Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On Vacation

I haven't been around too much of late, but I'm only just now going on an official vacation. We're taking off tonight. Be back in this space in mid-July.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Jordan's role in nabbing Zarqawi

The operation that killed Zarqawi is all over the media here and while I've not been doing a great job of keeping up with it all, I'm very surprised, all the same, that Jordan's extraordinary role in making it happen doesn't seem to be getting much air/press time at all here in Amman. Well, not super surprised, since Jordan's cooperation with the U.S. is very rarely alluded to here.

But this info can be found anywhere and everywhere in the international media--and most Jordanians I know certainly don't just follow their local news. Anyway, it's kind of interesting how Jordan's decision to hunt down Zarqawi in Iraq was old news for those of us living outside Jordan. Yet many Jordanians didn't seem to know about it--which is particularly surprising in this day and age, when access to information is so much easier than ever before.

This Los Angeles Times article just came out and gives an interesting look into how it was done.

Monday, June 12, 2006


For the longest time, I had a difficult time figuring out what the heck's going on in Sudan. And then a few weeks ago, I became completely engrossed in Rebecca Scroggins' Emma's War. It tells the story of a British "development worker" who married a warlord from southern Sudan. I found Emma completely annoying--one of those insufferable types found pretty much everywhere in the developing world (particularly Africa) who are in love with all the attention that comes with being a foreigner there and who herald the pseudo-altruistic notion that because they're around people's lives are changing for the better.

Nevermind that in the many years she was there she never even learned to speak any of the languages spoken where she lived.

But anyway, the book does an excellent job of making Sudan's recent history both accessible and fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Also, this morning I came across an interesting piece on Darfur in the International Herald Tribune. Also worth a read.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Well, well, well . . .

What a shocker! "Muslim Women Don't See Themselves as Oppressed," reads the New York Times headline.

When asked what they resented most about their own societies, a majority of Muslim women polled said that a lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption were their main concerns. The hijab, or head scarf, and burqa, the garment covering face and body, seen by some Westerners as tools of oppression, were never mentioned in the women's answers to the open-ended questions, the poll analysts said.

And don't you know, the hijab has everything to do with it. The article even has to mention that the Gallup poll's strategic analyst wears one. Thanks for telling us, guys--it certainly makes a world of difference.