Monday, May 22, 2017

The prince to the left

By the way, I don't know what you may have heard, but the Saudi prince to the left, is extremely funny and is known as a great conversationalist in the tradition of Isiah Berlin.  Just don't tickle him. It is his weakness.

So Trump assembled the idols of the Arab youth

What did the Trump family say about Arabs privately in Saudi Arabia? Eavesdropping of an Arab butler

As the Trump family was having dinner privately in their residence in Saudi Arabia, an Arab butler decided to eavesdrop on their private conversation.  He relayed to his friend this (my translation from Arabic): "At night as they were all in the Trump family sitting around and eating from the "mountain" of rice in front of them, he heard their conversation clearly.  They were badmouthing us (Arabs) and saying that we are dumb and has no personality or brain".

"... في الليل وبينما كانت كل عايلة ترامب جالسة مع بعضها تلقمش من جبل الرز الموضوع أمامها، وضع أذنه على باب غرفة الجلوس وسمع حديثهم بوضوح. كانوا "يركبون مقلاتنا" ويقولون أننا هبل ومساطيل وبلا شخصية وبلا مخ..."

Trump on Islam

So basically, Trump and his clique believe that Islam is an evil and dangerous religion, but that Wahhabiyyah is a peaceful religion.  Trump wants all Muslims to follow Wahhabiyyah in order to stem out fanaticism and extremism in the region. That should work.  

Who can spread moderation, democracy, and human rights more than those there clowns?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

And then they all gathered and worshipped the lamp.

Investigative reporting from Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News White House correspondent provides investigative reporting:
Jennifer Jacobs‏Verified account @JenniferJJacobs 9h9 hours ago
"Room where Trump will give his big speech on terrorism to 54 Arab & Islamic nations is stunning--theater chairs, crystal chandeliers, snacks"

What US media calls "Pan-Arab media" is nothing but Saudi regime media

Wikileaks: How Saudi regime controls Arab media.

Analysis of Saudi-US relations

"What emerged as a veritable love fest between the two governments"

Another propaganda piece about Saudi regime: this time in the Boston Globe

"Reforms that seem obvious to Westerners, such as allowing women to drive, come slowly in this absolute monarchy. As one woman, a textile artist, put it when asked about the prospect for reforms: “It’s like a glass of water with a layer of mud at the bottom. Each time you add another level of fresh water, the glass becomes clearer.”"  Official Saudi regime propagandists were circulating this piece.

Ben Hubbard is going to wind up running a Saudi Information Office somewhere in the world, I predict

Another apologetic puff piece by Ben Hubbard about Saudi regime.  He never manages to find one Saudi person who is critical of the regime, and if he is to interview an expert, it is always someone apologetic about the regime.  

Saudi regime media praises Melania Trump

First Lady of Saudi Arabia

The joke being told on Arab social media: that First Lady of the US entered the royal palace in Saudi Arabia and saw 155 women. She asked them who they were?  They answered: we are the First Lady of Saudi Arabia.

Those too were awarded the Order of Abdul-`Aziz

Yeah. Yeah. Obama raised hell about human rights violations in Gulf countries

Ben Rhodes (@brhodes)
Really undercuts US credibility when it looks like we only raise human rights issues for geopolitical purposes…

Is this Saudi lobby director making threats to the US about JASTA?

Watch this carefully.  He basically says that if JASTA is passed Muslims will get angry and join terrorist organizations and strike at the US.  It is a direct threat, it seems to me.

Look who is now pretending to be for human rights?

Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower)
For a country whose attacks on civilians in Yemen -- and inability to learn from mistakes -- have been devastating to human…

There is nothing quiet about GCC repression: Western media makes it quiet by not covering it

"As Trump visits, Gulf states seen quietly curbing opposition".
Reuters is notorious in succumbing to Saudi pressures, and in switching correspondents at the orders of Saudi government.  

They hate Islam but they love Wahhabiyyah

Bannon seated next to the descendants of Muhammad ibn Al-Wahab.

