Monday Papers: or I speak to al-Ghad
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
The war in Sa'dah continues to escalate, and although I don't have time for a full or comprehensive post on the war today one is in the works. In the meantime, al-Sharq al-Awsat and al-Quds al-Arabi both have lead stories on the fighting. (I can't link to it here, but I strongly recommend the piece by Faysal Mukrim in the August 14 issue of al-Hayat on page 8, which I read on the flight home.)
Also al-Ghad today has the interview I did with Muhammad al-Ahmadi, a Yemeni journalist I greatly respect. Waq al-waq gets top billing. This was my first Arabic interview on the far side of the notebook and my speaking style is a bit of curious mix of the various places I have lived in the Middle East (although my Egyptian colloquial has largely been removed from my speech and memory) and a strange hodgepodge of registers that at times has me sounding more like an illiterate peasant than anything else. Still, thanks to Muhammad for taking the time to do the interview and for removing the majority of my grammatical goofs.
The other big news is the US senatorial delegation that arrived in Yemen yesterday.
There is also this story and see other figures of note like , well worth checking out, from Michelle Shepherd of the Toronto Star on Salim Hamdan. I owe both Michelle and Lucas Oleniuk a huge debt of gratitude for inviting me along to the airport to watch the return of Shaykh Muhammad al-Mu'ayyad last week, which allowed me to meet - in the loosest sense of the word - Shaykh 'Abd al-Majid al-Zindani and see other figures of note like Shaykh Haza al-Maswari.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.