Tag Archives: political analysis

reblogging the Islamic state through the looking glass

The looking-glass of Western geopolitical involvement in the Middle East is normally a tired and very much inside-the-box perspective if one is interested in the region. However important the power players from outside the region may be in the decisions … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

two great stories about messy politics and story telling

Today my digital grazing delivered two great short stories about the mess of politics. The first,  Fanatics, Charlatans, and Economists, a short poignant opinion piece by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at the United Nations, and currently President and CEO of … Continue reading

Posted in psychology, society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

closing the Egypt chapter, reblogging strangers in the crowd

Still following Egypt’s news but it’s time to officially close the chapter of commenting on it. A final reblog, that substantiates my previous pessimistic impressions of the direction the country has taken, as well as proof of the confirmation bias … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

mellow Shanghai, so different from Cairo?

My first impressions of Shanghai focused on the build environment. I didn’t mention another distinct impression, equally based on where I come from, but more immediate. Even walking the incredibly busy Pearl Tower area of Lujiazui, and the central shopping … Continue reading

Posted in personal, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egypt, energy, corruption and realpolitik

Today, the Arabist promotes this Al Jazeera documentary as a must watch. I did and I fully agree. Anyone interested in Egypt and the Middle East will find it extremely interesting. I would even argue that it’s importance transcends the … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

framing

Just read (p. 253) this beautiful anecdote about an English treasure hunter, one E.F. Knight, and his party, who in the late 19th century spent time on a hell hole of an island, far off the coast of Brazil, called Trinidade, unsuccessfully digging … Continue reading

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cairo Chairs

Dutch photographer Mark Nozeman recently spent two month in Cairo. I like his Cairo Chairs the best. Enough to reblog them here. I can assure you that Caireen streets are plastered with these chairs: house masters (bawebs), guards, car washers/parking attendants, … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

re-blogging Egypt’s next president

My impressions of the short-term future for Egypt are bleak, and they aren’t changing. Not much point in going on about that but when I come across an insightful piece that really adds relevant detail, re-blogging is warranted. As usual, … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rothkopf does it again

I try to limit re-blogging to a minimum. But some of those whom I follow are just such able writers of concise perspectives on issues that I really care about that it cannot be avoided. David Rothkopf, whose book length … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

how democratic fear can result in autocracy

A concise and accessible explanation of the answer to this question with Egypt as the explanatory example is given by Shadi Hamid in this wrap up commentary on the role of religion in Egyptian politics. He’s the writer of a … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brotherhood background

I have nothing to add to my recent posts on Egypt, my own, and what I re-blogged, but for those interested in some serious background to one major player in this country’s tragedy, watching Michael Prazan’s documentary on the Brotherhood … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

re-blogging Egypt’s instability by the numbers

Every so often, I come across an analytic piece about Egypt that stands out. With thanks to The Arabist (again), who brought this to my inbox: an article by the Middle East Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Nijmegen and Cairo: happy running

I’ve written a lot about running lately. So my mind has been on it even more than normal. It’s always funny to notice how a focus of attention seems to correlate with coming across unexpected ‘relevant’ information. Go on holiday … Continue reading

Posted in (trail) running, society, un nimweegs rondje | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Egypt outlook

Not good. I won’t beat around the bush. I moved here from Nepal, a country dear to me, and one that I left disheartened by its stagnant political economy. But I have to admit that I will leave Egypt even … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

singing the revolution has changed its beat

A recent article at ahram online triggered this post, a piece starting with this sentence: Ramy Essam’s new song, ‘We Don’t Belong to Them,’ gives voice to those caught in the middle of Egypt’s Islamist-military tug of war. That caught my eye, because … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

explosm Cairo

The car bomb and possibly the suicide bomber, have finally reached the capital. As was to be expected Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed the spectacle, but if they are actually behind it, what the purpose of it would be, if there is any … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

revolution on ice re-blogged and mindmapped

The piece below by Elliott Colla appeared on Jadalliya. Although that site is on my resources list I had missed it but Foreign Policy‘s Democracy lab channel pointed me to it. This long and winding article is probably too much for most … Continue reading

Posted in psychology, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

pyramids and the Egyptian revolution

I’ve just read my first Terry Pratchett novel and absolutely loved it. Reading it in the Sinai definitely added a dimension to it. It’s about religion and belief, has a camel as one of its main characters that also happens … Continue reading

Posted in psychology, society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egypt’s culture wars

I always start my day with coffee and several online newspapers, a local one, and Dutch ones, and whatever else they may link me to. That makes me a sucker for many reasons. The world of news has preciously little … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

the deafening silence of Aung San Suu Kyi

That’s the powerful title of an opinion piece (sorry in Dutch) by Nourdeen Wildeman, a Muslim who converted from Christianity. It’s about the Nobel prize winner’s refusal to speak out about the Rohingya issue. The analysis points out two things that don’t … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Bangkok through the lens of Cairo

When one visits a new environment first impressions are important to document. It is even more important to analyze what they tell you something about. Sure, they offer an interesting perspective, not yet desensitized by habituation,  on the new environment. … Continue reading

Posted in personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

first impressions of Egypt’s politics

I’ve been in country now for a month. Have been reading two English newspapers on line. Diligently. Some other lit. Talked with foreigners, some middle class opposition supporters (that’s whom I meet in my wife’s English medium working environment, my … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Egypt and Tunesia

When I talk with people who are knowledgeable about the MENA region it’s pretty obvious one shouldn’t compare Egypt and Tunesia. Very different countries, very different histories, very different economies, sign of ignorance to lump them together. Obviously the international … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

poetry, violence and confusion

Before moving here I saw an Aljazeera  documentary about Egypt’s 83 year old revolutionary poet Ahmed Fouad Negm. Never knew this was such a poetic country, but as life goes, the insight quickly collected dust in some forgotten mental drawer. Yesterday … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

can a Dutchman understand a revolution?

How to think about what is going on here? How to read the newspapers, with their articles expressing multi-fold and totally conflicting perspectives and interpretations? Admittedly, bringing in the Dutch connection is primarily a ruse to legitimately include this aesthetically … Continue reading

Posted in society | Tagged , | 2 Comments