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June 07 2011

Muqarnas in der Alhambra

Muqarnas sind ein Stilelement der islamischen Architektur. Sie bestehen aus einer großen Anzahl spitzbogenartiger Elemente, die in- und übereinander gesetzt sind und einen Übergang zwischen einer Nische oder einer Kuppel und der Wand bilden. Komplexe, kunstvoll ausgebildete Muquarnas erinnern an Tropfsteinhöhlen, man nennt sie daher auch Stalaktitendekoration.

Die Alhambra im spanischen Granada ist eines der beeindruckendsten Beispiele des maurischen Stils der islamischen Kunst.

Aus dem Flickr-Photostream von Marcomorphosis:

(Gefunden bei tonguedepressors | via booksnbuildings)

Eine grandiose Animation: Isfahan von Cristóbal Vila und seiner Firma Etérea. Die virtuelle arabische Architektur ist größtenteils inspiriert von Bauwerken in der iranischen Stadt Isfahan. | Das Making of.

Reposted fromglaserei glaserei

May 10 2011

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Saudis Rely on Pakistan's Military

Muhammad Junaid: Saudi Security Council Chief asks Pakistan's support to suppress dissent

Leak of C.I.A. Officer Name Is Sign of Rift With Pakistan

NYT 2011-05-09

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — For the second time in five months, the Pakistani authorities have angered the Central Intelligence Agency by tipping the Pakistani news media to the identity of the C.I.A. station chief in Islamabad, a deliberate effort to complicate the work of the American spy agency in the aftermath of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, American officials said


[via:  bothandeach - Leak of #CIA Officer’s Name Is Sign of Rift With #Pakistan - ]
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May 09 2011

Al-Jazira vit une situation de deuil

Lundi matin, n'importe quelle télévision, radio, journal se devait d'évoquer cet événement au moins au travers des faits : que s'est-il passé, comment, etc. Mais on a un peu l'impression, en voyant ça en langue arabe, qu'Al-Jazira vit une situation de deuil à peine dissimulée, de tristesse, de frustration. On n'est pas dans l'évocation neutre des faits, ni dans ce qu'a commis cette organisation depuis vingt ans. Il faut reconnaître que du côté américano-occidental, certains médias n'ont pas non plus fait montre d'un grand professionnalisme mettant en valeur les scènes de liesse dans les rues, avec la fameuse expression du Far West " we got him ! ". Mais sur Al-Jazira, les images de reportages qui passent en boucle montrent le chef d'Al-Qaida dans une posture beaucoup plus paisible, parfois même humaniste. Les commentaires écrits à chaud par la rédaction d'Al-Jazira évoquent davantage le désintéressement de Ben Laden pour la vie facile et mondaine et sa recherche des bienfaits du travail, du combat, du djihad...

A aucun moment Al-Jazira ne juge nécessaire d'accorder de l'espace à ceux atteints par les attentats d'Al-Qaida visant des civils innocents, même en terre arabo-musulmane, ni ne diffuse la moindre image des corps déchiquetés des dizaines de milliers de ces victimes au Yémen, au Pakistan, en Indonésie, en Asie centrale, en Turquie, en Irak, en Somalie, au Soudan, en Egypte, en Algérie, voire en Arabie saoudite et à Gaza, sans parler des milliers de victimes en Europe et aux Etats-Unis. Al-Jazira a été jusqu'à installer une terminologie distinctive choquante en hissant les victimes des bombardements américains et occidentaux au rang de martyrs (chahid), tandis que les victimes d'Al-Qaida ne demeurent en dernière instance que des morts ordinaires (maqtoul).

Hosham Dawod, anthropologue, membre de l’Institut interdisciplinaire de l’anthropologie du contemporain (IIAC-CNRS).

Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, & Spain Issue Joint Communiqué Regarding Response to North African Migration « | 2011-04-25

Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, met in Nicosia on 19 April and issued a Joint Communiqué.  Here is the full text (HT to EASO Monitor):

“Joint Communiqué II

(Nicosia, 19 April, 2011)

Following the meeting in Rome on the 23rd February 2011, the Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta as well as the representative of the Minister of Interior of Spain, met again today in Nicosia and discussed the continuing dramatic developments in the Southern Mediterranean region. At the end of the meeting it was decided to issue the following Joint Communiqué.

The Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU:

Recalling our February 23rd,2011 Joint Communiqué, we have repeated our utmost concern for the unfolding events in relation to the humanitarian situation as well as to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection that affect our countries;

Taking into account that the escalating events in countries of Northern Africa and the greater Middle East are destabilising the region and acknowledging that political reforms and democratic transitions will not take effect immediately and that their outcome is still uncertain;

Bearing in mind Europe’s longstanding tradition and commitment to the provision of international protection to people in need, in accordance with the Geneva Convention and in line with humanitarian principles and full respect of human rights;

Underlying that security and stability in the Mediterranean is directly linked to the security and stability of the EU as a whole and that effective response to this challenge requires joint efforts, commitment and solidarity from all EU Member States;

Stressing that the current emergency situation with regard to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection brings upon the Mediterranean Member States additional social, economic, administrative and demographic burden, to that already prevailing;

Recalling the already existing intense and continuous migratory pressure at the south eastern external borders of the EU;

Expressing deep concern about the conflict in Libya and its consequences in terms of sufferings of countless human beings and growing number of displaced persons fleeing the war and taking into account that huge number of people in need of international protection could arrive at the most exposed Mediterranean Member States in the immediate future;

Emphasizing that the possible prolongation of such influxes of illegal migrants and asylum seekers to the Mediterranean Member States, cannot be managed without the concrete and substantial support and solidarity from the rest of the EU’s Member States; alternatively, the situation will seriously jeopardize our ability, and subsequently the Union’s ability, to manage the displaced persons and provide those in need with international protection as well as undermine our common security;

Stressing that the arising situation will challenge and undermine the efforts of those Member States to reform their overburdened national asylum systems;

Reaffirming the urgent necessity for EU to provide concrete and immediate support to Member States on the EU southern external borders;

Stressing the need for additional actions and policies with a view to implement the EU principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility as expressed in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in line with the Stockholm Programme, the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the Global Approach to Migration, the relevant European Council Declaration of 11 March 2011 and Conclusions of 24 and 25 March 2011, the JHA Council Conclusions of 11and 12 April 2011 on the management of migration from the Southern Neighbourhood and the JHA Council Conclusions of 25 and 26 February 2010 on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration;

Therefore we, the Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security of the EU Mediterranean Countries, have adopted a common position on the emerging situation in our region and urge the European Union to practically offer operational as well as financial support to Member States which face mass and disproportionate mixed migration flows, by fully mobilizing all available EU assets, instruments and capabilities, either existing or additional ones,.

Particularly, as the competent Ministers of the EU Mediterranean Member States, urge the European Union to:

Urgently present and implement proposals on the Global Approach to Migration as well as on Mobility Partnerships, in a spirit of genuine cooperation with the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood Region, also to effectively control and manage the current and the anticipated mass migration flows as well as situation-specific schemes on return and readmission.

Call on FRONTEX to immediately implement the provisions set out in section 5 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April 2011, to speed up negotiations with the countries of the region – and in particular with Tunisia – with a view to concluding operational working arrangements, and organising joint patrolling operations in cooperation with Tunisian authorities and in application of all relevant international Conventions, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Montego Bay Convention”).

Call on FRONTEX to intensify the monitoring of the situation based on risk analysis and encourage Member States to provide the Agency with further human and technical resources so as to continue its ongoing operations (Joint Operation Hermes, Joint Operation Poseidon Land and Sea and the possible deployment of a RABIT operation in Malta) in the light of the emerging situation. Furthermore, call FRONTEX to expand its operations, where and when necessary, to prevent illegal flows in the eastern Mediterranean area of Egypt and Syria. To this end, further adequate financing of FRONTEX should be considered so as to increase the Organization’s capabilities to fulfil successfully its tasks.

Enhance the operational capacity and the coordinating role of the FRONTEX Operational Office in Piraeus in order to effectively deal with the situation;

Accelerate work on the FRONTEX Amending Regulation with a view to an agreement by June 2011 which will strengthen its capacity, make it truly operational and improve its synergy with other bodies.

