Let’s Begin in the Middle

ruins_USambassador

(photo from the Angryarab)

This is news from last month (Feburary 2013), but I think it should get more coverage hence I chose this as my first post on this blog.

The US ambassador to Lebanon, while touring the ruins of Tyre, decided to take a short cut through the ruins in her huge car, causing the collapse of some really ancient wall. For me (as a still-largely-ignorant student of the region) this kind of epitomizes Lebanon’s position in the region — this hapless doormat/site for proxy wars between greater powers or interests. It is really infuriating, but what may be more infuriating is the indifference of most of my Lebanese friends here… Anyway: read more about this incident on the AngryArab or on Jadaliyya.

In addition, the Angry Arab and Jadaliyya are  great sources for Middle East news if you are interested. Don’t rely solely on mainstream news services please. I prefer the Angry Arab because even though he is an academic, he displays few trappings of that industry, his entries are short, to the point, funny, honest about its own biases, and very smart. Jadaliyya is more academic-ish, their articles are longer and some are quite dry; most contributors are academics or graduate students. The Electronic Intifada is another good source.

Lastly, there is The Atlantic’s interview of King Abdullah II, also known as the “let them have juice” interview.

A recent comment by the Angry Arab on the King of Jordan I find apt to reproduce here:

The irony about the King of Jordan

It is fair to say that one of the dumbest Arab rulers, the king of Jordan, has the best press in the Western media–all because he speaks unaccented English.

That’s all for now! Hope this was interesting. 🙂
Choon for Mondays

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