May 12th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Israel at 60

Israel at 60
By Daniel Levy
May 8, 2008

I don't often, or ever really, write about my own relationship to Israel or how I ended up there, but I'll make an exception for the 60th anniversary.
It happened for me at the time of the 'good' Iraq war, you remember – the one whose ambitions were limited to ensuring continued access to Kuwaiti oil – not the contemporary Iraq tri-fecta effort – own the oil, change the regime, and transform the region.
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Chris Keeley

Clinton and Obama on Al-Jazeera - by Juan Cole

Date: Mon, May 12, 2008 at 10:44 AM
Subject: Clinton and Obama on Al-Jazeera - by Juan Cole
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

Professor Cole fairly recently was in Qatar and stopped by the office of Ahmed Sheikh, palestinian and editor-in-chief of al-Jazeera's Arabic Service.  This is Cole's informative report on Qatar and al-Jazeera.  The Bush-ites angst over al-Jazeera is radically out of phase with the true character of what is Qatar, and al-Jazeera.  As just one example,
        "Al-Jazeera's coverage of the [American] primary focused on the facts and avoided editorializing, and its interpretation of the meaning of         last Tuesday's events was squarely within the mainstream of U.S. political reporting. The only exceptional things about it were the                 language spoken by the on-air talent and the fact that a satellite channel based halfway around the world in a tiny Gulf emirate had the             means and the interest to report from Indiana and Washington on the complexities of the U.S. primary system to Arabic-speaking                 viewers."
Regards,  John
Chris Keeley

Timbuktu. Digital cameras flashed. Cellphones sang. MP3 players whispered into western ears.

Timbuktu. Digital cameras flashed. Cellphones sang. MP3 players whispered into western ears.
May 11, 2008
Music Issue | Why We Travel

Kevin Moloney for The New York Times

In Mali, S.U.V.'s and Camels Deliver the Fans

The Festival au Desert, held each January in the remote African city of Essakane, Mali, is a time-shifting experience. This year, as it began to come to life, Tuareg men in billowing clothes and brightly colored turbans ducked in and out of leather and canvas tents. Camels strolled into camp by the hundreds and folded their ungainly legs as vendors prepared their wares for an invasion of foreign travelers.

Nearby, a stage rose out of the dunes, decked in modern sound and lighting gear. Off-road vehicles unloaded musicians fresh from the stomach-churning drive from Timbuktu. Digital cameras flashed. Cellphones sang. MP3 players whispered into western ears.

After dark, turbans bobbed in peaceful Tamashek-language conversation around simple fires, while amplified electric-guitar Malian blues floated from a nearby dune. A cluster of Tuaregs around the guitarist clapped and cheered.

Top acts, from Robert Plant to Jimmy Buffett, have made their way to the festival in recent years, but most are local blues and West African roots musicians. This year’s special guest was Tinariwen, the Tuareg band that recently caught international attention and a spot opening for the Rolling Stones.

As night darkened the sky around the modern stage, I turned and looked over my shoulder. Oblivious to the bright lights and loud music, camels shuffled atop the nearest dune, and a crescent moon set behind Tuareg riders. I smiled. My eyes and ears were separated by hundreds of years.