The Many Afflictions of Syria’s Non-Islamist Opposition

From the start, Syria’s civil war was highly sectarian. Historian Basilius Zeinu writes that the opposition’s practice of underlining the sectarian affiliations of regime opponents, rather than adopting inclusive, nationalist slogans, is a worrisome sign. It is, he writes, as if minority groups were demanding medieval Catholic ‘indulgences’ from the country’s majority Sunnis for the sin of being born Christian, or Druze, or Shi’ite.

Since the start of the uprising, Syrian intellectuals, many from minority groups, have been heavily involved.

We’re Not Racist, We Just Don’t Want Arabs

Liberal Zionists in northern Israel, many of them refugees from apartheid South Africa, come face to face with the contradictions of the Jewish State when Arab Israelis try to move into their neighborhood. Shades of American legal fights over racial covenants in the last century.

Residents of the Misgav communities in the Galilee consider themselves to be liberal, peace-loving people who support coexistence with their Arab neighbors.

Looking for Albert Cossery in Cairo

In the twentieth century, Egypt produced perhaps two great novelists: Naguib Mahfouz, who remained in Egypt all his life and wrote in his native Arabic, and Albert Cossery, who emigrated to France and wrote in his adopted French. They were born and died only two years apart, and wrote about Egypt their whole lives, but as Daikha Dridi discovered, Cossery’s choice of language and adopted country doomed him to oblivion in his native land.

In front of her computer screen, the woman with the golden hair squints her brown eyes.

Anita’s Long, Victorious Battle for a Toilet

Development NGOs, take note: According to this report from Madhya Pradesh, India’s rural women have more pressing priorities than laptops and internet access.

For a woman, a toilet is more important than a mobile phone, but men don't understand that, according to Anita Narre. She is the 20-year-old tribal whose rebellion not only ensured a toilet in her marital home but ushered in a sanitation revolution in a backward region of Madhya Pradesh.

A Separate Place

Al-Akhbar’s critic suggests that despite the ambiguous honor of an Oscar, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation was in fact a fine and nuanced work of social criticism and filmmaking.

Asghar Farhadi took to the stage at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday to accept the Best Foreign Language Film award for his new work, A Separation (2011).

Bollywood Barbies Come Into Their Own

Has the day of the female superstar finally arrived in the Indian film industry? Advertisers, fans, and movie producers desperate to hire them suggest that for the dozen or so women discussed here, Bollywood is no longer a boys’ club.

Whether it's promoting brands or selling movies with glamorous signature tunes--which are to Bollywood what car chases are to Hollywood--women have never had it so good in male-driven Bollywood. A place where all they did previously, says one snide director, was audition for marriage. Women now have

The Euro Reich

German politicians have shown little interest in arresting Greece’s slide into financial ruin and poverty as Hellenic Republic’s endless financial crisis threatens to drag down the rest of Europe. In this context, the Greek media’s unrelenting portrayal of official Germany as a collection of Nazis is hardly surprising. But it makes Germans very uncomfortable.

Stathis Stavropoulos is tired of constantly drawing evil Germans, but he does it again and again, slightly varying the theme each time. In his drawings, the well-known Greek cartoonist has dressed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in sinister-looking uniforms, placed her in a tank and depicted her fri

In Syria, Fleeing Filipinos Abused By Embassy

Foreign servants in a number of Arab countries often accuse their employers of horrific abuse and mistreatment. As Syria descended into civil war, Phillipine newspapers denounced the country’s embassy there for helping to jail numerous victims.

MANILA - Analiza Muana, 32, was a domestic helper over-burdened with work yet underpaid by her employer in Syria.

Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat’s on the Griddle

A new vogue for eating domestic cats is sweeping Vietnam, and the resulting cat shortage may be causing plagues of crop-destroying rats and mice. Which raises the obvious question: are housecats and feral cats which would otherwise be out killing rats actually being rounded up and cooked? The question is unasked and unanswered by these reporters.

On a sunny afternoon, Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang wields her cleaver over a stack of freshly skinned carcasses, expecting a busy evening. Today's special is the same as every day, and business is booming, she says, although not all locals share her enthusiasm for cat meat.

Youssou N’dour In The Sights Of Power

Senegal, long seen as a democratic model in West Africa, has begun an unexpected slide toward autocracy. The country’s 85 year old president, Abdoulaye Wade, in power for 12 years, has amended the constitution to allow himself another term in office.

Astou, who resides in Dakar and is a fan of the singer, put it this way :" He has too much to lose. He's a community figurehead. Everybody loves his music, no matter the generation to which they belong. By getting involved in politics, he would, of course, make enemies. In Senegal, politics really a

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