Hat tip: Intelfusion.
Egyptian police announced Wedneday they had arrested more than 550 teenagers suspected of sexually harassing girls outside schools in several Cairo districts in a single day. The culprits were awaiting interrogation and trial Thursday.
The police launched an extensive clampdown targeting stores and internet cafes near schools. Security forces raided six internet cafes that did not have permits, and another five that played pornographic videos for truants, according to a statement issued by the Cairo Security Department on the day of the crackdown.
After many families complained about girls being targeted outside schools in several neighborhods the head of the Cairo Investigations Bureau, General Farouk Lashin, launched a campaign against sexual harassment, an interior Ministry source told AlArabiya.net.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that most of the harassers were between 16 and 18 years old.
According to the source police launched an earlier campaign that resulted in the arrest of almost 300 people for harassment in Cairo streets.
And I’m sure these arrests have nothing to do with the fact that Egypt has become so synonymous with sexual harassment that it’s become a major topic of discussion in newspapers, the topic of travel warnings in foreign newspapers, and of course that it’s reached the ears of a certain First Lady.
The authorities are serious about making sure that boys behave themselves? Great. But this looks like the random arrest of the first youths that came across zealous officers, probably many of them the usual suspects who get arrested every time there’s a crime in their neighborhood, and this will be a one-off action on the part of authorities that won’t ever be followed through with awareness campaigns and a more consistent to preventing and punishing harassment. I hope to be proved wrong on this, but I won’t be holding my breath.
Links from my del.icio.us account for November 20th:
- Abdullah II warns Olmert, Barak: Gaza action could snowball into Jordanian instability – Haaretz – Israel News – Hamas threatening Jordanian stability?
- John O. Brennan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Entry on John Brennan, likely director of CIA for Obama, and AUC graduate.
- The rise and fall of Rachida Dati | World news | The Guardian – Profile of French Justice Minister Rachida Dati, who's in hot waters these days.
- Palestinians advertise peace plan in Israeli press – Yahoo! News – "JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The PLO took the unprecedented step of placing advertisements in Israeli newspapers on Thursday to promote a six-year-old Arab peace plan for the region."
- Polls show Israel’s Likud party leading – Yahoo! News – "A poll published in the Haaretz daily on Thursday showed Likud garnering 34 seats in the 120-seat parliament, up from its current 12, followed by Kadima with 28. Kadima, the ruling party, currently has 29 seats. The poll forecast the once-dominant Labor, headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, winning just 10 seats. The poll, conducted by the Dialog agency, surveyed 488 people and had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points."
Here are a few I found this morning, focusing on Middle Eastern leaders and historic events. Captions come from Life, click on the picture to be taken to the page with full info.
Fidel Castro (L) and Gamal Abdul Nasser at United Nation General Assembly, September 1960.
King Hassan II sitting on the Royal Throne during the ceremony of his installation (coronation) as King of Morocco, 1961.
Caliph of Spanish Morocco, Muley el Hassan (C) talking with the Spanish Duchess of Montpensie during the wedding banquet for his marriage to Princess Lal-la Fatima of French Morocco, June 1949.
Ahmed Mohamed Hassanein (Pasha), First Chamberlain to the King of Egypt, 1940.
Large group of Axis prisoners taken in the desert fighting in Libya are paraded through the city under armed escort of Scottish troops and mounted Cairo policemen, May 1942.
Scottish Cameron Highlander and Indian troops marching past pyramids, part of Allied defense preparations against Italian attack during WWII.
An explosion blasting a path in Jewish-held old city after Arabs carefully crept through gunfire to plant dynamite under walls during attack by Arab Legion, June 1948.
Egyptian actress Om Kalthoum, singing on Cairo’s “Voice of Arabs” radio show.
Links from my del.icio.us account for November 19th through November 20th:
- Le Figaro – International : En Égypte, dans l’enferdes enfants des rues – On Cairo's streetchildren.
- Saudi Arabia and America | Larger-than-life diplomacy | The Economist – Review of a biography of Saudi Prince Bandar and US-Saudi relationship.
- Israel launches Arabic YouTube channel to bypass Arab media – It's funny how Israelis – even supposed 'doves' – think Arabs don't like them because of the bias in Arab media.
- Protesting Shimon Peres at Oxford – Shame on Balliol College for honoring Peres – here's a testimony about the protest against his visit there, including the protests of prominent South Africa anti-apartheid activist.