Promote practical cooperation with the countries of origin or transit of illegal migrants in the region in preventing and fighting illegal migration flows, inter alia by concluding Readmission Agreements, developing Voluntary Return Programmes, enhancing their capacity of border management and surveillance, expanding the Immigration Liaison Officers Network, promoting legal migration by exploring the possibility of concluding mobility partnerships;

Encourage Member States to expedite discussions on the proposal for recasting the Dublin II Regulation, including a mechanism to suspend the transfers to Member States facing particular pressure on their national asylum systems.

Urgently mobilize all available financial assistance through the External Borders Fund and European Refugee Fund and in addition, as section 4 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April, 2011 reads, activate supplementary funds that can be made available to Member States or FRONTEX at short notice when needed. In this vein establish a special solidarity Fund, when necessary, to tackle exceptional emergency situations and humanitarian crisis.

Deploy every available possibility by the European Asylum Support Office to offer practical support to the Member States of the Mediterranean Region in need. A permanent specialised mechanism should be set up through the EASO, which, at exceptional emergency situations, will provide Member States in need with the necessary logistical and technical support.

As a matter of priority, present a proposal for implementing a coherent and comprehensive mechanism for distributing responsibilities, on a voluntary basis, specifically regarding the relocation of beneficiaries of international protection among member states, in case of European countries faced with particular pressures, as a consequence of their geographical or demographic situation, especially when facing the sudden arrival of third country nationals in need of international protection.

Commit to the work on establishing a Common European Asylum System with a view to respect the 2012 deadline.

We the Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU agreed to meet again soon, at a date to be agreed, in order to further coordinate our efforts before the European Council of June this year.”

May 06 2011


May 04 2011



The gentle hopes of Hamid Karzai and Hillary Clinton – that the Taliban will be so cowed by the killing of Bin Laden that they will want to become pleasant democrats and humbly join the Western-supported and utterly corrupt leadership of Afghanistan – shows just how out of touch they are with the blood-soaked reality of the country. Some of the Taliban admired Bin Laden, but they did not love him and he had been no part of their campaign against Nato. Mullah Omar is more dangerous to the West in Afghanistan than Bin Laden. And we haven't killed Omar.

Iran, for once, spoke for millions of Arabs in its response to Bin Laden's death. "An excuse for alien countries to deploy troops in this region under the pretext of fighting terrorism has been eliminated," its foreign ministry spokesman has said. "We hope this development will end war, conflict, unrest and the death of innocent people, and help to establish peace and tranquility in the region."


Robert Fisk: If this is a US victory, does that mean its forces should go home now? | Commentators - The Independent - 2011-05-04
Reposted byiranelectionkrekk
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Robert Fisk on Bin Laden Death | Al Jazeera 2011-05-03
Al Jazeera interviews Robert Fisk, British author and journalist for the Independent

May 03 2011

US debates release of Osama bin Laden pictures to quash doubts over death | World news | 2011-05-03


"We are looking at releasing additional information, details about the raid as well as any other types of material, possibly including photos," White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said on ABC News's Good Morning America show. "We want to understand exactly what the possible reaction might be to the release of this information."

The DNA evidence that confirmed Bin Laden was dead came through in the morning after the assault at Abbottabad.

By that time, US intelligence officials were 95% certain they had their man. He was identified by those who took part in the raid and by a woman in the building said to be one of the fugitive's wives.

Further identification came from photographs of the body that were beamed back to CIA specialists who compared them with confirmed images of the al-Qaida leader.

The DNA test left little room for doubt, with one intelligence official telling reporters they had "a virtually 100% match" of the body against DNA taken from "several Bin Laden family members."

As a prioritised task, the DNA analysis could be completed within six hours, said Mark Jobling, a geneticist at Leicester University where DNA fingerprinting was invented.

The first step was to extract DNA from a swab of blood or saliva, a procedure that can be done with a commercial kit in minutes. The next stage was to create a DNA profile to check against those compiled long ago from Bin Laden's relatives.

A genetic profile is based on regions of DNA called short tandem repeats (STRs). These are parts of the genetic code where a sequence of "letters", such as GATA, repeats several times over. The number of times an STR repeats varies from person to person, but is crucially inherited from parents, passed on to children and shared with siblings. A typical genetic fingerprint shows how many times 10 or more STRs repeat in an individual.

