Archive for the ‘fieldnotes’ Category

In the eyes of many Westerners, Gaza is a dangerous and war torn place. Even activists, including myself, often imagine Gaza primarily as a place of suffering, and one that has unfairly come to eclipse the affliction of all of Palestine. But while Israel’s wars of aggression against the people of Gaza, as well as […]


Today Shi’is commemorated Ashura throughout Lebanon. Ashura refers to the tenth day of the Islamic calendar and recalls a historical episode not long after the death of the Prophet Mohammad. After the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali was assassinated, there were disagreements in the Muslim community about rightful succession. Some believed the rule should […]


Today was the annual commemoration of al-Quds Day, which saw twin gatherings of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. One demonstration was held in the north of the country and the other in the south. Al-Quds Day was originally conceived of by Ayatollah Khomeini after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and it is commemorated […]


Over the past week, the media and blogosphere have been abuzz over the mysterious case of Amina Arraf, the Syrian-American author of “A Gay Girl in Damascus” blog, after her cousin claimed that she had been abducted by the Syrian authorities. The online community grew frantic as supporters feared for her safety. The State Department […]


In today’s The Wall Street Journal there is an interesting article with the deceptive lead “Iran Vows to Unplug Internet“. The article is about the Islamic Republic’s push to create a national internet to make it easier for the state to regulate content and ostensibly also more affordable for users. So not about unplugging the internet at all. But never mind, […]