mehreenkasana:

How Thomas Friedman Distorts Realities in Egypt, Pakistan, and India by Amith Gupta in Jadaliyya

Writers such as Gyanendra Pandey have noted that despite the systematic nature of Indian state’s violence against its Muslim minority, such violence is always deceptively depicted as an aberration, “aberration in the sense that violence is seen as something removed from the general run of Indian history: a distorted form, an exceptional moment, not the “real” history of India at all.” This is a fitting commentary on Friedman’s own whitewash of the history of India. This is, of course, not to mention India’s short stint as a dictatorship, from 1975-1977, when Indian leader Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency, jailed political opponents, dramatically limited freedom of the press, and began a campaign of forced sterilization against the poor—following a court ruling that she had broken the law during her election. Furthermore, there is India’s declaration of war against jungle tribes within India itself: peoples that have been dispossessed and robbed of their lands, only to be massacred by helicopter gunships as they try desperately to resist. Nevertheless, Friedman somehow manages to ignore these glaring problems in favor of highlighting a token Muslim appointee as proof of Indian cosmopolitanism.

Such omissions are only the beginning of Friedman’s absurd musings. He asks if Egypt, under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, might become like Pakistan, opting for strict military rule and intolerance against minorities. In the process of posing and exploring the question, he makes another glaring omission: the role of the United States. In both Pakistan and Egypt, US policy has been a major determinant in the outcome of internal power struggles, especially those which concern military-civilian relations. Pakistan did not become a militarized (near-failed) state without the active intervention of the United States. A major Cold War ally against the non-aligned India, the United States backed Pakistan with billions of dollars in military aid since its founding in order to contain the alleged threat of communism. This carried over and was intensified during the Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghanistan.

The massive and unbalanced aid flow to Pakistan’s military establishment has resulted in the weakening of Pakistan’s civilian institutions, creating a nuclear military power that can and does ignore the rule of law with the blessing of heavy US support. In the process, the United States has enriched a core of Pakistani military officers who have used the billions of dollars to fund various pet projects, while preventing any serious oversight from the Pakistani civilian government. This continues even as Pakistan’s military and intelligence services back al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. There should be no doubt that the United States has underwritten the Pakistani military’s domineering, lawless hand in Pakistan’s domestic affairs so as to quell any real or alleged threats from other regional powers.

[continued]

Thank you and shukriya for proving that Friedman will always be a God damn idiot. Read this.

 
fattouch:

On the left, the original cover of the novel “Zaat”, by Sonallah Ibrahim. On the right, the cover of its French edition.
Zaat tells the story of an Egyptian middle-class woman from the death of Nasser till Mubarak’s rise to power (1970’s - 1990’s). The novel describes the malaise of modern life in a big city like modern Cairo, which the original cover tried to depict with an illustration of Zaat in her kitchen, a shelf full of icons of modern life hanging over her.
The French cover shows the painting of a 19th century odalisque.

fattouch:

On the left, the original cover of the novel “Zaat”, by Sonallah Ibrahim. On the right, the cover of its French edition.

Zaat tells the story of an Egyptian middle-class woman from the death of Nasser till Mubarak’s rise to power (1970’s - 1990’s). The novel describes the malaise of modern life in a big city like modern Cairo, which the original cover tried to depict with an illustration of Zaat in her kitchen, a shelf full of icons of modern life hanging over her.

The French cover shows the painting of a 19th century odalisque.

(via fattouch-deactivated20121111)

 
Symbolism in Peril via Jadaliyya

Recently, The Economist covered the major changes occurring in Egyptian national politics that are establishing the foundation for the country’s future. The cover photo used features the pyramids as volcanoes. After some initial joking amongst ourselves at the expense of Economist editors about their apparent confusion over Egyptian politics and/or geology, we decided to interpret the implications of the photo upon an uncritical audience.
To start, it is important to understand that The Economist has a long tradition of using artistic and imaginary discretion in its depiction of real world events. Oftentimes the publication prominently portrays cartoon caricatures of world leaders in symbolic interaction. Trends emerge as we see The Economist turn both Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Kim Jong Il into rockets. On other occasions, more prejudiced depictions come through. China is often depicted as a panda bear or dragon. Stories covering Iran’s research in nuclear technology are often containing crude depictions of atom bombs.
The more recent photo of the pyramids as volcanoes presents a problematic depiction of the situation and its implications.The top of a pyramid cracks, revealing lava underneath the familiar surface of the monument. Smoke clouds rising high above the landscape create an ominous effect for distant onlookers.The image is an attempt to represent the heated, potentially explosive situation in Egypt following the dissolution of parliament and the high-stakes presidential election.
However, depicting the pyramids and the representation of “Egypt” perpetuates a romanticized conception of Egyptians. For the editors and audience, the pyramids, built thousands of years ago, are what define Egypt. It is this construct of Egypt in peril. People’s livelihoods are not the primary concern. The concept neglects the thousands of years of relevant events and individuals changing the course of history resulting in the present-day situation jeopardizing the human security of common Egyptians. The consequential jeopardy experienced by the Egyptian people is trivialized and its identity betrayed. Using this image is a missed opportunity to convey the uncertainty facing many Egyptians as well as a perpetuation of a false identity of Egypt.

