Blog entries from: MEI Editor's Blog

A Blog by the Editor of the Middle East Journal

1 to 10 of 313

August 20 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Aug 20 2014, 14:41:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily. More than a month ago, I started a series of post on Lady Hester Stanhope, but then the pace of events in the region kept me from returning to it. Today I am offering a re-run of Part I, which originally appeared on July 17. Parts II and III will appear in coming days.

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August 19 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Aug 19 2014, 23:08:00

More vacation posts are coming soon. Meanwhile,  I wanted to point you to another interesting post by linguist Lameen Souag: "A South Arabian loan into Libyan Berber?"  You'll recall that I posted a while back about the surviving non-Arabic South Arabian languages ("The Endangered South Aranisn Languages of Oman and Yemen") including Mehri. After previously debunking myths that Berber and Mehri are related and that Berber is descended from Arabic, he now finds an apparent example of a Mehri loanword in Libyan Zuwara Berber. Coincidence or actual borrowing? Both languages belong to the greater Afro-Asiatic language family, but to quite distinct subfamilies (Berber and South Semitic).

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August 18 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Aug 18 2014, 15:16:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily. Part I of this post appeared Thursday and I had intended for this part to appear Friday, but was delayed.

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August 14 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Aug 14 2014, 21:08:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily.

Alfred Joshua Butler (1850-1936) seems, at first glance, a typical donnish sort of 19th century Englishman. He certainly looked the part (photo at left) and his Who's Who entry (below) seems stereotypical: son of an Anglican clergyman, "the late Rev. A.S Butler, Rector of Markfield, Leicestershire"; married "1882, Constance Mary, d[aughter] of Col. Heywood, of Ocle Court, Herefordshire"; Scholar of Trinity College, Oxford; Fellow of the wonderfully-named Brasenose College at Oxford, Visitor of the Ashmolean museum, winner of poetry and other prizes, and of course, "Recreations: shooting, fishing, boating, ...

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Aug 14 2014, 09:28:00

My daily vacation post will be up this evening. Meanwhile, I thought I'd point you to a post sadly relevant to the current events in northern Iraq:  linguist Lameen Souag at Jabal al-Lughat  on "Some Minority Languages of the Mosul Plain."

He addresses Neo-Aramaic, the two main forms of Kurdish, related languages such as Gorani, the dialects of Turkmen and Yazidis, etc.

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August 13 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Aug 13 2014, 19:50:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily. This is the second of four posts on the escape across the Mediterranean of the German warships Goeben and Breslau to Constantinople in August, 1914, a century ago. Part I appeared last week and introduced the main players and the ships. Part II Tuesday with the chase itself and the rapid negotiations between Germany and Turkey during the course of their flight. Part III yesterday dealt with the idea of transferring the ships to Turkey and their entry into the Straits, and his final part deals with their reception in the Turkish capital. 

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August 12 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Aug 12 2014, 19:35:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily. This is the second of four posts on the escape across the Mediterranean of the German warships Goeben and Breslau to Constantinople in August, 1914, a century ago. Part I appeared last week and introduiced the main players and the ships. Part II yesterday with the chase itself and the rapid negotiations between Germany and Turkey during the course of their flight. This third part will deal with the idea of transferring the ships to Turkey and their entry into the Straits, and the fourth with their reception in the Turkish capital.

When we left our story yesterday, Admiral Souchon had escaped into the ...

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August 11 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Aug 11 2014, 12:21:00

I'm on vacation. As I have done each year, I have prepared a number of posts on historical and cultural subjects unlikely to be overtaken by events, with at least one appearing daily. This is the second of four posts on the escape across the Mediterranean of the German warships Goeben and Breslau to Constantinople in August, 1914, a century ago. Part I appeared last week and introduiced the main players and the ships. This post deals with the chase itself and the rapid negotiations between Germany and Turkey during the course of their flight. The third part will deal with the idea of transferring the ships to Turkey, and the fourth with their reception in the Turkish capital.

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August 8 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Aug 8 2014, 23:07:00

I'm going on vacation for two weeks. I won't be traveling the entire time, but will be off the clock as it were. As I've done in previous years, I've prepared/am preparing blog posts ahead of time on historical and cultural topics that won't be overtaken by events. These will include, but will not be limited to, the second and third parts of the Goeben/Breslau saga and the rest of the unfinished Lady Hester Stanhope story, as well as two other subjects already nearing completion. I had intended to put up part two of the Goeben and Breslau tale tonight when I remembered belatedly (forehead-slapping moment) that the Ottoman Minister of Marine/Head of the Admiralty/Member of the CUP Triumvirate Jemal (Djemal/Cemal) Pasha's memoirs exist in English translation! (I have no Turkish at all.) They ...

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From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Aug 8 2014, 18:50:00

With the US  media obviously focused on the first rounds of US airstrikes against ISIS on the front near Erbil, it is only fair to note that the Iraqi Air Force also struck last night at targets in Mosul. Presumably using the Su-25 ground attack aircraft it acquired this summer from Russia and Iran, Iraqi aircraft reportedly hit a building they believed was an ISIS headquarters in Mosul, and also claimed that ISIS forces retreated unto the city from positions in the north.

Various estimates claimed an ISIS death toll of 60, 76 (suspiciously precise), or 130, or simply "large numbers," all of which estimates are unconfirmed.

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