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June 11 2011


Idlib province, which is only 45 minutes from Aleppo is the eye of the hurricane. The government is poring troops into the region to make sure it remains under firm control. Syria cannot afford to lose territory where an insurgency or rebel army might emerge. Damascus will do everything it can to preclude the formation of a Benghazi, which would allow foreign intelligence agencies and governments to begin arming and training a rebel army, as happened in Libya.

Syria Comment » Archives » Idlib and Aleppo | blog 2011-06-10

March 02 2011


U.S. Silent on Deadly Iraqi Gov't Crackdown on Protests; 300 Arrested in Sweeps Targeting - permalink

While the United States has sharply criticized the Libyan government for brutally cracking down on opposition protesters, it has remained noticeably silent on the recent attacks against Iraqi dissidents. On Friday, tens of thousands of people participated in Iraq's largest protest in years. Although the protests were largely peaceful, authorities fired water cannons, sound bombs and live bullets to disperse crowds as Iraqi army helicopters buzzed overhead, killing an estimated 29 people. Then on Sunday, U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers who had taken part in the rallies.

For more on this story, Democracy Now! interviews Iraqi-American blogger Raed Jarrar and Samer Muscati, Iraq researcher with Human Rights Watch.

For the video/audio podcast, transcript, to sign up for the daily news digest, for more coverage of the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, visit
Reposted bykrekk krekk
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January 18 2011


Juan Cole: Tunisian Revolution Shakes, Inspires Middle East | Juan Cole's Columns - Truthdig - 20110118

The Tunisian uprising that overthrew the 23-year-old regime of strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali had resonances throughout the Middle East. Leaders of countries invested in the region’s authoritarian and highly unequal status quo rejected the political revolution, while groups and states that want change welcomed it. The spectacle of masses of demonstrators pouring down Bourguiba Avenue on Friday, overwhelming security forces and putting the president to flight, raised the hopes of the dispossessed and the downtrodden, even as it inspired a gathering dread in the breasts of the region’s dictators and absolute monarchs. Whether or not, as many observers rushed to predict, a wave of discontent will radiate from Tunis throughout the Arab world (and there are reasons to be cautious about that prospect), the “Jasmine Revolution” is a Rorschach test for distinguishing reactionaries from innovators in the region.



// oanth - A survey on the reactions and estimations in the Middle East & Maghreb region

May 30 2010

Venise, trente ans après...

Réunis les 12 et 13 juin 1980 à Venise, les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement des neuf pays membres de la Communauté économique européenne (France, Royaume-Uni, Pays-Bas, Allemagne, Belgique, Luxembourg, Italie, Danemark, Irlande) adoptaient une déclaration sur le Proche-Orient qui devait faire date. Les points 6 et 7 précisaient : « 6. Le problème palestinien, qui n'est pas un simple problème de réfugiés, doit enfin trouver une juste solution. Le peuple palestinien, qui a conscience d'exister en tant (...) - Nouvelles d'Orient / Europe communautaire, Israël, Proche-Orient, Conflit israélo-arabe

March 27 2010

The Virtual Choir: Technology, Collaboration and Music

music texture by karenthephotog cc-by

music texture by karenthephotog CC-By

Composer Eric Whitacre , after seeing a Youtube video of a young soprano singing his song “Sleep” wondered: What if he could get people, regardless of where they were in the world, to record themselves signing all the other parts of his a capella choir piece? So he did, and following, you will be able to see the various results of this great experiment of online collaboration with the Virtual Choir.

In How We Did It he explains not only the process for the last iteration of his project but also the preceding experiments in conforming a virtual choir. For the first time around, he asked singers to buy a specific music track and just sing along to the a capella (without instrumental accompaniment) recording. Scott Haines, whom he had met only once before, volunteered to edit the piece. Here is the result:

Thrilled with the result, he decided to do it once again, but this time making it even more like an actual choral experience:

So this time, I made my own conductor track, filming it in complete silence, hearing the music only in my head. Then I watched the video and played in the piano accompaniment part to my conductor track… Then I offered the sheet music as a free download. As singers began posting their individual tracks, I called for ‘auditions’ for the soprano solo.

This next video shows the instructions Eric Whitacre posted for all participants. It includes recommendations on how to perform the piece, explanation about the recording dynamic and the conducting track where he directs the choir:

For the virtual choir, 128 people representing 12 different countries including Argentina, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore and Spain sent in the 243 tracks that compose the choral piece Lux Aurumque that Scott Haines once again helped produce.

This is what Mr. Whitacre wrote about the finished product:

When I saw the finished video for the first time I actually teared up. The intimacy of all the faces, the sound of the singing, the obvious poetic symbolism about our shared humanity and our need to connect; all of it completely overwhelmed me. And it must be said that a lot of the credit for it’s beauty should go to Scottie Haines, who spent untold hours editing and polishing the video. (BTW, Scottie and I have never met only met once in the ‘real world’, unlike 99% of the Virtual Choir, whom I’ve never ‘met’).

Lets hope the Virtual Choir continues growing strong!

Reposted bynibblerscottytmtowovvh

February 22 2009

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