All posts for October 2008

Aks’ser: Beirut traffic jams

October 31st, 2008 | Posted in Beirut, Canada, Lebanon

    Montreal Mirror by Narcel X.

    Photo: “If Beirut could speak…”

If you’ve ever been to Lebanon, you know that people don’t read road signs there. Beirut hip hop duo Aks’ser—Arabic for “opposing traffic”—follow that tradition, but refuse to crash anyone else’s party. With Arabic hip hop paving its lane in the international music scene, there’s no denying members Wael Kodeih and Houssam Fathallah (aka Rayess Bek and Eben Foulen), with their former producer Tarek Yamani, their rightful seat among its pioneers. They’re chauffeuring the modern identity crisis to its crossroads at 1,000 miles an hour, hoping to steer the condition of their people in a new direction. The Mirror caught up with Bek in advance of their Festival du Monde Arabe appearance.


Aks’ser au Festival du monde arabe

October 31st, 2008 | Posted in Canada, Culture, Lebanon

    Le Devoir, vendredi 31 octobre 2008. Yves Bernard.

    Photo: Beyrouth.

«Nos chansons représentent le côté violent, le côté guerre de ce que l’on vit. On a besoin de montrer une autre image du monde arabe», disait Rayess Bek à la foule rassemblée au Medley mercredi soir lors du concert d’ouverture du Festival du monde arabe (FMA). Le rappeur reviendra dimanche soir avec Iben Foulen, son complice au sein d’AKs’ser, pour partager la scène de la Sala Rossa avec les Montréalais de Nomadic Massive.


Photos: Territories Film Screening

October 30th, 2008 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine

    photo essay from Ian Lawrence.

Photo: Hundreds gathered at Concordia University for Territories by Mary-Ellen Davis.

Within the framework of the weekly film screening series, Cinema Politica, to watch striking cinematic works that examine the critical role of media within the context of the reality of Israeli apartheid. Including a striking documentary from filmmaker Mary-Ellen Davis on photojournalist Larry Towell, from Mexico to Palestine, with the globally celebrated Magnum photo agency and a striking documentary film from Germany that portrays the life and work of a Palestinian journalist with Aljazeera.


Exploring the Apartheid Paradigm

October 23rd, 2008 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine, Tadamon!

    Human Rights Law and Palestine/Israel.

    part of Culture Shock 2008

    MONDAY NOVEMBER 10 18h30
    Leacock Building, Room 232
    855 Sherbrooke Street
    McGill University


Palestine: Apartheid Fares

October 15th, 2008 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine

    by Aaron Lakoff, October 2008, interview recorded in Biddu, Palestine.

    Photo: Aaron Lakoff. Mohammed Mansour, near Biddu, Palestine.

Mohammed Mansour is a resident of Biddu, a village near Ramallah in the West Bank of Palestine. A former organizer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), he now works as a service (taxi) driver to support his family. As someone who makes his living on the roads of the West Bank, Mansour is all too familiar with Israel’s complex settler road system, which Israel has unilaterally separated into roads for Palestinian use, and other roads as Israeli only. We sat down with Mohammed at his home in Biddu, after he took us on a long tour around the apartheid roads circling the village. Mansour spoke to us about Road 443, a new Israeli settler road badly affecting transportation for Palestinians in the area, and his views on the peace process.


Montreal: Beats from Beirut

October 15th, 2008 | Posted in Beirut, Culture, Lebanon

    Aks’ser Lebanon’s hip-hop ensemble with Nomadic Massive.

    as part of the ninth edition of Festival du monde Arabe.

    20h00. 17$
    La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent
    Montreal, Quebec


Palestine: the Architecture of Apartheid

October 13th, 2008 | Posted in Palestine

    by David Parker. October 12, 2008. Interview with journalist Jon Elmer.

Photo: Active Stills. Palestinian worshippers trying to reach Jerusalem in Ramadan.

In the 2007 publication “Hollow Land“, Eyal Weizman, the Israeli-born, London-based architect, reconceptualized geopolitics in the Occupied Territories. The political space created by Israeli apartheid is a web of total domination and control over Palestinians. The architecture and urban planning inside the territories demonstrate a late-modern colonial occupation. Israel owns the subterranean aquifers beneath Gaza and the West Bank, controls the airspace above, and has weaved a web of Israeli only settlements, highways, and security perimeters throughout the West Bank, while turning Gaza into an open-air prison.

According to Weizman, the natural and built features of the landscape function as weapons and ammunition for the conflict. The Occupied Territories have become a series of layers and territories, each manipulated by the Israeli authorities. Borders are porous for Israelis but solid for Palestinians. Checkpoints are a source of humiliation.


Palestine ignored

October 12th, 2008 | Posted in Palestine

    Al Jazeera. by Marwan Bishara. October 2008

    Photo: Active Stills Palestinians trying to reach Jerusalem.

Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, recently delivered his report to the General Assembly.

He cited continued “abuse of international humanitarian law” associated with the “separation wall”, “children fatalities due to Israeli use of excessive force” to quell nonviolent demonstrations, and abuses at border crossings.


Global meltdown: the Arab repercussions

October 7th, 2008 | Posted in Economy

    Rami G. Khouri. Daily Star. Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    Photo: Roshnii Rose. Amman skyline.

As the scale of the global financial crisis becomes clearer and its repercussions are felt in every corner of the world, the extent to which entire societies will suffer will depend partly on the quality of their governance systems. Those countries with governments that enjoy the respect and confidence of their citizens are likely to weather the stresses more easily than countries where politicians are viewed with disdain.

I suspect the Middle East, and its Arab countries in particular, will be hard hit by the crisis, for several reasons. The main one is that during the past 35 years since the oil boom of the early 1970s, most Arab countries have not risen to the challenge of responsible governance by developing economies based on productive industries and other economic sectors.


Israel: wedded to war?

October 7th, 2008 | Posted in Beirut, Lebanon

    Ben White. Guardian, Tuesday October 07 2008

    Photo: Demolished area in the south of the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

For Israel, the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon war was all about questions. What mistakes were made, and who made them? What could be done to restore the Israeli military’s “deterrence” after a widely perceived defeat? In general, what lessons could be learned from the confrontation with Hizbullah in order that next time, there would be no question of failure?

Unfortunately, it seems that entirely the wrong kinds of conclusions are being reached, at least in the military hierarchy and among the policy shaping thinktanks. On Friday, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper published comments made by Israeli general Gadi Eisenkot, head of the army’s northern command. Eisenkot took the opportunity to share the principles shaping plans for a future war.


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