Moments before Trump arrived, Saudi King asked that his shoes be replaced

It has to be said: Lebanese journalists are far more extreme in their subservience and obedience to oil royals than Saudi journalists

Rima Maktabi (@rimamaktabi)
Oil, women n Yemen at a press conference by Princess Reema Bint Bandar and Dr. Basma Al Omair. A precedence that #Saudi women give

Afaf Kanafani died. She was 99.

To all my students who met her and loved her, I am sad to report that Lebanese-Palestinian-American writer, Fay Afaf Kanafani died the other day. I first met Afaf maybe around late 1990s, when I still lived in Berkeley. She called me one day, and asked me to speak about Palestine to a group of Arab and Jewish women who met in San Francisco and discussed foreign policy. We chatted on the phone and she sounded very young. She then asked me to pick her up at her place in Oakland, and then we would go together to San Francisco. I was astonished when she answered the door, as she looked so much older than what she sounded on the phone: and I realized that her group was a group of retired older women. As soon as I met her in person, she asked me if I knew of a Professor Kanafani at UC, Berkeley, who taught in the engineering department. I said that I did not know him but that I have heard negative things about him: that he would refuse to speak Arabic with Arab students and would tell them: we are in America, and we have to speak English. She said: oh, that is my son. Tactless me, as usual. I addressed her group and we talked about her experience living in Lebanon and working in the administration of Lebanese University (Lebanon is so small, that I later discovered that she worked with my cousin Shadya Alayli). Afaf called me often and invited me to eat Lebanese food, but I never went. But she did show me the pictures of her late husband, Fu'ad (her second husband, the love of her life). She then invited me to her book party at UC, Berkeley when her book, Nadia: Captive of Hope was released. She also established a scholarship fund for women working on Middle East women topics. I went and saw her being very happy, and she introduced me to two of her three sons. Her granddaughter was present and she read excerpts of the book. I never saw Afaf more happy. I read the book and contents and the ending (especially the part about the horrific experience that she and her (second) husband were subjected to in Lebanon during the war) distressed me a great deal. I called her in tears that night, and she comforted me, telling me that she was OK, now and that she never let what she went through to influence her or to derail her life plans. The book was rather original but very painful (to read and to write--I am sure): it was the first book by an Arab who talked candidly about being sexually molested by her father, and the sexual assaults that maids at the home were subjected to by her father and brother. She also spoke about physical and sexual abuse at the hand of her first husband, when she lived in Palestine. Her family married her off in the 1930s, and she moved to Palestine with her new (terrible) husband. Her experience in Palestine and witnessing An-Nakbah made her a lifelong activist for Palestine. The book was very moving and I added it to the list of books of 1st person narratives in my Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East class. And then--I forgot who: a student suggested that we invite her to class to a potluck and discuss her book with her. A student volunteered to pick her up from Oakland and there began a tradition in my Gender class: that Afaf would be invited to a potluck in my class to discuss her book (Valerie Marleau was one of her volunteer drivers one year, and she promised me to provide her with bathroom breaks during the long trip to Oakland). It happened every semester, or every year when the Gender class was being offered annually and not every semester. She was so lively and had such charm, and she always dressed (very Lebanese) very elegantly to those events. Students always observed that I was always protective of her during those meetings, and that I tried to shield her from tough questions. I was always happy to see her, and students often stayed for hours with her to talk about her life. She was so positive about life and about the future. She told us that her sons (especially two of the three) were furious with her about the book, and that none were happy about it. But two stopped talking to her. But she was not in any way feeling guilty about that: she knew that she did not do anything wrong and that it was their problem, not hers. Her visits to my class ended only five years ago: she told me bluntly: I am too old now to make that trip. She also would tell me about her computer art work which she got into. She was 99: I wished that lived to be 100 and more. Over the years, I became more critical of the book, from a gender and class perspective. She once saw me at a conference (where she met dear friend Lama Dajani who was thrilled to meet her, and I did not know that Lama had read her book and was deeply moved by it). Afaf pressed me if there was anything I did not like about the book, and I only gave her one example, and we discussed that. Many students of mine here on Facebook have met her and got to like her.
PS Jenn-Jarred Neal took this picture us back in 2004, in one of those potlucks).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

About Ivanka

This Saudi journalist has a point.  He says: "I think that the interaction regarding Trump's daughter is not sexual frenzy, as some are portraying it.  In reality, there is nothing in this political and economic event on which we have an honest opinion except this".

