September 24, 2008
The Macquarie University Centre for Middle East and North African Studies is hosting an open guest lecture by Harvard Professor Dr Sara Roy titled
“Beyond Occupation? Examining the New Reality in Israel and Palestine”
Tuesday 14 October 2-4 PM
Macquarie University, Building E6A, Room 133.
For more details regarding the talk please visit the Centre website at http://www.mq.edu.au/mec
September 17, 2008
It seems from this short piece in the SMH/Guardian that the Emirates is remaking itself in the image of the “West”. But this attachment to western-centricism is at the cost of emphasising the rich historical culture of Arabia and its surrounds. The Gulf has also had a longer historical connection with both the east, India, Persia and China, and with the East African coastline, than with Western Europe. The effort shown by the rulers of the Emirates to replicate the “west” in Arabia is most unfortunate, not because the best of western culture is not impressive, but that it ignores the richness of the eastern and African culture achievements and also those of the Americas and the Pacific. Most of all it belies the claim made in the article by Sheikh Mohammed that the planned projects will help “interconencted global understanding” as a project of truly global projections would provide space for attractions that represent the cultural achievements from all around the world. I can’t help but see the project of westernising the Emirates as part of the reaction of some Islamic elites to the “clash of civilizations” discourse and the aggressive assault on non-western culture by neo-conservatives in the US and elsewhere. Looking forward to some debate regarding this, even if this is not an entry about Israel.
September 15, 2008
A very interesting article on a topic that, in the West, tends to be limited to examples of Muslim intolerance towards homosexuality. Transgender issues are notoriously under-reported too, but this article covers them well.
From MERIP (Middle East Report Online):
Another Struggle: Sexual Identity Politics in Unsettled Turkey
(Kerem Öktem is a fellow at the European Studies Centre of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford.)
What happens when almost 3,000 men, women and transgender people march down the main street of a major Muslim metropolis, chanting against patriarchy, the military and restrictive public morals, waving the rainbow flag and hoisting banners decrying homophobia and demanding an end to discrimination? Or when a veiled transvestite carries a placard calling for freedom of education for women wearing the headscarf and, for transsexuals, the right to work?
Read the rest of this entry »
September 13, 2008
Reporter Jordan Bryon interviewed me about Barry O’Farrell’s attempts to censor Khaldoun this week. The podcast of the interview is available online, if anyone is curious to hear what my voice sounds like!