activist said those words to me in a flat above Cairo's Tahrir square, as she pulled on her makeshift uniform ready to protect women on the protest lines from being raped in the street. Only days before, I'd heard exactly the same words from pro-choice organisers in Dublin, where I travelled to report on the feminist fight to legalise abortion in Ireland. I had thought that I was covering two separate stories – so why were two women from different countries and backgrounds repeating the same mantra against fear, and against shame?
[more inside]
posted by eviemath on Feb 26, 2013 - 19 comments

Cairobserver

Cairobserver is the start of a conversation about Cairo’s architecture and building, urban fabric and city life. A well curated blog about Cairo featuring both Arabic and English essays. [more inside]
posted by Corduroy on Feb 17, 2013 - 2 comments

"...an enormous erect phallus, and piles of lettuce in the background."

First noticed on tumblr but now available to all, Alex Clayden's paper "Same-Sex Desire in Pharaonic Egypt" which, among other things, tells you about the connection between lettuce and semen and the Ancient Egyptian for "You have a nice ass."
posted by The Whelk on Jan 25, 2013 - 26 comments

Understanding Mohamed Morsi

Since he became Egypt’s first democratically elected leader last June, Morsi has displayed both extraordinary political acumen and a tone-deafness that has plunged his country into deeper unrest. In November, he deftly helped negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, averting a bloody ground war in the Gaza Strip. Days later, he lost much of the goodwill he had earned by issuing an edict that awarded his office near-dictatorial powers. Sometimes, Morsi can seem like the inspiring guardian of Egyptian democracy—such as when he courageously dismissed the military junta that had claimed the right to rule post–Hosni Mubarak Egypt. At other times, he can seem like a mouthpiece for the deeply conservative Muslim Brotherhood—declaring women unfit for high office and advocating for an international law to ban religious insults. (And sometimes he simply seems awkward, such as when he sat down for a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard in September at the United Nations and proceeded, for several excruciating seconds, to publicly adjust his genitals.) So far, the only certainty about Morsi is that his ultimate intentions remain unknown. - The New Republic, Understanding Mohamed Morsi: His journey from farm boy to most powerful man in the Middle East.
posted by beisny on Dec 12, 2012 - 19 comments

"An Uncovered Woman and Beatle-Haired Men Will Never Liberate Our Holy Places."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: "Save Your Kisses For Me: How the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli Right became co-dependents in an abusive relationship." Includes images / film clips from the BBC news archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 3, 2012 - 37 comments

Tensions Rising

Hamas militants have launched a rocket on Jerusalem - the first time the holy city has been targeted in decades - and the first such attack from Gaza. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Nov 16, 2012 - 580 comments

From the ash-heap of history

"A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: 'Jesus said to them, "My wife ... '" [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Sep 18, 2012 - 93 comments

Shoguns at the Sphinx, 1864

Ten years after Commodore Matthew Perry first visited Japan with four war ships and a letter from President Fillmore, Japan sent out a third Embassy to Western Nations (following the first Japanese Embassy to the United States in 1860, and the first Japanese Embassy to Europe in 1862). The third tour had the same goal as the first two: learn about Western cultures, and try to postpone the opening of Japanese ports to foreign trade. During that third tour, the group were on their way to France when they stopped in Egypt. On this stop, the members of the mission were photographed posing before the Sphinx, dressed in winged kamishimo costume and jingasa hats, carrying their feared long (katana) and short (wakizashi) swords. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 17, 2012 - 21 comments

The boat with two captains sinks.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy sacks the head of the Army. Hussein Tantawi (head of the Egyptian Army and SCAF) has been dismissed as the Egyptian president asserts his power over the traditionally dominant military. Morsy has also cancelled the SCAF memorandum keeping legislative powers with the military council, and it's widely thought that the fight over that will end up at the constitutional court again. If the cancellation stands, Morsi will also have almost complete control of the constitutional drafting process.
posted by Hosni Mubarak on Aug 13, 2012 - 36 comments

Brown Moses Blog

Brown Moses Blog curates and analyzes news regarding the Syrian uprising, the wider Arab Spring, and the UK phone hacking scandal. It is written by Something Awful forums moderator Brown Moses. Recent entries include discussion of the increasingly well armed Free Syrian Army, senior members of the Catholic Church criticizing pro-Assad clergy, and a look at the evidence of more sophisticated IEDs being used in Syria. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jun 29, 2012 - 13 comments

Life without Parole for Mubarak

After a year without Mubarak, Egypt is about to get a much longer reprieve: the 84-year-old former president has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protestors during last year's popular uprising. The former Interior Minister—though not his aides—will also be cooling his heels in a Cairo jail. The effects of this news on national elections, with runoffs to be held in just a few weeks, remains to be seen.
posted by whitewall on Jun 2, 2012 - 10 comments

Stay away from my afterlife

A walk through the Egyptian Museum in Cairo with licensed tour guide Ahmed Mohammed, at the rate of 150 Egyptian pounds per hour.
posted by latkes on Apr 3, 2012 - 11 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Revolution + Bonuses

Egyptian army officer's diary of military life in a revolution -- It's ridiculous; at the height of the unrest reserve officer salaries doubled and everyone was getting huge bonuses all the time [...] Most full-time officers didn't really care what was happening politically on the streets, they were just happy with the extra money. Occasionally though you'd hear guilty jokes about how we were the only people who were benefiting from the revolution and the Egyptian people had been screwed over.
posted by philip-random on Dec 28, 2011 - 7 comments

This is not an uplifting post. You have been warned.