- ei: Ramallah Palestinian Authority blocks website reporting on corruption – "For several days, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been unable to view the website Donia al-Watan (http://www.alwatanvoice.com) as access has been blocked through the PA-controlled telecom company. "
- In the shadow of a long past, patiently awaiting the future – International Herald Tribune – Et tu, Slackman? NYT writes an IBM (inch'allah, boukra, maalesh) article.
The map above is a part of a recently released world map that shows, in blue, the presence of the underground water. I’ve cropped the part that shows the Middle East and North Africa. The part that are shaded in red show aquifers that have been infiltrated by seawater, i.e. where the water salinity is high. This may be for different reasons, although generally (and specifically in Egypt’s case) it is because overuse of underground freshwater is drawing in seawater.
Links from my del.icio.us account for November 18th through November 19th:
- The Denudation Of The Exoneration: Part 1 — jihadica – A summary of part one of Dr. Fadl's new book, starting with an attack on Ayman Zawahri.
- Le Quotidien d’Algérie – Algérie: trois ouvriers condamnés en appel pour avoir été surpris en train de fumer pendant le ramadan – Algerian workers tried for smoking during Ramadan – is this why that country went through a decade of of war on fundamentalists for?
- ISRAEL: Casualty in the the Mafia wars | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times – Hit turns up intensity in Israeli crime family wars.
- Darfur rebels to go to Qatar for peace consultation – Reuters.com – Darfur groups go to Doha, JEM to send delegation for consultation.
- Life with the pirates of Somalia | World news | guardian.co.uk – "Photographer Veronique de Viguerie spends time with the Central Regional Coast Guard, the main pirate group operating off the coast of Somalia"
- أخبار الأخيرة | مصر:طلاب الإخوان يسعون لإطلاق أول أسرة دينية بالجامعة الأمريكية – AUC Muslim Brothers stage sit=in requesting to build a mosque, improve other university facilities. This is one part of larger student grumbling about the facilities at AUC's new campus in New Cairo.
- Daily News Egypt – NEW REVELATIONS EXPECTED IN LATEST JIHADI REVISION – On Dr. Fadl's revisions.
- Jason Burke reports from the war on the Pakistan Afghan border | World news | guardian.co.uk – Jason "Al Qaeda doesn't exist" Burke reports on border conflict.
- جريدة البديل – إيفا هابيل أول امرأة تصل لـ«العُمودية» في الصعيد – Egypt's first female mayor.
- Taqadoumy – Senior US embassy official meets the ousted president – US Embassy DCM visits recently released deposed Mauritanian president Abdellahi.
Links from my del.icio.us account for November 17th through November 18th:
- Islamic Theologian Says Prophet Muhammad Likely Never Existed – WSJ.com – German Muslim prof. doubts Muhammad existed, now reaping predictible backlash. Unfortunately article does not really delve into the reasons for this doubt, but does mention idea that Islam is a Christian heresy.
- Pirates Seize Saudi Supertanker – "The Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with more than $100 million worth of crude oil is the largest ship ever hijacked, according to U.S. Navy officials."
- Americans May Sympathize With Israel, But They Want a More Even-Handed Policy, Say Walt & Mearsheimer – John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt respond to recent Israel Forum poll, saying that the poll never asked how Americans feel is the best way to resolve the IP conflict.
- The President’s Man | Menassat – Osama Saraya, in all his splendor and glory.
- Poll: Only 6% of Americans think U.S. should back Palestinians in peace talks – Haaretz – Israel News – Since polls can often be skewed by leading questions, beware of this story, especially since the pollster is a pro-Israel group. Still, it shows there's a lot of work to be done in raising awareness and combatting propaganda on the IP conflict.
“A Brief Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature” (published by Saqi books) is reviewed in the Al Ahram Weekly by Denys Johnson-Davies. The book is by David Tresilian, a literature professor who has lived in Cairo and written for the Weekly, and has been at the American University in Paris since 1999, in the English and Comparative Literature Department (he does not appear to be a specialist in Arabic literature). Color me cynical, but given that Tresilian has a relationship with the Weekly and that his book highlights many authors that Johnson-Davies himself has translated, I’m not surprised the review is a positive one.
While several books have been written that seek to give the ordinary reader a background to the Arabic novels that are being made available today in English translation, none does the task better and more entertainingly than David Tresilian’s A Brief Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature.
I found the review interesting, mostly for the insight it gives into the thoughts of one of the most established and prolific translators of Arabic literature. Continue reading Big books