If you climb into a taxi in Doha, capital of Qatar, and Arab music is on the driver’s radio, the station may well be 99.0, Sawt al-Khaleej, one of the most popular and powerful radio and digital streaming broadcast networks in the region. Based in Doha, its name translates to “Voice of the Gulf”—a fitting name for a network that seeks to appeal to a broad, Arabic-speaking audience with pan-Arab popular music up and down the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, from Kuwait to Oman. [more inside]
The great Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab died fifty years ago today, on December 24, 1964. [more inside]
Al-Mutanabbi is an open book, bearing symbols that are deeply etched into the body of today’s Baghdad. The street has no endpoint. [more inside]
Dalal al-Mutairi, the senior book censor for the Kuwaiti government, sits down for a chat about her job and what it entails.
Staining the nails, skin and hair with henna is the favorite way of enhancing beauty amongst women in the Middle East. It is used as a hair treatment as well as a dye to make decorative designs on the skin. The art is known as mehndi. Henna markings remain on the skin for about twenty or thirty days. [more inside]
Rebellion brewing in Saudi city The tiny city of Sakaka in the remote al-Jouf province that borders Iraq may seem an unlikely setting for the beginning of a revolution against the ruling al-Saud family. But one does not have to spend too long here to realise that this is what is happening.
Thumbs Up? Anal insult or USA A-Number 1? Via the Riddler. Defense Language Institute:
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.That's what you think, GI Joe.
Reactions from the Arab world Meanwhile Israel gets more financial aid from the US further angering Muslims and contributing to Zionist/US conspiracy theories. Sadly, Bush seems to have found how to pay for this war by not supporting the troops.
100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans. While researching the Middle East conflict, I happened upon this journalist's guide from the Detroit Free Press containing background on Arab-American culture, language, and religion. Many of the questions are simplistic (some might even say moronic) and the answers obvious, but I found I learned a thing or two.
The best solution I've heard so far to end the mess in Israel. A Saudi Prince suggests plan that trades occupied land in return for the Arab world recognizing the Israeli state. Is it a viable plan? Will Barak have the courage to give it a shot? Could the Arab nations ever recognize a Jewish state? Could Palestine and Israel coexist peacefully next to each other?