Friday, April 30, 2010

Publishing books in Egypt

Mohamed Hashem's officeseems an unlikely home for Egypt's nascent literary revolution: to find it you have to ascend a shabby set of stairs in a downtown Cairo apartment block shared by, among others, the Egyptian Angling Federation and an orthopaedic surgeon. It's a far cry from the slick headquarters of Egypt's biggest publishing houses. Yet on any given day it's here on Hashem's threadbare sofas that you'll find the cream of young Egyptian writing talent, chain-smoking cigarettes, chatting with literary critics and thumbing through some of the thousands of books stacked from floor to ceiling.
"We can't compete with the big firms in terms of profits, but the new wave of authors will always be sitting here," says the 52-year-old with a grin. "Yes, we have poverty and limited resources. But we also have the future." MORE HERE

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Islamic Televangelism: Religion, Media and Visuality in Contemporary Egypt

In the Egyptian hit film Awqaat Faraagh (Leisure Time, 2006), three young college students experience an existential crisis when one of their friends suddenly dies while crossing the street to buy them more beer. Sitting in a souped-up Mercedes Benz filled with hashish smoke and scantily clad girls, the three boys watch in horror as their friend, high and tripping, is hit by a car and immediately falls to the ground, breathing his last with the words: “I am afraid, I am afraid.” Chastened and shocked by this tragedy, they vow to repent their dissolute lifestyles and lead more moral lives. Instead of watching Internet porn, they begin to download and watch together episodes of a religious talk-show by Amr Khaled, an immensely popular Islamic da’iya (activist, “caller” to Islam), who regularly appears on satellite television. MORE HERE

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saudi Arabia wants Nuclear Plant; , Could Have Huge Consequences For U.S.-Iran Relations

The government of Saudi Arabia has announced a new section of its capital Riyadh is set to be powered solely by nuclear energy. This will be the first nuclear power plant in the Gulf states, and the first in the broader Middle East.  If the U.S. government backs Saudi Arabia's bid to build a reactor, they'll be creating the potential for nuclear growth within the GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, whose members include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, and Oman. MORE HERE

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Election in Sudan not up to standards

The chief of the EU's monitoring mission said Sudan had "not reached all [standards] but some of them".
The polls were intended to effect a democratic transformation in Africa's largest country.
The complicated ballot has already been heavily criticised by the Sudanese opposition and local observers. Final results are expected on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Khartoum, EU mission chief Veronique de Keyser said: "Turnout is very high, 60%, but with significant deficiencies.MORE HERE

Friday, April 16, 2010

Church bells ringing in Egypt again

The peal of Russian bells will shortly spread in the neighbourhood of the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill presented a group of bells to an ancient Greek, which were especially cast for this purpose by the smiths of the old Russian city of Voronezh. “Let the sounds of these bells remind people about our brotherly love and our unbreakable ties with the Orthodox Church in Alexandria, emphasized Patriarch Kirill. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church traditionally visits local Orthodox churches after he is enthroned. MORE HERE

No more school bells in Somalia

The Shabab, Somalia’s most powerful Islamist insurgent group, outlawed school bells in a southern town on Thursday after deciding that they conflicted with Islam, residents said.
School principals in the town, Jowhar, about 55 miles north of Mogadishu, the capital, had been summoned to a meeting and informed that the bells could no longer be used because they sounded like church bells, according to one principal.
“There was no bell rung in our school today,” said Hamdi, a student at the Kulmis Primary and Secondary School, who asked that her full name not be used out of fear for her safety. “Some teachers were hitting the doors as the period finished. It is really confusing.” MORE HERE

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teaching as a tentmaker in Saudi Arabia

For expatriates looking to work in Saudi Arabia, there are many types of job options to choose from. Industries such as IT, Construction, Banking, Finance, and Oil & Gas etc are buzzing with jobs. However, education industry also attracts a lot of qualified personnel into Saudi Arabia. There are many teaching jobs in Saudi Arabia to be taken up. Since the expatriate population is quite high, and they come from all over the world to work in Saudi Arabia with their families there are many international schools that are running here to cater to the children of these expatriates. Apart from that the local schools in Saudi Arabia also required qualified teachers for subjects such as English and Math. MORE HERE

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Growth of Church in North Nigeria

Nigerian Anglican archbishop told 825 mostly Anglicans and Episcopalians that included 20 bishops and three archbishops that the outbreaks of violence in Northern Nigeria is a result of tens of thousands of Islamists becoming Christians resulting in the formation of 49 new dioceses.

