The Olympic Games are rooted in an ancient Greek custom, but they were revived in the 1890s very much in the framework of the emergence of a world of nation-states. Athletes are envisioned as representing their nation, and the abstraction, that everyone now has a nation-state, covers up a lot of cultural conflict that besets […]
Archives for July 2012
Sughra Rababi, The Bride, 1986 Sughra Rababi (1922-1994) is a major modern Pakistani painter. She studied in Karachi and at Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan Fine Arts University in Bengal.
The Baath regime of President Bashar al-Assad is preparing for a major military operation to crush the uprising in Aleppo on Friday afternoon, according to rebel and Western sources. Even as the regime continues to pound rebel-held neighborhoods with tank and helicopter gunship fire, it is massing troops and armor to invest the city. But […]
Mitt Romney, astonishingly, managed to turn what should have been an easy set of photo-ops and feel-good platitudes into a diplomatic comedy of errors that raise strong questions about his readiness for the presidency. First, an adviser to the Romney campaign referred to “our” common Anglo-Saxon heritage with the United Kingdom, and said that President […]
Martyr’s Square, Tripoli, Libya on a Friday afternoon. This is the area of the former “Green Square” where Qaddafi gave his hours-long crackpot speeches. It now has a carnival atmosphere on the weekends. Families are out, into the evening, and according to the informal interviews I did, most seem quite happy with the new political […]
Mahmoud Said (Egyptian, 1897-1964) The Whirling Dervishes signed and dated ‘M. SAID 1929’ (lower right) oil on panel 38 3/8 x 27½in. (97.5 x 69.8cm.) Painted in 1929 Sold by Christie’s. Mahmoud Said was a central figure in modern Egyptian art, born in Alexandria. He is called the “father of Egyptian modern art.” He abandoned […]
Proponents of natural gas fracturing and oil drilling are delirious with joy over the ability to recover shale gas, which has brought down world gas prices and made the US a major player again. Likewise, North Dakota wells are set to produce up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day soon. (Although, since the world […]
Nick Mathiason writes at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Investigative economist James Henry exhaustively trawled through financial information held by the IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, central banks and national treasuries to come up with the most definitive report ever written on the super-rich and offshore wealth. Henry’s Price of Offshore Revisted report, […]
Photograph by Juan Cole of graffiti, Tahrir Square, mid-May 2012, showing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces as the puppeteer of Egyptian politics. (Since erased in a government campaign to clear graffiti).