Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today was a productive day, but one whose details are so entirely quotidian, they probably don't merit my foisting them upon a readership interested in big news and cultural phenomena. This evening, I went to the ahwa (café) where I learned to play towla and had sahlab with my French friend. We chatted about our recent travels and summer plans. Cynthia was supposed to come home (to our place) from the hospital, but just when the doctor was supposed to come up and discharge her, they told her she needed to stay yet another night. Hopefully she'll be out tomorrow.


Omar Suleiman, Egypt's "spy chief", has traveled to Israel to meet with Israeli government officials including defence minister Ehud Barak. I included an article from the Telegraph about Mr Suleiman in an earlier entry. He's not someone one hears an awful lot about, though he wields a great deal of power. It will be interesting to see where his career leads. His visit was also notable for the fact that he met with Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman who's loose tongue has offended many in the Arab world and beyond. Apparently, despite Egypt's FM's strong words that Lieberman wouldn't be allowed to set foot on Egyptian soil, Suleiman extended just such an invititation. Among the issues discussed were relations with Iran.

An Egyptian woman died today from bird flu, the twenty-fifth fatality from the illness.

The emergence of an "Islamic MTV" raises fears that the Muslim world is growing ever more conservative. I have to wonder how analogous these efforts are to the contemporary Christian music phenomenon in the States. Certainly both are vehicles for values and a particular message, but do they have different goals? Some hope the satellite channel will reach Muslims in the West who aren't "coming to the message" of Islam because of they are, apparently reprehensibly, "fully assimilated".

An article on Muslim migration to Europe appeared in the Wall Street Journal today. I cannot say that I agree with it entirely, but it makes interesting contentions about the relationship between migration and politics.

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