The Little Emirate and the World Cup
December 01, 2010
[Guest post by James Downie] Today, the talk of the soccer world is Barcelona’s sublime 5-0 destruction of Real Madrid. Come Thursday, though, for a brief moment at least, international soccer will grab the spotlight once again, as FIFA announces the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Abracadabra: A Brand New Arab Identity Via Andy Warhol, The Guggenheim, And Frank Gehry
November 27, 2010
The most intriguing and intricate cultural history I have read is Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. There are many lessons in it, one of them that enormous wealth brings both opportunity and confusion, even—surprise!—also deterioration. This was what finally happened to Holland, and it happened also to Spain and Venice—three of the once richest and most powerful polities of Europe.
August 17, 2010
The argument that Israel is a colonialist entity is often marshaled to undermine the Jewish state’s legitimacy. The theme has certainly permeated Western academia, almost uncritically. For decades, it has been employed against Israel in one international forum after another. In 1973, the U.N.
Bush Administration Tied To Radical Islamists
August 12, 2010
Feisel Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Cordoba House and the target of a hilariously elongated chain of guilt-by-association by conservatives, turns out to have been invited to speak abroad about Islam and America by the Bush administration: If one were to hearken back to the halcyon days of the Bush Administration, one would remember that, when Bush adviser Karen Hughes was appointed Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, the Bush Administration saw improving America's standing among Muslims abroad as a part of its national security strategy.
Who Says That Obesity Affects Only The Poor?
April 27, 2010
Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are very rich. According to a New York Times article this morning by Michael Slackman, the first of these boasts the second highest per capita gross domestic product in the world. It has a population of 1.6 million, with only 250,000 native Qataris. That means citizens. These Qataris rank “sixth globally for prevalence of obesity and has the highest rate of obesity among boys in the Middle East and North African region.” They will win no soccer cups.
Assalamu Alaykum, Another Special Envoy And Obama's Impoverished Grasp Of The Muslim World
February 17, 2010
I have to admit that Barack Obama's last speech to the Muslim world—by telewhatever to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar—did contain one subtle reproach to the umma after a year of fawning. And it was an important one although it was only three words: “including their daughters.” The president was ever so gently urging Muslims to include girls and women in the pursuit of knowledge which he right called “the currency of the 21st century.” It is, of course, more than that. But give him his due.
What Happens When A Muslim U.N. Delegate Actually Agrees That The Holocaust Actually Occurred
December 19, 2009
Well, a very funny thing happens. Or at least a very funny thing happened when the Sudanese delegate to the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen conceded the reality of the Holocaust. And, no, he wasn't even talking about the "holocaust" visited by the Jews on the Palestinians. According to a Reuters dispatch he was talking about the real Holocaust. But he was comparing it to the plan agreed to by President Obama of the United States and the leaders of China, India, South Africa and Brazil to combat global warming.
Three Ways The Copenhagen Talks Could Succeed (Or Go Bust)
December 03, 2009
Given that there's virtually no chance a finished climate treaty will come out of the upcoming talks in Copenhagen, one might be forgiven for asking what, exactly, the world's diplomats are actually going to do these next two weeks in Denmark. Already, further talks are scheduled for next year—including yet another big climate summit in Mexico City in 2010.
August 30, 2004
Snuffle. Snuffle. Snuffle. The little black nose is cold and wet on my arm. "Gracie, stop that!" media writer Michael Wolff scolds the small, spastic spaniel wriggling next to me on the sofa. Gracie tumbles to the floor, but Trixie the cat soon takes her place and delivers an exploratory head butt. "No. No. No. Come on," says an embarrassed Wolff, leaning out of his high-backed red chair and waving an arm. Wolff and I are seated in the living room of his comfy Upper East Side home.