Spectacles of Jadeed TV

The date of this event is not relevant anymore as it is just a template for similar recurring events in the land of the Lebanon. Crumbling under the weight of her make up the talkshow host of “للنشر” (for publication) bullied for about 20min a Syrian woman nursing a baby. The woman turned out to […]

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ISIS and the West

ISIS is the expression of different social and political phenomena that must be understood separately. One of them is undoubtedly the significant amount of “Western” fighters of which some elements are also at the forefront of their media campaign. By Western I mean people who have lived and were educated in Western countries (mostly Western […]

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The framing of a “research question”

I came across this paper written for a particular Middle East Policy Council. I have never seen a more awkwardly posed question regarding Hizbullah’s political development: Hezbollah’s evolution speaks to a larger question in the literature on nonstate actors, both in the Middle East and elsewhere: Why do some nonstate military groups survive attempts to […]

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Who’s reading what and how?

Mali rebels torched library of historic manuscripts Fleeing Islamist insurgents burnt two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached, says mayor Beyond the tragic implications of such an event, a small anecdote: The manuscripts had survived for centuries in Timbuktu, on the remote south-west fringe of the Sahara desert. They were hidden in wooden […]

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Feltman’s response to Al Akhbar

Former US ambassador in Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman responded in the NY Times today to the allegations made in a previous article in the same newspaper on Al Akhbar about waking up every morning and getting upset after reading  Al Akhbar. Feltman answered! There is something quite desperate in this act. Check the argument: Actually, Al […]

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Nasrallah’s press conference

While the world analyzes the meanings, validity, and consequences of yesterday’s Secretary General of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s press conference one should, I think, focus on one major important point made by this event as a whole: Regardless of who killed Lebanese former prime minister Rafic Hariri, this press conference showed that just like other […]

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A Christmas Lesson

In Christian festive times, Al Manar TV uses such rituals in order to focus attention on a political cause either pertaining to internal Lebanese issues (Jesus and messages of co-existence), regional (usually related to the Palestinian cause) or even international. On Christmas Eve for example, the seven o’clock news broadcast has most of its content […]

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Tayyar views on Hizbullah

One has to wait a long time in order to read an article in the Lebanese press that actually takes the time to interview people from several corners of the country. I already said elsewhere that Al Akhbar contributes in a novel and ‘fuller’ way (i.e. more in line with European press standards of constructing […]

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US taxpayers fund Israeli settlers

Emily strikes beautifully with this detailed account of how certain American charities contribute to the building of huge complexes in Palestinian territories for incoming Jewish settlers. This settler business makes me think that never in the history of mankind has arrogance reached these heights, this despicable misreading and imagining the past as a legitimate device […]

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On Palestinian camps

Al Akhbar is probably the first Lebanese newspaper to have added a section on Palestinian camps to its publication, along with political news, society, economics, etc, as part of its ‘local’ news pages.

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A box office success…

… Karim Makdisi nails it: Lebanon’s June 7 national election was a box office success. It had it all: shady politicians, foreign intrigue, bribes, beautiful women, meddling religious figures, sectarian agitation, recently exposed spy rings, fundamentalists collaborating with capitalists, the poor and oppressed voting for the rich and privileged. It was a brilliantly marketed production […]

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Meow …

This report is intended solely for the official use of the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or any agency or organization receiving a copy directly from the Office of Inspector General. No secondary distribution may be made, in whole or in part, outside the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board […]

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Writing Hizbullah

An excellent article today in Al Akhbar by a friend of mine deciphering the various media and other type of intellectual production in the “Lebanese” sphere that came to shape how Hizbullah was and is written. In so doing Raed Charaf goes through a very detailed account of the various types of intellectual activity that […]

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Campaign ads again

I see that Al-Akhbar has finally picked up on blogs’ favorite topic and decided to publish a feature article on campaign ads uncovering even more rebuttals coming from March 14. How do you find this one for example:

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A note on the power of images

The most disturbing aspect of the Gaza assault is that it is proof once again that the more you are considered ‘civilized’ or ‘righteous’, the more you can get away with the most atrocious acts. But it seems that it is not just the ‘western’ sphere, the international community, the Islamophobes, the western media, history […]

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Aoun parading in Damascus

Sometimes Al Akhbar becomes such a trashy Nationalist newspaper. Everybody has been commenting about Michel Aoun’s visit to Syria, some describing it as a visit to the devil (I’ll let you guess which media outlet) and others going as far as saying that it’s the most important post-Taef visit. So the screams of the Lebanese […]

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‘Informed’ information

People deplore the fact there is no “neutral” press in Lebanon, or for that matter in other parts of the world. People don’t realize that press ‘neutrality’ does not exist indeed cannot exist, because of the very structure of a press outlet. Newspapers, TV or whatever are bound by the territory or the history in […]

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Tripoli: the new deal

Nobody understands Sunni politics like Fida’ Itani. Here, here, and here, he has comprehensive reviews of recent political relations between Lebanon and other Sunni governments. By the way Al Akhbar (for example today) has been doing a great job at reporting and analyzing the recent political ‘reconciliation’ breakthrough in Tripoli, another periphery of the ‘Lebanese’ […]

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Crisis in the group

Well that does it for me. Speak no more. I just had the confirmation for what I always thought: People at ICG (International Crisis Group) could well join the rank of the phony ‘experts’ that make a living out of writing journalistic reports about a political situation but while giving it more credibility by issuing […]

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The lost cause of the media

I don’t understand why the media is supposed to have “a cause” that surpasses all other causes. Mustaqbal buildings were burnt down by SSNP men (in retaliation for what they did with their offices a couple of month ago). The same night we saw Mustaqbal’s employees crying on TV saying that they were not sectarian […]

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Another face of hegemony

Check out this excellent article by an Israeli PhD student in Cambridge on the politics of naming and labeling that is prevalent in the Israeli press. For one thing, it shows very well how standards to judge if a press is “free” should be put into question: it has nothing to do with what a […]

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Seeing Aoun and Nasrallah on Otv

I just have a couple of points to make on (before) yesterday’s interview between Hizbullah’s SG and Tayyar’s leader. These are open questions more than anything else. My sentences sometimes are brief and I don’t develop every idea very much. So there is a lot to be said on each. Of course, the purpose of […]

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