[These are troubled times, and it is not just Egypt that is in peril. June also saw the lead up to the famous healthcare ruling, which carried implications for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and the presidential election.]

[The unity of the European Union is also in peril, with debtor countries such as Greece risking default on loans that put the entire European Union in peril.]
Read more

Symbolism in Peril via Jadaliyya

Recently, The Economist covered the major changes occurring in Egyptian national politics that are establishing the foundation for the country’s future. The cover photo used features the pyramids as volcanoes. After some initial joking amongst ourselves at the expense of Economist editors about their apparent confusion over Egyptian politics and/or geology, we decided to interpret the implications of the photo upon an uncritical audience.

To start, it is important to understand that The Economist has a long tradition of using artistic and imaginary discretion in its depiction of real world events. Oftentimes the publication prominently portrays cartoon caricatures of world leaders in symbolic interaction. Trends emerge as we see The Economist turn both Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Kim Jong Il into rockets. On other occasions, more prejudiced depictions come through. China is often depicted as a panda bear or dragon. Stories covering Iran’s research in nuclear technology are often containing crude depictions of atom bombs.

The more recent photo of the pyramids as volcanoes presents a problematic depiction of the situation and its implications.The top of a pyramid cracks, revealing lava underneath the familiar surface of the monument. Smoke clouds rising high above the landscape create an ominous effect for distant onlookers.The image is an attempt to represent the heated, potentially explosive situation in Egypt following the dissolution of parliament and the high-stakes presidential election.

However, depicting the pyramids and the representation of “Egypt” perpetuates a romanticized conception of Egyptians. For the editors and audience, the pyramids, built thousands of years ago, are what define Egypt. It is this construct of Egypt in peril. People’s livelihoods are not the primary concern. The concept neglects the thousands of years of relevant events and individuals changing the course of history resulting in the present-day situation jeopardizing the human security of common Egyptians. The consequential jeopardy experienced by the Egyptian people is trivialized and its identity betrayed. Using this image is a missed opportunity to convey the uncertainty facing many Egyptians as well as a perpetuation of a false identity of Egypt.

[These are troubled times, and it is not just Egypt that is in peril. June also saw the lead up to the famous healthcare ruling, which carried implications for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and the presidential election.]

[The unity of the European Union is also in peril, with debtor countries such as Greece risking default on loans that put the entire European Union in peril.]

Read more

#yes   #The Economist   #Egypt  
 

Think of what’s happening in Egypt. When Mubarak fell it was so inspiring. It broke so many stereotypes – democracy wasn’t supposed to be something that people would fight for in the Muslim world.

The Guardian asks this 22-year old student a question regarding uprisings, citing her recent completion of an English and Drama course as a point of credibility. English and Drama? Egyptian Revolution? Marxism? Islam? I’m trying to get the connection here.

The Return of Marxism via The Guardian

#Egypt   #Marxism  
 

The National | "Egyptian candidates use their beards to lure votes" by Bradley Hope ›

A piece found by one of our awesome page members, KawltureKawlture rightfully points out, “Apparently, a candidates’ choice of beard ‘gave hints about their personality.’”

Read for yourself:

It was perhaps the first explicit confirmation of a new era of beard politics dawning in Egypt, where candidates for political office use facial hair to subtly persuade voters of their character.

Mr Al Shater’s gesture has positioned the Islamist as a man who straddles the divide between the moderate members of the Muslim Brotherhood - of which he is the deputy leader - and the more conservative Salafists, who often wear beards without moustaches in the belief that it is what the Prophet Mohammed wore in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Read more of this insanely irrelevant “commentary”

 

As I kept walking to my hotel, I realized why. When I looked down at the Nile embankment — and this was central Cairo — all I saw was garbage strewn about, a crumbling sidewalk and weeds sprouting everywhere. I thought: If this were Sydney, Singapore or Istanbul, the government would have built a beautiful walkway along the banks of the Nile where Egyptians and visitors could stroll with families in the afternoon. Not here.

NYTimes: Pharaoh Without a Mummy by Thomas Friedman

You know, usual dirty Arabs.

-Submitted by globalwarmist

 

Nothing Is “Post” in Post-Revolutionary Egypt

O’Brien Browne for the Huffington Post

Few things titillate the Orientalist observer than the the clever, never-done-before juxtaposition of niqabs and lingerie. 

-Submitted by abudaii