The Rt. Rev. Edmund Akanya, Archbishop of Kaduna and Bishop of Kebbi from the Anglican Province of Nigeria told conferees at the New Wineskins conference for Global Missions that outreach to Muslims in Nigeria with the gospel is "second nature" to Nigerian Anglicans and that Anglicans "face this challenge every day."

"After experiencing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior I went into mission. Up to 20 years ago we were dependent on missionaries. Now we have a thriving church with our own missionaries reaching out to Muslims, animists and pagans," he told the missions-minded audience many of whom had come from half way around the globe to plan mission strategies to reach the world for Jesus Christ. MORE HERE

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Morocco must end harassment of Sahrawi activists

Amnesty International has called on the Moroccan authorities to end the ongoing harassment and intimidation of Sahrawi activists, as five of six who have been detained since last October began the fourth week of a hunger strike in protest at their detention without trial.
The hunger strikers are among a number of Sahrawi activists who have faced harassment and intimidation after visiting refugee camps in Algeria administered by the Polisario Front, which calls for the independence of Western Sahara and has set up a self-proclaimed government-in-exile.

One group was beaten with batons at Laayoune airport last Wednesday when they returned to Western Sahara from the Tindouf refugee camps. MORE HERE

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hungriest part of the Arab World: Sudan's new disaster

The UN mission in Sudan is warning of a food crisis in the south, with failed rains and tribal clashes laying the foundation for a humanitarian crisis. Skeletal children and elderly people who are too weak to walk tell of impending tragedy. Watch video HERE

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Arab Christians from Jordan risk all for Easter Sunday pilgrimage to Israel

Many of the Arab Christians flocking to holy sites in Israel this Easter Sunday come from neighboring Jordan. But they do so at a price.
Those who make the trek – and, as part of a broader rise in religious tourism, more are making it every year – risk their professional reputation and their family’s disapproval.
For a country whose 1994 peace treaty with Israel was never accepted at the popular level, receiving an entry stamp, let alone a visa from Israel, is considered “treason” to the Arab cause.
But despite a growing movement to discredit those involved with the “Zionist enemy,” hundreds of Jordanians risk their careers and reputation to complete a pilgrimage to holy sites in Israel’s occupied territories.
“I cannot help it,” says Daoud Yazeed, a Jordanian Christian who disguises his pilgrimages as business trips. “Jerusalem is calling.” MORE HERE

Morocco - Christians at risk

In early March, observers watched as around 20 long-time Christian orphanage workers were expelled from the country they called home. The incident, and others which followed it, have brought to light the debate surrounding Christianity in the Kingdom.
While the official Moroccan line is that 98.7-99 per cent of the population is Muslim (the remainder being approximately 1% Christian and 0.2% Jewish), that statistic includes ethnic Europeans residing in Morocco. Proselytizing is illegal, as is conversion away from Islam. Still, foreign Christians are allowed to practice freely, and a number of churches, mostly from the era of French colonization, remain. In contrast, the country's tiny Jewish population is almost entirely native, and is also allowed free practice of their faith. MORE HERE

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Elections in Sudan: 11-13 April - What is at stake?

Sudan is to hold its first national democratic election in 24 years when voters head for the polls from 11-13 April to elect their next president.
They will also vote for members of the 450-seat National Assembly and governors for the county's 25 states, as well as members of state assemblies.
Voters in the semi-autonomous southern region will additionally elect a president of the South Sudan government and members of its 171-seat Assembly.

What is at stake?
When President Omar Hasan al-Bashir seized power following a bloodless coup in 1989, the activities of all political parties and trade unions were frozen for 10 years. Moves towards the restoration of democracy led to the registration of political parties from 1999. Most opposition parties however boycotted the 2000 elections in which Mr Bashir was declared winner amid widespread claims of rigging. MORE HERE