Friday, May 23, 2008

Just a Little Break

"Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times. Some people are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."
The Mirror is pausing because of damn-important exams. I'll be back very soon. In the mean time, I'll continue tracking and avidly reading all my blogging friends in Morocco and worldwide.

Oh... and the little mouse will take care of the mirror while I'm away.
Take care everybody!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pity the Nation

The puppet regime in Beirut -officially led by Mr Seniora but remotely controlled by Mr Saad al-Hariri and his Western mentors-, which now has become a laughing-stock in the whole middle-east, has been forced to back down in the face of a perfectly organized Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah, but comprising elements from all parts and groups of the Lebanese society.

Here is the account of the valuable correspondent of CounterPunch, Franklin Lamb.

Of Mice and Men, Part II

The US War on Journalists

If one wants to begin to understand the folly behind the abduction, torture and imprisonment of a man like Sami al-Hajj read this analysis of Amy Goodman, the host of "DemocracyNow," one of the few left independent news outlets in North America.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Smile for Palestine

Sixty years after the
Nakba the picture in Palestine is depressing, to say the least. But over the last decade or so, we've witnessed a dynamic of renaissance and awakening amongst the justice and peace camp, and the breaking down of some important taboos which served so far, helping Israel get away with its crimes against not only the Palestinian people but also against justice and History.

Many signs of hope are appearing. The shield of omerta and intellectual terrorism is cracking. More and more people are speaking out, and the cosy protection offered by the Israel lobby is fading away little by little.

We're entering a phase of History, I think, which is crucial for the Palestinian struggle. The bulk of Palestinian cause supporters are now much more mature, much more interconnected and experienced. Violence in pursuit of justice has shown its limits and new means with new horizons are emerging.
Mustapha Barghouti called this week in an interview with Le Monde Diplomatique, for the revival of a "mass non-violent resistance against Israel." This is the next (and natural) phase in the liberation struggle against the Zionist state and all it represents. A battle that Israel shall not and can not win.

Other battles are set to be lost by Israel, like the demographic one. Sooner or later, the Arab (indigenous) population of Palestine will surpass the Jewish one, and the picture will become even clearer of a minority oppressing the majority. If some, carefully ignore this reality now, they will soon be unable to deny the obvious: Israel as Apartheid, settlers’ state.

There are many solid grounds for hope.

Well, call me naive. I'd answer by paraphrasing Harold Pinter:

The general thrust these days is: "Oh, come on, it's all in the past, nobody's interested any more, it didn't work, everyone knows what the Americans and Israelis are like, but stop being naive, this is the world, there's nothing to be done about it and anyway fuck it, who cares?" But let me put it this way-the dead are still looking at us, waiting for us to make justice.

You better keep hope and smile for Palestine!

P.S. : Another cause for smiling: check out the music of these three Palestinian guys. The band is called Le Trio Joubran, and they are really doing some wonderful stuff. They have been touring the US recently.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Need Some Breath of Fresh Air?

For those who need a break away from the ongoing chorus of sycophantic praise to the State of Israel throughout the mainstream media, here is what Uri Avneri remembered 60 years after the Nekba and the creation of the state of Israel, in an article relating his early commitment to Zionism (he even -surprisingly- participated at some point in attacking Arab villages, i.e. the early stages of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine) and utter disillusionment with what the whole entreprise led to. An article in which he describes Israel from within, as a country corrupted by war and occupation, tormented by what he called "the crusaders anxiety," and haunted by what I would call, the psychology of the thief.

Visit also which gathers testimonies about the "catastrophy," gives detailed informations about destroyed palestinian villages, recounts the chronology of the ethnic and cultural cleansing in Palestine.

Visit also The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre website: The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre foundation "is a non- governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Palestine. The Sakakini Centre was founded in 1996, and is located in Ramallah."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Candid Jamaï

Aboubakr Jamaï, the former editor and publisher of Le Journal Hebdo (Casablanca), was hosted yesterday by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars under the subject matter: "Morocco: A Stalled Democratization Process?"

Excerpts from the candid discussion that ensued can be found here.

Of Mice and Men

After six years in an American gulag called Guatanamo, Aljazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj has just been released according to an report.

"Rats are treated with more humanity", al-Hajj said to his Aljazeera colleagues.

"But we have people from more than 50 countries that are completely deprived of all rights and privileges.

"And they will not give them the rights that they give animals," he said, adding that inmate's "human dignity was violated."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Remembering the dead of Casablanca

and wishing for a better and more

dignified tomorrow for all fellow workers

around the place.

"How Do Arab Regimes Modernize Authoritarianism"

"Since when have you compelled people to enslavement, since their mothers birthed them free."
Omar Ben al-Khattab

The Arab world is the one single region in the world that has little if not changed at all since François Georges-Picot and Mark Sykes determined its majors outlines according to their government's respective spheres of influence, prior to the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. Throughout the past century, the established dictatorial and regressive regimes have brought very little progress to their people.

For example, and according to UN Human Development Program's latest reports on the region, "the number of books translated in the Arab world is one fifth of the number translated in Greece. The aggregate total of translated books from the Al-Ma’moon era [in the ninth century] to the present day amounts to 10,000 books - equivalent to what Spain translates in a single year." Needless to add that in authoritative countries like these, an outcome as ridiculous as this one, can only and almost exclusively be attributed to the willingness of the Arab regimes to maintain their people in a state of cultural coma.

"The ruling power plays a key role in directing knowledge and in influencing its development or retardation. Since a ruling power works to foster knowledge patterns compatible with its orientation and goals, it inevitably resists or even suppresses other patterns that contradict its general direction," the report concludes.

Knowledge is of a course a central and strategic field in which Arab regimes have knowingly played a retarding role, but that applies also to almost all areas of human development and progress.

Hicham Ben Abdallah al-Alaoui, cousin of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, is a kind of a happy exception from within the Arab establishment. Founder of the Institute for the Trans-regional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University, he has regularly and boldly exposed the scandalous political realities of the Arab world often in an articulate and informed fashion. That caused him serious trouble with the moroccan royal household forcing him into a de facto exile. Apart from that he has participated in many international peace missions, including the UN's mission in Kosovo.

In his latest article* (fr), "How Do Arab Regimes Modernize Authoritarianism," Published in last month edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, he explains how Arab regimes have constantly reinvented pretexts to cling to power and how they are now adapting to the new geopolitical realities, to justify their oppressive rule.

(*) The article first appeared on the internet in and is an excerpt from a speech the prince gave last March in a conference held in Le Conseil des Relations Internationales at Montréal. The original piece published in the April paper issue of Le Monde Diplomatique might appear in the following days on the official website of the French monthly magazine.

Picture Courtesy of "3arabawy."