Middle East


Category archives for Middle East

Regular readers will know that I rarely write about politics. But this post is an exception, as it is written in memory of my father, who died on this day 7 years ago. That’s my father on the left, with the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died almost exactly four years later.

Reel Bad Arabs

The vilification of Arabs in American popular culture serves an ideological purpose: the dehumanization of America’s “enemy” in the “clash of civilisations“. (Via Woman of Color Blog)

Will the U.S. attack Iran?

According to Pullitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the answer is yes.

$500,000 per minute

That’s the cost of war in Iraq, according to a new analysis by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Public Policy lecturer Linda J. Bilmes. The money spent on one day of war in Iraq ($720 million) could provide healthcare for more than 420,000 American children or buy homes for 6,500 families. And let’s…

The death of history

More on the cultural destruction of Iraq, or, as Robert Fisk calls it in this article from The Independent, the death of history.

A new survey, released today by the ORB polling agency, suggests that around 1.2 million Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003. That’s more than 4% of the country’s population.

On March 4th 1991, four days after the end of the Persian Gulf War, ground troops from the U.S. 37th Engineering Battalion destroyed large caches of weapons found at the Khamisiyah Ammunitions Storage Facility, a site approximately 25 square kilometres in size, located some 350km south east of Baghdad. The U.S. Department of Defense initially…

The cultural destruction of Iraq

Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq is a 28-minute film from the Archaeology Channel which documents the plundering of Iraqi archaeological sites and looting and destruction of priceless artifacts. This destruction of Iraq’s heritage has been going on since the U.S. invaded the country in March 2003, and continues to this day. The looting…

Egyptian blogger identifies his torturer

Abdel Monim Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist and blogger, has identified (in Arabic and English) a prison officer who allegedly tortured him for 13 days at a state security headquarters back in 2003.  27-year-old Mahmoud is a member of Ikhwan Muslimin (the Muslim Brotherhood, MB). The MB is the world’s first Islamist movement – it was…

A caricature of me

A caricature of me, aged about 4, by Bahgat Osman (1931-2001). Osman was Egypt’s most prominent political cartoonist during the 1960s and ’70s. He was a close friend of my father’s, and I have vivid memories of him from my early childhood in Cairo. I even vaguely remember posing for this portrait, which was completed…