Well, to put it simply, The Big plan is the same as the immediate plan: they want you dead. It’s not that they want to kill opposition; they want to kill the opposition, literally. This country ain’t big enough for the both of you, and they have everything to lose. And they have guns. And the media. And all the keys of power. And you want to overthrow them. How do you think they will react to that? Give you cookies? - an on the ground report of what's going on in Egypt now from a blogger turned parliamentary candidate.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 20, 2011 - 37 comments

A Black Day for Heritage

The Egyptian Scientific Institute which established in 1798 by Napolean Bonaparte has been burned.
posted by kittensofthenight on Dec 18, 2011 - 35 comments

Because we can do with some good news

Shyima Hall has been granted US citizenship. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 18, 2011 - 48 comments

Solid Sunlight

Libyan Desert Glass is strewn over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Great Sand Sea, a region desolate even by the high standards of the Sahara. As one account of a recent trip to acquire Libyan Desert Glass puts it: "Out there, death sits on your shoulder like a vulture." While some would have you believe that Libyan Desert Glass is evidence of ancient atomic warfare, it is probably evidence of a massive meteorite or comet explosion nearly thirty million years ago, similar to Tunguska, but much bigger. The stone age Aterian peoples made tools from it, but the remoteness and inhospitality of the Great Sand Sea has ensured that until recent times it has mostly been undisturbed. However, a breast ornament buried in Tutankhamen's tomb has a scarab made from Libyan Desert Glass, the only piece made of the material to have been found by Egyptologists, and how Tutankhamen's jewelers acquired it has remained a mystery. Until now. [Previously]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 8, 2011 - 38 comments

This time, we are not silent, and we will get all our rights.

Protesters vs. Supreme Council of Armed Forces Tahrir Square: "For five straight days, nearly 120 continuous hours, thousands of protesters, most of them young men and women, did battle with security forces. Police used live ammunition, rubber bullets, shotgun cartridges, and an astonishing amount of tear gas. Protesters fought back mostly with rocks and sometimes Molotov cocktails." [more inside]
posted by jcrcarter on Nov 29, 2011 - 39 comments

Meanwhile in Egypt... "The people want the end of the field marshal!"

Protesters in Cairo have re-occupied Tahrir square. As the military brutally suppresses protests with live ammunition and tear gas that has left at least 33 dead and two thousand injured, Egypt's interim cabinet has offered its resignation a week before elections were due to begin. Telegraph liveblog | Al Jazeera liveblog
posted by dustyasymptotes on Nov 21, 2011 - 48 comments

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

Nudity in Islamic countries; the case of the Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (nsfw). #NudePhotoRevolutionary
posted by - on Nov 18, 2011 - 34 comments

Nailettes

There are around 30 ancient Egyptian obelisks left in the world. A guide to the obelisks still standing (and some Roman copies), including a timeline of their construction.
posted by Copronymus on Oct 26, 2011 - 22 comments

Burton Holmes, Inventor of the Travelogue

The Burton Holmes Archive has information about Burton Holmes, the travel writer who became the first person to make filmic travelogues. More importantly, they also have a lot of film clips by Holmes and his associate, André de la Varre, who was also a great travelogue maker himself. Watching these clips is not quite time travel, but it is as close as we can get. Take a look at Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1926, Lake Michigan in 20s, Cairo in 1932 and the 1955 Rio de Janeiro carnival. The later films have sound and narration, but I prefer the silent ones. [Burton Holmes previously, André de la Varre previously, and the Travel Film Archive, which runs Burton Holmes site, previously]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 26, 2011 - 5 comments

Telex

Telex is an interesting proxy-less anti-censorship system designed to combat state-level censorship (pdf). But would it cost too much? Should we really trust "good" state-level actors with our anti-censorship efforts? And might it divert resources from established anonymity projects, like Tor, I2I, Freenet, etc.
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 7, 2011 - 18 comments

3D interactive journey into the Great Pyramid of Khufu

3D interactive journey into the Great Pyramid of Khufu. More from BBC. Tour in and around the pyramid guided or on your own. Also explains the theory by French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin how the pyramid was built.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 31, 2011 - 5 comments

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