Stories about Arab

Qaddafi certainly made life interesting

In Qaddafi we have lost not only a despot but also one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. Call him eccentric, idiosyncratic or an oddity; yet the satisfaction of finding le mot juste will elude you. The problem here is not with Qaddafi, it’s with these words: none of them can do justice to the personality of ‘the mad dog of Middle East’. Only if there was a word which could sum up his callousness, clownery, perversity and political maturity, many could die happy. The only competition that Qaddafi had was His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi ...

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Arabization of Pakistan: Bringing the desert home

There was a land of cavaliers and cotton fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their ladies fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a civilization gone with the wind. – An introductory foreword to the film Gone with the Wind (1939) Civilizations can never be made up, this is all hitherto history has to tell us, but yes they can be ruined to irretrievable notwithstanding. Societies are ...

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Arab Spring: What now?

The buzzword in the Arab world nowadays is ‘change’. There has been a shift from criticising the Israel-Palestinian issue to protesting against internal state hegemony. The Arab Spring is not over yet. Tahrir square is protesting again. Tunisia and Libya are both unsettled and there are ever more crackdowns across Syria. King Hamad of Bahrain will be addressing his nation today. And, women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have taken to the wheels. Historically, this change, among others, was due. Socio-economic development in the region and the unjust polarisation of economic wealth across the spectrum, in the Gulf ...

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The effects of the social media

The ongoing debate regarding the impact of social media is part of a greater construct in relation to the progression of democratic systems across the world. It cannot be denied that social media has played a unique role in gathering people to topple dictators and tyrants but the question remains whether this is necessarily healthy for the public sphere in which a functioning democracy runs. So when we talk about the ‘Arab Spring’, it is a unique set of events that have been launched through what many analysts call “the political awakening of Arab youth.” To start out, the new Muslim ...

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No gay girl in Syria: Lessons for the social media community

The mysterious “Gay Girl in Damascus,” who had been kidnapped, was recently revealed to be a hoax – not just a deception. The case has also been a great disappointment for blog readers and followers. It turned out that the blog was not written by a gay girl in Damascus, but a 40-year-old American man, who is currently on vacation with his wife in Turkey. The pictures used on the web page belonged to a woman in London, who had nothing to do with the blog at all. The news comes as a shock to the many who campaigned for Amina since ...

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Mideast peace process: Hampered throughout history

The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal that concluded on April 27, 2011, was a good omen for the stalled Palestine peace process. Both factions displayed commitment to resolve the outstanding issues and reached an agreement on forming an interim government for holding of legislative and presidential elections. But the news of the resignation of George Mitchell as US Envoy in Middle East dashed the hopes of any progress on the peace front. Mitchell enjoyed the reputation of being a “tireless advocate” of peace, but his extraordinary skills failed in the face of Israeli obduracy. A few days ago, US President Barrack ...

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