Tag: Mid-East

Freedom of expression should not be undermined

Obviously. And that should extend to mocking religion, even cruelly. And violence is not an acceptable response, even to someone maligning your God. But unfettered freedom of speech is not an entrenched value everywhere in the world (although I wish it were). And when we’re talking about swaths of relatively powerless people who have spent the past few decades facing hostility and violence from the United States and from their own leaders, rioting as the only way of demonstrating widespread frustration and discontent becomes somewhat… not understandable in the way that means “acceptable,” but understandable in the “capable of being understood” way. Because even if the better option was a cool, collected conversation, no one is sitting at the other side of that table. Which again isn’t a justification — the rioting is wrongheaded and horrible and I would even say silly in response to such an asinine, juvenile video — it’s just an observation. As is this: When there are already fires blazing, maybe don’t throw gasoline on them just to prove that you can.

On Being A Good Lebanese Girl

Or a good Greek girl. Or a good Indian girl. Or a good Mexican girl. Or a good any-ethnicity-that-has-ever-been-shoved-down-your-throat-ever girl. I want you to meet Charlie. Charlie and I met each other just a little over a year ago—but I…

Peace for women is world peace

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize today was awarded to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” These women are three…

Syrian blogger Amina Abdallah kidnapped

Horrible news: A blogger whose frank and witty thoughts on Syria’s uprising, politics and being a lesbian in the country shot her to prominence was last night seized by armed men in Damascus. Amina Arraf, who blogged under the name…