Blog archive: All

  • 2nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The moral panic over homosexuality in Egypt, which began when several fans at a music concert waved rainbow flags, took a new turn at the weekend when the authorities ordered local media not to show any sympathy for LGBT rights. On Saturday the Supreme Council for Media Regulation – whose...
  • 1st October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At least 11 allegedly gay men have now been arrested in the backlash against last month's Mashrou' Leila concert in Egypt, human rights groups say. Mashrou' Leila, a Lebanese band whose lead singer is openly gay, performed at the Music Park Festival in Cairo on September 22 and photos...
  • 29th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following last week's music festival in Cairo where some of the fans waved rainbow flags, the Coptic church has plans to "combat homosexuality and offer ways of treatment", according to local media. St Mark’s Cathedral – the seat of the Coptic Pope – is to hold a conference under the...
  • 28th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The war in Yemen is one where western media coverage scarcely excels – as the Russian propaganda channel, RT, is quick to point out. But can RT do any better? To "clarify" the picture, RT called on Caleb Maupin, its "international correspondent", who gave what is surely the weirdest...
  • 26th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Seven people who waved rainbow flags during a music festival in Egypt have been arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy”. The flags appeared during a performance by the popular Lebanese band, Mashrou' Leila, at the Music Park Festival in Cairo last Friday. Mashrou' Leila is...
  • 25th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    American journalist Seymour Hersh – author of several error-strewn articles about chemical attacks in Syria – has accepted a controversial award for "truth-telling" even though the previously-announced presentation ceremony was cancelled. Hersh received the award at a "festive dinner" on...
  • 22nd September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Viewed from outside, the war in Yemen is mainly a two-sided conflict between the "legitimate" government of President Hadi and the Houthi rebels backed by ex-President Saleh. But this fails to recognise the extent of Yemen's fragmentation since the outbreak of war, a former government minister...
  • 21st September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A ceremony where American journalist Seymour Hersh was due to be presented with an award for an error-strewn article about a chemical attack in Syria has been cancelled. [See update here] Three weeks ago Hersh was named as this year's winner of the Sam Adams Award "for integrity and...
  • 16th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Journeys through Arab lands have generated a large body of literature over the centuries, some written by western Orientalists and some by Arabs themselves. A remarkable new addition in the latter category is The Travels of Ibn Fudayl, due to be published for the first time in English next...
  • 15th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The London conference on Qatar, which has caused much hullabaloo over the last couple of weeks, took place yesterday – attended by numerous video cameras and a rather sparse audience of around 150 people, many of whom had badges saying "staff" or "press". The controversial event had been...
  • 13th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite having assistance from two PR firms – one headed by an American who used to organise events at the White House – the controversial and much-heralded "Qatar opposition" conference due to be held in London tomorrow is looking rather shambolic. After sending out vaguely-worded...
  • 11th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The controversial and much-heralded "Qatari opposition" conference due to be held in London on Thursday will be attended by "hundreds of world-renowned political figures, policy makers, academics, commentators and Qataris", according to a press release. However, the venue, conference programme...

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