Empire Wants What’s Best for the Arabs

The fear among international players with a stake in the Arab world that more instability threatens the political systems in place was palpable at the Doha Forum I attended last week. This even extended to the Gulf, purportedly the most stable part of the region, despite its having survived the first wave of the Arab uprisings that began in 2011. What was also striking was the idea among foreign powers that change among the Arabs can only happen through their coaching and supervision. Continue reading Empire Wants What’s Best for the Arabs

Art in the Gulf: “better to have it than not”

Youssef Nabil has made a career of immortalizing the famous in a unique photo-art style that has made him the belle of the ball on the international art circuit. Artist in residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris from 2003, then based in New York since 2006, Nabil started out in Cairo in the early 1990s with experiments in photography based on the colour tinting of old Egyptian portrait studios. Continue reading Art in the Gulf: “better to have it than not”

Israel attacks Syria: A Night on Twitter

The Israeli rocket strikes on Mount Qasioun last night produced an almost immediate explosion of Twitter commentary, despite the wee hours when the action took place. Those opposed to the Syrian opposition – whether for fear of the Jihadists or Syria falling into the hands of a Saudi-Israeli-US axis – were sort of triumphant at seeing the rebels exposed on the same battlefield as the Israelis, while there was perhaps some embarrassment dressed up as bravura from the other side. Either way, the massacred civilians of Banias have fallen off the news cycle, not that global media attention has really made any difference to anything, despite the intense glare directed at this most horrific of conflicts.* Continue reading Israel attacks Syria: A Night on Twitter