PUBLISHED ON THE HUFFINGTON POST
President-elect Barack Obama will announce in his inauguration speech the intention of his administration to close down the Guantanamo prison.
A source within the Obama transition team visiting Amman stated that the actual closure will take up to six months to complete because of the uncertainty of what to do with some of the more notorious prisoners held in the Cuban US base. The source who is involved in the national security team refused to be identified because he was not authorized to disclose the contents of Obama’s inaguration speech.
In addition to Guantanamo the Obama transition team is also studying ways to reverse the decisions of the Bush-Cheney administration regarding torture, and the US’s international commitments and obligations in the field of human rights and the world court.
كلمة داود كتاب في افتتاح مؤتمر أريج
قبل عدة أشهر وأثناء وجودي في جامعة برنستون الامريكية شاركت عبر الانترنت وبالتعاون مع المركز الدولي للصحفيين في دورة للإعلامين العرب حول الصحافة الاستقصائية. وضمن نشاطات الأسبوع الاول للدورة طلبنا من المشاركين مراجعة وسائل اعلامهم المحلية خلال الايام الثلاثة الماضية واختيار تحقيق إستقصائي لكي يتم مناقشته بين المشاركين في الدورة. عكست النتيجة مشكلتين لطالما واجهتنا. اولا عدم قدرة غالبية الصحفيين العرب على التمييز بين التحقيق العادي، او ما نسميه ريبورتاج او فيتشر، والتحقيق الاستقصائي. وثانيا وهو الاهم الغياب النوعي والكمي للتحقيقات الاستقصائية في إعلامنا العربي.
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following appeared in the Jordan Times and in the Huffington Post
What preoccupies young Palestinian minds
By Daoud Kuttab
The occupation is foremost on Palestinian youth’s mind. This was made clear in the Palestinian village of Beita, near Nablus, at an event held on November 17: the opening of the youth development resource centre, funded by USAID and some private international IT companies.
The audience included US Undersecretary of State James K. Glassman, responsible for public diplomacy and public affairs, Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine, Jean Case, chief executive officer of the Case Foundation (the two are co-chair of the US Palestinian public-private partnership), senior Palestinian officials, town leaders and practically all 8,000 residents of Beita.
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by Daoud Kuttab
It seems like an appropriate enough cartoon. The depiction of the president elect Barack Obama with the US flag behind him and the bubble quoting Obama as saying the change has come to Washington. Looking up to the Obama depiction was an excited Egyptian woman congratulating the African American senator, reminding him not to forget that people around the world have been hoping and praying for his success. This was followed by the Arabic phrase: ‘uqbal inna meaning may the same [change] happen to us.
According to the opposition weekly Sawt al Umma, the cartoon appearing in a major Egyptian daily caused an emergency among the Egyptian leadership. The weekly stated that 150,000 copies of the paper’s first edition were quickly removed from the streets and destroyed and the ‘troublesome’ phrase disappeared from future prints that day. The before and after cartoon depiction appeared in Sawt al Umma.http://www.shobiklobik.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=172011
This is certainly not the first time that a political cartoon has caused powers in our region to be worried about losing their powers. But the paranoia of the Mubarak regime is a reflection of the concern by many Arab autocrats about the Obama euphoria empowering those calling for change. Obama’s victory on the change mantra was not lost to people around the world yearning for political reform. Continue Reading »
by Daoud Kuttab
A curious thing has happened as Americans were choosing their first black president. Democracy suddenly ceased to be a bad word for many genuine democrats in the Middle East.
In the aftermaths of the war on Iraq and as part of President Bush’s attempts to win the hearts and minds of Arabs, a public democracy campaign was launched aimed at injecting Arabs with the democracy virus. Millions of dollars and years later, the effort has been pronounced as a failure. Democracy salespeople had a problem selling their goods while the Bush administration was occupying the Arab country of Iraq, supporting the continued occupation and illegal settlements of the West Bank while simultaneously placing a worldwide financial siege on a truly elected Palestinian government. Continue Reading »
The Huffington Post
NOVEMBER 5, 2008
Posted November 5, 2008 | 11:17 AM (EST)
In Mideast, Obama Just Needs to Implement Agreements
My eighteen year-old daughter Tania who is a freshman at Easter University in Philadelphia woke me up Wednesday morning with an exciting voice. “Dad, we won. I voted today and we won. Obama is President of the United States.” The words of this first time young voter more than anything any pundit or politician can say to sum up the extraordinary events that made history in America and throughout the world.
The pronoun ‘we’ might be the most interesting part of her jubilant statement. If ever a candidate has succeeded in energizing the electorate, in getting young people involved and in getting them to believe in government, hope for the future and do something about it, this was it. Continue Reading »
This Bad Era Will Soon Be Over
Not that professor Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University needs my help, but I couldn’t help staying quiet as the Republican smear machine picked on this soft-speaking American of Palestinian origin.
I first met Professor Khalidi in the old city of Jerusalem. He was on a multi year summer mission to revamp the Khalidi — library one of the oldest libraries in Jerusalem. His effort was to restore really old manuscripts and provide global academics with the access to those rare documents. I am not sure whether the reported funding by the IRI (the International Republican Institute) which McCain headed at the time was for this project or another, but clearly Professor Khalidi has and continues to be a hard-working academic and researcher.
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