Category Archives: Middle East

Anything having to do with the greater Middle-East (not directly involving Israel)

Egypt’s mess

Mubarak looks like he could now be in a serious amount of trouble in Egypt. With the Muslim Brotherhood slated to join the protests on Friday (which is also the day

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of communal prayers at mosques)–it could spell even more problems.

A digital Rosetta Stone

Computers to translate world’s ‘lost’ languages after program deciphers ancient text


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neat to me.

Stand with Israel rally

A brief recap of my experience at yesterday’s “Break the silence — Stand with Israel rally” which was held in Midtown outside the Israeli embassy. (2nd Ave between 42nd and 43rd streets).

First, as I anticipated there was quite a bit of whargarbl/derp from the crowd and some speakers (nu?) Also down a block (between 41st and 40th) were the Neturei Karta doing their thing. [Again–did you expect anything else].

I actually recognized some faces in the crowd from shul and it was a mixed group in attendance. A good turn out especially in light of the rain and the lack of major Jewish organization sponsorship (there’s one theory floating around as to why–I’m not sure I buy into it). The rain probably prevented a larger crowd, plus the space confines too.

The crowd tended to skew more to the religious side of the spectrum (a collection of black hats, but a large number of kippot) There also seemed to be quite a large contingent of older individuals–many of whom sounded like they were of Eastern European descent (based on the languages they used). There were also some youngsters (little kids thru high school age) and activists in the mix.

One of the most interesting speakers had to have been Guardian Angels’ founder and head Curtis Sliwa. He basically called things as they were and hammered the politicians on both sides of the aisle and called on them to actually stand up for Israel rather than merely posturing. Some of the speakers went all anti-Democrat, but Sliwa to his credit played it down the middle (okay, he was a bit more anti-incumbent–but towards both sides).

He’s some coverage from Arutz Sheva (Note: a right-of center new organization)

In all, I enjoyed the time I spent there–cold weather and rain not withstanding. I was very disappointed though by the lack of creative signs and/or giant inflatable figurines (I guess the far left has a monopoly on those).

Bibi’s Speech

Nothing too “earth shattering” within PM Netanyahu’s speech earlier today at Bar-Ilan

I sort of like the analysis over at AoSHQ on the speech.

Bibi scores some points for showing up Obama’s omission of the real historical origins of the (modern) State of Israel.

Otherwise, there was nothing in the speech that hadn’t been heard before.

Funny to read the Palestinian responses though. The “peace process” is once again DOA (though–was it ever “alive” to begin with?)


President Barack Obama said on Friday he was hopeful the robust debate taking place in Iran’s presidential election would advance his administration’s efforts to engage longtime U.S. rival Tehran in new ways.

“We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran,” Obama told reporters when asked about the Iranian election during an event at the White House.

“Whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact there has been a robust debate hopefully will advance our ability to engage them in new ways,” he said.

If a fixed election is considered “robust debate”, then….

Unrelated: Why wasn’t Jimmy Carter over there to supervise the elections?

Obama’s Mideast Speech

Didn’t read all 6,000 words of it yet (nor do I really have any intention too)

But from all the articles I’ve read, I”m not pleased.

Israel is getting royally screwed over–and based on that alone, I don’t like it. Others can say more, but that’s my 2 cents.

Inner-Beauty Pagent?

Even Saudi Arabia has a beauty pagaent…well sort of

Saudi’s Miss Beautiful Morals

But at Saudi Arabia’s only beauty pageant, the judges don’t care about a perfect figure or face. What they’re looking for in the quest for “Miss Beautiful Morals” is the contestant who shows the most devotion and respect for her parents.

“The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants’ commitment to Islamic morals… It’s an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman’s body and looks,” said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak.

“The winner won’t necessarily be pretty,” she added. “We care about the beauty of the soul and the morals.”

Anti-Iran Rall turns partisan

Can’t say I didn’t see this coming: Anti-Iran rally turns into anti-Obama rally.

First off, I wasn’t in attendance, not for political reasons, but rather because I had work. [Try getting from the Columbus Circle area over to the UN, on a weekday, mid-day].

Second, ever since the organizers were (politically) pressured/threatened by certain groups on the left to have Palin withdraw, there’s been an uproar.

Fact is, the most vocal, anti-Iran segments of the community are probably leaning towards McCain/Plain to begin with. Second, Palin’s still got that “rock star” vibe going on–and an Alaskan in NYC could definitely draw quite the crowd. However, since the disinvite, there were calls of disapproval from some segments plus other calls for boycott by others. Doesn’t help things.

It’s a shame the rally didn’t get more than the estimated ~2000 attendees.

Water chicken

Iran swimmer avoids Israeli pool showdown in Beijing

How does one say “chicken” in Farsi? Is it کلمات مرتبط
‘Cause that’s what the swimmer was.

As for the article itself, what was with this little comment by the author:

Israel, the Middle East region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, considers Iran its main strategic threat because of its nuclear programme and repeated predictions of the Jewish state’s demise by senior Iranian leaders.

What if anything does that have to do with the Olympics and or swimming?