Read an excerpt of Marwan Kraidy's latest book The Naked Blogger of Cairo here. On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, a strange sight appeared on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Close to city hall, passersby saw a four-meter high gilded statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a suit, legs firmly planted …Read More »
The Other Face of the Video Clip: Sami Yusuf and the Call for al-Fann al-Hadif
In the ongoing debate about Arabic music video clips that currently engulfs the cafés and newspapers of Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, one frequently comes across critics who decry the apparent lack of diversity and meaningful messages contained in this pop culture genre. According to this argument, …Read More »
Video Venom Must Stop!
Juha once remarked, as he sat on the beach and looked at the incoming waves, "There are more coming in than there are going out." Critics of Arabic music video clips may wish to ponder this wisdom and bow to the inevitable, since their efforts to stem the tide are …Read More »
Arabic Video Clips Flirt with Desires of Egyptian Youth
A voluptuous female swings her body back and forth in an atmosphere torrid with sex. She revolves around a respectable middle-aged gentleman seated behind a desk and surrounded by heaps of papers. The female bends her trunk and straightens her lower limbs in a desperate attempt to convince the gentleman …Read More »
Culture: The Distinguishing Feature of a People
(Translated by David Wilmsen, TBS contributing editor) A persistent question amongst Arab thinkers simply stated is this: What does the future hold for culture in our land? If we think about it, the word "culture" holds multiple meanings for each of us. For that reason, I should begin with a …Read More »
What Would Sayyid Qutb Say? Some Reflections on Video Clips
In quantitative terms one could say that video clips dominate Arab satellite television. At any given time as many as a fifth of the free-to-air channels on Nilesat may be broadcasting video clips. Other programming categories that preoccupy observers of Arab satellite television -- specifically news, religion, and dramatic serials …Read More »
The Best Hope for Democracy in the Arab World: a Crooning TV “Idol”?
It is a perfect summer evening in Damascus; a cool wind sweeps in from the desert, soothing scorched pavements and carrying the smells of strong coffee and cured meat from roadside stalls up into the clotheslines and concrete hulks of the Syrian skyline. Normally the city's streets would be packed …Read More »