New openings for Arab democracy

By Nicholas Blanford and Gretchen Peters, The Christian Science Monitor

In a surprise announcement Saturday, Egypt’s long-ruling president, Hosni Mubarak, ordered constitutional changes that would open the door for the first-ever multiparty presidential elections in the world’s most populous Arab country. The move is the latest indication of a cautious democratic shift under way in the Arab world. Continue reading “New openings for Arab democracy”


First I have to say that I was touched by all the feedback I have received on- and off-line, as a result of my latest entry. But indeed, some clarifications are in order here.


No, it’s not the security situation in itself that’s getting to me. But, this whole situation and its impact upon my family has forced me to reassess, or, to my be more precise, it has reminded me of my priorities in life.  Continue reading “Clarifications!”

A Heretical Epiphany!

In a rather rare moment of epiphany these days, I suddenly realize that the City, the Forever Decrepit City, no longer means anything to me.


But then, hasn’t this been the truth all along? After all, why did I really return to the City? Was it really her love that pulled me back after all these years? Is it really her love that is binding me to her while here? Or hasn’t it been my need all along, and my fear?  Continue reading “A Heretical Epiphany!”

Auto-debaathification vs. Exo-debaathification!

Is the Syrian regime really serious about its announcement that it will execute a large-scale redeployment of its troops in Lebanon, perhaps in preparation for a complete withdrawal at a later date?


Hard to say. But if experience with this regime taught me anything, if precedents are taken into account, then the only thing I can do at this stage is to remain skeptical, skeptical until such time that the action promised actually takes place. Then, I still reserve the right to remain skeptical for a little while longer just in case our leaders took a counter-action that makes their first action meaningless.  Continue reading “Auto-debaathification vs. Exo-debaathification!”