Inter-Palestinian reconciliation proposal

October 22, 2008

Below is an English-language translation of the full text of Egypt’s draft proposal for inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which was published today in the Lebanese daily, al-Akhbar. The translation is taken from Mideast Mirror’s Arab World section for October 21, 2008. The proposal specifies the date for a comprehensive inter-Palestinian dialogue, before moving on to the clauses of the agreement that the Palestinian factions are meant to sign on November 29th. Read the rest of this entry »

Israel & Iran – War or Dialogue @Politics in the Pub

October 16, 2008

17th of October 2008


Antony Lowenstein, Author ‘My Israel Question’.
Noah Bassil, Acting Director, Centre for Middle East and North African Studies,  Macquarie University

All are welcome.

Discussion starts at 6pm and ceases promptly at 7.45pm

The venue for Politics In the Pub is the Gaelic Club, Level 1 (Tel. 9212 1587) 64 Devonshire St., Surry Hills

That’s just across from the Chalmers St exit and Devonshire St tunnel at Central Station.
Parking is usually available in side streets.

For more info, please visit

Food fights

October 9, 2008

Food is dear to my heart.  Not only do I eat it, I also teach in a course called “Food Across Cultures” in the Macquarie Anthropology Department.  So I was delighted to receive this morsel (bad pun, I know) from Raffe: a Time Magazine blog reporting that some Lebanese man wants to sue Israel for stealing its cuisine: hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh.  So the reporter goes to eat hummus at a shop in Jerusalem and asks the owner if hummus is Lebanese or Palestinian.  “Who cares?” replied Zahdeh with a shrug. “Everybody makes good hummus around here –-except the Egyptians.”  As someone who just came back from a stint of fieldwork in Egypt, I can say amen to that!

(For those of you who are interested in the politics and anthropology of food in the Middle East, I urge you to check out Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper’s excellent edited volume, “A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East.”)

–L.L. Wynn

Jewish orthodox ‘mutawwa`een’

October 5, 2008

Raffe just sent me something interesting:

I thought you might be interested in this. As we were talking about the Mutaween several weeks ago they reminded me of a similar Israeli sect of orthodox Jews that are operating in Orthodox neighborhoods.

–L.L. Wynn

Blogging and Facebook politics on Arab Media & Society

October 2, 2008

Arab Media & Society, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is a really exciting publication that is a kind of hybrid breed, combining the reader-friendly layout, graphics, and images of a magazine with in-depth academic analysis.  The current Fall 2008 issue has a lot of interest, from an analysis of the rhetoric and media techniques of Beshir Gemayal, featuring video and English translations of his speeches, to three articles on cyberpolitics in the Egyptian world: two analysing the Egyptian blogosphere, and one on Facebook politics.  There’s also an analysis of what the rise in private media outlets means for Indonesia, and a look at the reception of Deutsche Welle in the Arab world.

–L.L. Wynn