US based NK News and the Korea Economic Institute of America have launched the NK Leadership Tracker looking at every single event that Kim Jong Il and son Kim Jong Un have ever attended (which was reported), since 1994. Tania Branigan explores the interactive and discusses what it shows
from my arabic professor who lives in yemen, where she struggles to have security, working electricity & so many basic needs on a daily basis. what is Sandy in comparison, especially here within the Orange Bubble where we’ve had our own generator, working heat and wireless and basically everything we need through the storm? as destructive as the hurricane was, i am blessed, touched and thankful.
Khoka from Alam Simsim talking to girls about education in Egypt
reading up on US vs chinese strategies for cultural diplomacy in the middle east and i end up spending the afternoon browsing the alam simsim site. sesame street = even more important than we (coughromney) realized? ha :) #thesisfun
“The embarrassment is that political culture in America is such that we can’t have an adult conversation about the lessons of Benghazi, a conversation that would focus more on understanding al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa, on the limitations and imperfections of security, and on shortfalls in our intelligence gathering, than on who said what when in the Rose Garden.”
Jeffrey Goldberg refocuses our attention on what is really worth talking about after the attack in Benghazi. Particularly worth noting is his observation that Foreign Service personnel are just as integral to US operations in the Middle East and North Africa as active-duty military are, for better or for worse, and they know the risks when they sign up for the job.
which is why i wince and my heart races every time FP comes up in the prez/vp debates. for all that i’ll joke and reblog and laugh at memes about binders full of women, big bird, etc, i don’t want to see political gaffes or vitriolic blame-gaming when it comes to america’s role abroad, esp wrt MENA and China. in fact the more agreement between our candidates, the better, if that means brighter hopes for astute, sensitive foreign policy. i earnestly pray that whoever gets elected will prioritize sound diplomacy above pandering to public pundits and political funders - in short that they’d put peace above self-interest, party interest or even american interest. العلم في السلام. 世界和平。argue and mudsling to your heart’s content on domestic issues, that’s fine, but take foreign affairs seriously. please! for our good and the good of all.
“I get to write now because I have privilege. I have always been privileged, of course—I am white, able-bodied, and I was born in Canada—but getting to write requires even more privilege than those facts confer. I know I shouldn’t feel bad about my inheritance—It’s equivalent to parental funding, or a relative who knows the boss, or the subtle, psychological advantage that accrues when 3/4 of your brain isn’t always devoted to scheming up the rent.
I feel grateful to have the privilege to write, but now that I have it, what can I say? I worry that in the transition from poor to comfortable, I’ve lost something crucial: a certain edge, a sense of anger. I fear I’ve lost the qualities that could connect me with readers like my parents, who are struggling in ways I don’t anymore: trying to eat and pay rent, and using the time left over to forget all that trying. If journalists are envoys from a “glamour industry”—if their lives are as removed from the lives of most people as mine has become—how much faith can we place in their accounts?”
shared by my dear friend tthean is this a real concern? as journalism struggles to adapt (read: survive and find sustainable financial models, but also remain smart, pertinent and audacious as needed) to the digital age, will it be reduced to an option only for guanxi-boasting elites? will that change the angles our media takes or distance our public conversation from the non-ivy league, non-NYC summer internship, non-debt-free classes? this is a conversation we should have.
The timeworn dichotomy of “Islam versus the West” is giving way to an era of multipolar relations. The world’s economic center of gravity is shifting eastward. But the growing prominence of China, India and Russia, and of emerging powers like Brazil, South Africa and Turkey, does not automatically guarantee more justice and more democracy. Some Muslims are too quick to rejoice at the decline of American power. They seem unaware that what might replace it could well lead to a regression in social and human rights and to new forms of international dependency.
The Arab peoples, like those throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia, cannot, and do not want to, disregard the cultural and religious traditions that have long defined and nurtured them. As they pursue values like freedom, justice, equality, autonomy and pluralism, and new models of democracy and of international relations, they need to draw on Islamic traditions. Islam can be a fertile ground for political creativity — and not an obstacle to progress, as Orientalist thinkers in the West have so often claimed.
— of course! tariq ramadan being a boss as always. and maybe i’m influenced from having spent all weekend reading al-afghani, rashid rida and muhammad abduh, but come on. liberal modernist Islam. pull through for السلام!! i hope and i pray..