Blog entries from: MEI Editor's Blog

A Blog by the Editor of the Middle East Journal

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October 20 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Oct 20 2014, 23:03:00

Since the Huthi (or Houthi) Zaydi movement took control of Sana'a', they have moved stedily to occupy much of what was one (before 1990) North Yemen, recently taking the port city of Hodeida and other Sunni areas.

As a result, the separatist movemnt in what was once South Yemen, al-Harik al-Jnubi ("the Southern Movement," but usually just called Harik) has been pressing for a separation. On October 14 (the date South Yemen launched its struggle against British rule in 1963) the movement held a big rally in Aden, demanding separation by November 30, the date former South Yemen won independence in 1967.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Oct 20 2014, 08:45:00

The essential Middle East Studies web magazine Jadaliyya, which provides decent scholarship as well as journalism and is multilingual, recently marked its fourth anniversary and, while I'm a week and a half late with this link, offered a list of  "Jadaliyya's Top 50 of All Time," a fine "best of" list and if, somehow, you know my blog but not Jadaliyya, which I suspect is uncommon, a fine introduction.

Yes, number one is Maya Mikdashi's 2011 piece on Aliaa Elmahdy. perhaps though the finest feminist take on that particular subject, and about seven of the top ten relate to sex or gender, but that's not Jadaliyya, that's the Internet. My audience isn't as big as theirs, but I have the same problem. Sex sells.

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October 17 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Oct 17 2014, 17:06:00

I recently noted The New York Times' critique of al-Ahram's misrepresentation of its coverage of President Sisi's new York visit.

As MadaMasr points out in this piece, the English language Ahram Online apologized profusely:

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From MEI Editor's Blog Fri Oct 17 2014, 16:45:00

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is reporting that the Islamic State has at least three captured MiGs and is yraining pilots to fly them. A report in The Guardian here and at the SOHR website here. The report claims that three aircraft, believed to be MiG-21s or MiG-23s, have been seen flying from the al-Jarrah air base east of Aleppo. The base is controlled by ISIS, which also has control of other Syrian air bases. The report says the pilots are being trained by former pilots of the Iraqi Air Force in the Saddam era.

There are also reports that the Israeli Air Force has raised its alert level.

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October 16 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Oct 16 2014, 23:52:00

I've been known to joke about the man's ego and self-promotion but he's right on target here: "Antiquities crimes should be a felony: Zahi Hawass."

The Man with the Indiana Jones Hat may be preparing his comeback.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Oct 16 2014, 22:45:00

A new report from Marc Lynch for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is called "The Tourniquet: A Strategy for Defeating the Islamic State and Saving Syria and Iraq." (The link is to the summary page: the full report can be downloaded here.)

Here's the summary:

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From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Oct 16 2014, 08:46:00

Egyptian Field Marshal President Sisi's speech to the UN General Assembly has been portrayed in the Egyptian media as ranking with Pericles' funeral oration, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches," and such like. The New York Times has taken its own account of Sisi's speech and compared it in double column format with the al-Ahram Arabic version of their report. I really don't think I need to comment further here.

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October 15 2014

From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Oct 15 2014, 23:50:00

Great Satan, indeed. Via the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) headed by Trita Parsi, comes this photo showing the US degrees held by Iran's Cabinet.

Many are technocrats of course, and President Rouhani himself didn't study at a US university, though he's shown here as well. He went to Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

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From MEI Editor's Blog Wed Oct 15 2014, 16:31:00

Egypt, having no other problems to preoccupy it at the moment, is planning to break all records with an eight-ton dish of koshary;

The restaurateurs have invited a panel of judges from the Guinness Book of World Records to Egypt on November 22 to witness the creation of this record-breaking koshary dish. According to the website of the Koshary and Egyptian Food Festival, the dish will be 10 meters wide, 1.2 meters high, and is estimated to weigh eight tons. The signature Egyptian dish consists of pastas, rice, lentils, chickpeas and sauce and was traditionally a staple of street food carts, though now there are upmarket restaurants featuring it.

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