Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fattush post (Fattush posts refers to posts that contain several not necessarily related items). I am still grading and I get very grumpy during grading and final times. I feel the stress of time, and I don't like that. Furthermore, I don't believe in grades or exams but I have to do it. Anyway, so I return home after giving a final and turn on my TV. There was some discussion about Arab media on Al-Arabyya TV. The first person I see, is `Ali Salim. And if there somebody I despise in Arab media and culture, it is `Ali Salim. He is the Egyptian cartoonish playwright (whose success is the Egyptian play, Madrasat Al-Mushaghibin (not original to him of course) who drove his car to visit Israel to prove that he is civilized. He was so rewarded by Zionist groups: they translated his silly book into English, but he became ostracized in Egyptian non-official circles. Basically, I will summarize to you the discussion: AlJazeera is responsible for most of the terrorism in the world. I kid you not. The anchorperson would ask, for example: did "some media" not promote terrorism by talking about "the Palestinian question and other social issues"? And the guests would largely agree. One guest from Jordan (and he was pro-regime) felt that the festival has gone too far in its rhetoric. A Saudi columnist summarized the crux: he told the audience that "we Arabs are backward." He said that conspiracy theories are in the "chromosomes" of Arabs. More condemnations of AlJazeera followed. Some would name it and others would say "that major TV station." By the way, a guest on AlJazeera recently told me that guests have been recently forewarned not to mention Saudi Arabia on the air. That would explain my absence. MEMRI would carry `Ali Salim's words, I am sure. By the way, two weeks ago, Al-Ittijah Al-Mu`akis had a debate between two guys on the question of Israel, 60 years after the occupation of Palestine. Ibrahim `Allush spoke for the anti-Israeli perspective, and his remarks were covered by MEMRI. But what was most interesting--and remain uncovered--is what the other guest (pro-Arab regimes, and pro-West) said on the matter. He was brought in to speak softly about Israel, or to say that the Palestinian question is not important. The fellow prefaced his remarks by saying that Israel is a cancer and then went on an anti-Semitic diatribe. But then again, we find that Zionists seem to be enamored with anti-Semites as of late (and not as of late too). People have asked me whether there was an drop in visitorship to the blog since I shut off the comments' section. The answer seems to be no: you may check here (the mountain peak was during the Lebanon crisis). But who cares about ratings anyway: one student (Brian if you are out there), once told me that bloggers should just disregard the question of rating: it may be distracting, and he is right. I still receive support for shutting down the comments' section, but some 3 or 4 people complained. I feel it is more quiet like that, and it got so out of hand that by the end there was clear attempts and sabotage and political spamming.