Archive for the 'Other' Category

May 02 2011

For most Arabs, bin Laden and his views are long-dead

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If al-Qaeda followers turn to Yemen to pursue the work of Osama bin Laden’s network, they will be in for a surprise. The people of Yemen, like most of the Arab world, have long since divorced themselves from bin Laden and his ideology, as they are showing in the youth-led Arab uprising. For the past few months, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis — young and old, men and women — have been carrying out a nonviolent revolt with sit-ins, demonstrations and civil disobedience. Although the ruling party and its proxies have done everything they can to induce Yemenis to take up arms, the demonstrators have shown resilience, discipline and a determination to keep protests peaceful. Continue Reading »

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Feb 02 2011

Connected Arab youths

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By Daoud Kuttab
To understand what is happening in the Arab world today one needs to know only two things: that the majority of Arabs are young and for the most part connected to the net, and that despite the fear mongerers in the West, these connected Arab youths are secular although not totally opposed to the need for all individuals and groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to be represented in any future power-sharing government. Continue Reading »

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Dec 05 2010

Will We See WikiLeaks in Arabic Soon?

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Nearly seven years ago, I met Danish journalist and freedom of media defender Jesper Hojberg in Amman Jordan and mentioned that we needed help in the Arab region with investigative journalism. Before long, Hojberg and his International Media Institute were able to help us translate this dream into a project that this week brought the largest gathering of Arab and international investigative reporters, experts, university professors and donors in Amman. Continue Reading »

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Jul 15 2010

Are We Approaching a Major Conflict for Millions of Arab Youths?

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(This was published in July 15th, 2010)

By Daoud Kuttab

Arab civil society leaders gathered on the shores of the Dead Sea were quite sure about the future of Arab youth. Leaders from Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Palestine (both West Bank and Gaza) and Jordan were invited by Naseej (“weaving” in Arabic), a five-year community development initiative launched in 2005 by Save the Children with funding from the Ford Foundation. Continue Reading »

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Mar 13 2010

All that is needed at this time is public Arab support

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For all the theatrics and histrionics within the Arab League’s Cairo headquarters, Arab governments are unlikely to have any influence on Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Like all regional organizations, the League of Arab States is inefficient as a collective body, and individual countries such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt wield more power than the 22-member league. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the Palestinian cause remains the most discussed topic in the League.
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Feb 16 2010

Filippo Grandi, a new commissioner intent on defending the rights and living conditions of Palestinian refugees

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Filippo Grandi was clearly prepared for his new mission. Defending and preserving the rights and interests of Palestinian refugees. As deputy commissioner, the Italian born Grandi was very much versed in the workings of the UN, familiar with his international and local staffs, understood the politics and politicians of the Middle East and knew exactly about the financial health of this international agency.

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Sep 25 2009

My letter to NYTimes editor

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Israel and the Gaza War

Published: September 24, 2009

To the Editor:

Re “The Gaza Report’s Wasted Opportunity,” by David Landau (Op-Ed, Sept. 20):

The only missed opportunity regarding the report by Richard Goldstone was Israel’s illogical refusal to meet with the United Nations commission headed by a respected South African jurist who also happens to be Jewish and a Zionist.
Irrespective of the intention and the Israeli motive, the report concludes that Israel committed “war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.”
International humanitarian law is the only law binding the world community to some type of law about war. Palestinians will welcome any change to that law so long as it takes into consideration protection of a population that has lived under more than 40 years of a foreign military occupation.
Daoud Kuttab
Ramallah, West Bank, Sept. 20, 2009
The writer is a Palestinian journalist.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/opinion/l25gaza.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=kuttab&st=cse

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Jun 24 2009

Weakness Hawkish elements

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Opinion
NY Times Room for Debate

June 23, 2009, 3:22 PM

Weakening Hawkish Elements

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and a former professor of journalism at Princeton University.

No matter how the standoff in Iran ends up, two things have become clear. The power of digital technology can override analog government efforts of suppression, and the shakeup in Iran has weakened a host of hawkish elements in the region.
The Iranian people, a majority of whom are young, have discovered, developed and perfected every possible available means of communications. All the attempts by a brutal regime, like the one currently in power in Iran, have proved incapable of totally and completely gag ging their own population from being heard.
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Jun 04 2009

To rebuild trust

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An Arab proverb says that a madman throws a stone in a drinking well and 100 wise men are needed to get the stone out. This proverb applies to the gigantic effort that US President Barack Obama will have to exert as he attempts to clean up the mess his predecessor created in the Arab and Muslim worlds. As in the proverb, the problem of regaining trust requires 100 times the effort made to lose it. Trust obviously cannot be built just with words, even though words, and the right words, have a lot of meaning.
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May 30 2009

what should Obama tell Muslims (my Washington post comment)

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Muslims and Arabs would like to hear a lot from President Obama, starting with Palestine, Iraq and the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf. While foreign policy is crucial, a sincere show of respect and attempt to rebuild trust are more important.

Palestine has become the litmus test for U.S. foreign policy because it has exposed U.S. hypocrisy. Examples of the double standard include U.S. bias toward Israel while it claims to be an honest broker, its push for “democracy” while rejecting the results of Palestinian elections, and its silence on Israeli nuclear weapons while blasting Iranian nuclear efforts.

There are huge expectations for Obama. Arabs and Muslims appreciate and respect American values of democracy and human rights, but the disreputable actions of U.S. soldiers, diplomats and civil servants have led many to question the U.S. commitment to its stated values. Typical references to the Judeo-Christian heritage need to be replaced by an approach appealing to universal values based on human rights, self-determination, and opposition to occupation and dictatorships. Obama needs to find a way to apologize for the past and to convince people that he is planning to change course. No one expects the U.S. president to totally change U.S. policy, but people will welcome efforts to turn a new page based on fairness and trust.

Obama could weaken the accusations of U.S. double standards and help dispel the false connection between Islam and terrorism — as well as demonstrating a reason to trust an American president — by establishing low-level negotiations with the elected members of the Palestinian legislature who ran on the reform-and-change bloc headed by Ismail Haniyeh. Talking to the political wing of Hamas is no different than talking to the leaders of Iran, which Obama promised to do while campaigning.

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