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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

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February 2010

What does ElBaradei want?

A member of the ElBaradei family sporting this great home-made T-shirt.
After spending most of yesterday at Cairo Airport covering Mohamed ElBaradei’s return to Egypt, it’s worth taking a step back from the infectious enthusiasm of his supporters and listening more carefully to what they say — and what people close to ElBaradei believe he intends to do.

A member of the ElBaradei family sporting this great home-made T-shirt.But before I do that, I think it’s fair to note that yesterday’s welcoming committee was a success. There were over 1,000 people at the airport, the story got covered everywhere, and it has legs. It energized his campaign, even if many were disappointed that ElBaradei did not speak at the airport. I think he probably should have, but the conditions there were not good: supporters and journalists were crushing each other, there was no platform, and too many people to be controlled easily. One important reason for the success of the welcome was its timing. I think it might be no coincidence that ElBaradei decided to return to Egypt on the day that Egypt faced its Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council and the day that Barack Obama met with Egyptian democracy activists Gamal Eid and Bahai Eddin Hassan. There was a lot of international attention on the question of democracy and human rights in Egypt that day. The regime’s propaganda may have scared off some (newspapers had reported on-the-spot fines of LE1,000 — $182 — and massive security presence, both of which were untrue) but plenty turned out and a repressive approach was simply not possible.

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Internationally Renowned Translator Johnson-Davies Speaks at AUC


In the first of its lecture series, In Translation, AUCs newly established Center for Translation Studies, hosted leading Arabic-English translator Denys Johnson-Davies who shared his memories and encounters with Arab writers during his extensive literary career, including Naguib Mahfouz, Tawfik Al Hakim, Yusuf Idris, Yahya Hakki, Edwar Al Kharrat, Tayeb Saleh and Salwa Bakr.

Start speech Denys Johnson-Davies at 23:40

This Time We Went Too Far

Press TV -The Autograph-Grant F. Smith-02-08-2010

The Silent War: Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

Israeli Mossad Assassination footage in Dubai Hotel

Dubai has said it will issue an arrest warrant for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if Mossad is proved to be behind the killing of a Hamas leader in the sheikhdom.

The Israeli premier would have been the first one to have signed the order to kill, Dubai’s police chief Dahi Khalfan said on Thursday.

According to the police chief, the method used in the assassination is one used by Mossad.

The senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room in Dubai on January 20th.

According to the Times of London, the hit men subjected Mabhouh to an injection which induced a heart attack, photographed the documents in his briefcase and left a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door of the hotel room where the crime was committed.

Hamas has accused Israel of carrying out the hit. In a statement, the movement said, “We hold Israel responsible for the assassination of our brother and leader.”

The 50-year-old Mabhouh was one of the founders of Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

**UPDATE:

“The first results of a joint investigation by Hamas and the (United Arab) Emirates show he was killed by an electrical appliance that was held to his head,” Fayed al-Mabhuh said.

“Material was sent to a Paris laboratory which confirmed he was killed by electric shock,” he added.

Still Life: Scenes in Gaza Time

by Atef Abu Saif

Discovery He discovered suddenly that Gaza had a sea-a big sea too. It was blue-like a dark-colored painting-and in the evening the sun resembled a giant orange plunging into the watery abyss as it disappeared into the sea.

Similarly, he discovered that a few kilometers from the shore a number of ships rode the waves at the heart of the sea and that their lights shone by night, like street lamps, illuminating a path through the sea. It was unmarked but afforded him an avenue to see far away.

He also discovered that the taxi fare from his home to the sea was merely a shekel, that the distance took five minutes by taxi and a quarter of an hour by foot, that the shore was only a few meters from his office, and that if he stood by its window he could imagine full well that he might touch the wave’s foam.

Read more: http://wordswithoutborders.org/article/still-life-scenes-in-gaza-time/#ixzz0frqEFd0l

Begin’s grandson: ‘murderous blood flows in Israeli arteries’


Palestine, February 13, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – “Murderous blood flows in Israeli arteries,” says the grandson of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Avindav Begin, who is also the son of the current Likud Knesset member Benny Begin, refuses to stand during the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva” and participates in protests against the Apartheid Wall. He does not see himself as a Jew or a Zionist and believes that his grandfather did not make real peace with Egypt. He also is not worried about being the target of rotten eggs after his inflammatory interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot.

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IAW, 2010

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