The match was obtained when the genetic profile of the dead man was compared with profiles already worked up for Bin Laden's close relatives, such as his sister, who is reported to have died in a Boston hospital. A sibling of Bin Laden's would share half his DNA, but a much stronger match was possible with profiles from more relatives.

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May 02 2011

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Obama Says Bin Laden Killed by US Forces
Rahimullah Yusufzai: Death of bin Laden a blow to Al Qaeda, but he will become a martyr that will inspire them.

More in News & Politics

May 01 2011

April 30 2011

5 Years After U.S.-Backed Clashes, Palestinian Factions Fatah, Hamas Reach Unity Deal


The rival Palestinian political organizations, Fatah and Hamas, have reached an agreement to end a nearly five-year internal schism, form an interim government, and hold a general election within a year. The two sides have been locked in a bitter conflict since Fatah and the Bush administration tried to overthrow Gaza’s Hamas-led government in 2006 after Hamas won Palestinian national elections. Israel and the United States say they’ll reject any peace talks with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. We speak with Saree Makdisi, professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA and the author of several books, including Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. [includes rush transcript]

Reposted fromsigalondemnow sigalondemnow

April 29 2011

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Fatah and Hamas Make a Deal
Noura Erakat: Deal is a sign of weakness for both organizations, but Palestinians welcome it.
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Time: 12:38 More in News & Politics

April 28 2011

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Consequences of Gaza Activist's Killing
Following fatal kidnapping of Italian activist Arrigoni in Gaza, NGOs up security measures, Hamas internal strife continues
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Time: 09:19 More in News & Politics

April 27 2011


Rantings of a Sandmonkey | blog

There are a number of myths that seem to dominate the discourse in Egypt’s upper and middle-class, and subsequently national and international media. Given how frustrated I am by all the “experts” – foreign and domestic- pontificating really superficial analysis about something they can neither understand nor grasp, I have decided to write this post. I apologize beforehand for anyone who might read this and think my tone is condescending, because I am not being nor trying to be that and I hope you have the wisdom not to mix the message with the messenger!


April 22 2011

L'autocritique de M. Alain Juppé | Les blogs du Diplo 2011-04-19

Le ministre a aussi reconnu que la politique de boycott des forces d’opposition dans le monde arabe n’avait pas été fructueuse, qu’il fallait parler avec tout le monde, y compris les groupes islamiques, en premier lieu les Frères musulmans.

« C’est enfin le sens du message que j’ai adressé à nos ambassadeurs dans les pays arabes que j’ai réunis hier à Paris, en leur demandant d’élargir le spectre de leurs interlocuteurs à l’ensemble des acteurs de la société civile. Trop longtemps, nous nous sommes consciemment ou inconsciemment un peu trop limités dans nos contacts, limités aux gens en place si je puis dire. Je crois que nous devons parler, échanger nos idées avec tous ceux qui respectent les règles du jeu démocratique et bien sûr le principe fondamental du refus de toute violence. Et je souhaite que ce dialogue s’ouvre sans complexe aux courants islamiques, dès lors que les principes que je viens d’évoquer, les règles du jeu démocratique, le refus de toute violence sont respectés de part et d’autre. »

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April 19 2011

L'autocritique de M. Alain Juppé

Un colloque s'est tenu le 16 avril à l'Institut du monde arabe, et à l'initiative du ministère français des affaires étrangères, sur le thème : « Printemps arabe : enjeux et espoirs d'un changement ». C'est M. Alain Juppé, ministre des affaires étrangères et européennes, qui a tiré les conclusions dans un discours qui mérite une attention d'autant plus grande qu'il constitue une véritable autocritique, exercice auquel répugnent en général nos responsables politiques. Le ministre a d'abord reconnu que la France (...) - Nouvelles d'Orient / France, Monde arabe

April 15 2011


Italian Captive’s Body Found, Hamas Says - - 20110414

cf. with Italian activist murdered in Gaza | 20110415

(demands registration)

By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem


Articles on this tumblelog concerning Vittorio Arrigoni's assissination are tagged.
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