عبدالرحمن الشهري‏ @Abdurhmanshehri 1h1 hour ago
"أعتقد أن التفاعل مع بنت ترمب ليس سعاراً جنسيا كما يصوره البعض، الحقيقة أنه لاشيء في هذا الحدث السياسي والاقتصادي نملك رأيا صادقاً فيه سواها"

Royal Saudi Sleaze: ogling

Notice that Lebanese journalists in Saudi media sound different on Twitter than in Saudi regime media

Read here

When anti-Semitism is in the US camp

Trump will give a speech on in Saudi Arabia، and the fanatic Jewish (who wrote the muslims controversial bans) will write it.

PS This person was a media officer of Free Syrian Army and is a Syrian rebel "journalist" (one of those "activist-journalist")

As if American presidents never praised despots before Trump

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Tillerson says he won't promote human rights, but does Trump really need to undermine rights by praising autocrats?

US ambassador summons Jordanian royal Zeid bin Ra'ad and told him to ignore Israeli violations

He said: as you order.  Not that he has been vocal at all against Israeli violations.

In this video, King Fahd says that the right-wing president of "nationalist" China told him that Islam is most effective to combat communism

Watch here

Iranian election

I detest all Iranian presidential candidates equally, but Rouhani bothers me in particular.  

The caption says: "If someone tells you 'Let me show you the bathroom' don't go".

Where is Anthony Weiner?

The only one missing from the meeting between Saudi royals and Trump is Anthony Weiner.  

They all bow down to Saudi kings

Classy American journalism

Yeah.  Anderson Cooper and CNN are in a position to lecture about professional journalism.

The irony is that those who made hatred of Islam, as a religion, their career found peace in, and with, Wahhabiyyah

When Saudi royals meet with Trump

When Saudi royal males meet with Trump is there a doubt that the they only discuss feminism?

Saudi Twitter Robots Welcome Trump

"Saudi Twitter Robots Welcome Trump: Trump's welcome to Saudi reaches 'Inauguration-level' on Twitter".

Would you not agree that Saudi regime propaganda is rather subtle?

Of all the Sadi regime media headline, this is my favorite

The mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, headlines: "Saudi Arabia strongly supports Trump Policies in Palestine---and Deterring Iran" (Iran is an afterthought, it is all about Palestine.  But what are Trump's views on Palestine, one wonders).

Look at this sleazy headline in the Saudi regime newspaper

"Saudis swoon as Ivanka Trump trends on Twitter in the Kingdom"

Friday, May 19, 2017

Iranian elections

I want them all to lose, real bad.  Every single one of them.

And when Nixon visited Egypt during Watergate, despot Sadat canceled classes and forced students to greet

Those are not leaders of Al-Qa`idah. They are the most senior Saudi clerics who will lead US-Saudi effort to spread moderation

Time magazine cover

This is so insane and so stupid and it shows you how the establishment is so ready and eager at a moment's notice to back to Cold War fever.  There aren't enough conflicts and wars in the world for the DC establishment. They want more blood.  

US government and appeasement of the Nazis

There is no popular factual history of the US role in WWII.  Since I came to US, I was struck that popular culture about the war are so wrong and based on fallacies and propaganda.  Take the notorious appeasement policies of  Neville Chamberlain.  The disgraceful policies of appeasement (which certainly facilitated the expansion of the rule of Hitler--he even was expecting a stronger French and British reaction to his provocations in 1938) were not entirely Chamberalain's.  FDR was also an appeaser and sent a telegram to Chamberlain congratulating him on his peace talks with Hitler, on the eve of Munich.