The Arab Spring continues to inspire and energize movements and peoples
both inside and outside the region, despite the many setbacks, the
challenges, and the loud trumpets of the prophets of doom and gloom.
The success of the Tunisian people in forcing Ben Ali to flee the
country in January 2011 sent powerful tremors of hope and empowerment to
millions of Arabs. The rapid success of unarmed, peaceful Egyptian
protesters in ousting a formidable dictator, Mubarak, in 18 days created
an unprecedented sense of euphoria in the region and beyond. Uprisings
erupted across the region, sending strong messages to old authoritarian
rulers. The specificities of each country have chartered different
trajectories and consequences for protesters and the regimes in power:
what is shared is the regained belief in the power of the Arab people,
in the agency of Arabs and their ability to forge their futures.
Narratives of the Arab Spring are not uniform: they range from
idealistic celebration to dark pessimism. This is understandable
considering the vastness and magnitude of the events, the dominant
paradigms that have traditionally been used to understand and predict
events in the Arab world, as well as the mounting pressures and
difficulties that continue to arise. Notwithstanding, the Arab Spring
has also resulted in raising new questions and elaborating new
narratives about the power and authority of modern states, initiating
novel forms of resistance and new modes of activism; in connecting with
global movements; in raising issues of gender and citizenship; in
promoting the culture of revolutions; and in asserting people’s power.
The aim of this international conference is to consider and shed light
on the new narratives emerging from and about the Arab Spring. It will
bring together participants from the Arab world, the UK, and beyond to
reflect on the momentous events of 2011 and exchange views and
experiences. The conference is organized by the Centre for the Advanced
Study of the Arab World (CASAW) in the University of Manchester, in
cooperation with the Department of English at Cairo University and the
Women and Memory Forum. It will be held in Cairo from February 18th
-20th 2012, marking the first anniversary of the ousting of Mubarak on
the 11th February 2011. It will run for three days, and will consist of
panels, roundtable discussions, as well as invited testimonials by
activists and artists.
We invite papers from different disciplines to address issues related to the following themes:
• The Arab Spring as global inspiration
• Decentralizing Tahrir: Narratives of Egyptian “squares”
• Forms of resistance and modes of activism
• Cultures of revolution
• Arab revolutions: diverse narratives and contexts
• Challenges and prospects for state and society relations
• Discovering the power of the people
• Reclaiming public space
• Gender and citizenship in the aftermath of revolutions
• Visual and material representations of empowerment
• Technologies of revolutions
• The role of media in social protests
The body of a man is seen tied to a soccer goal post after Al-Qaeda militants shot him to death accusing him of spying for the United States outside Al-Shihr city of the southeastern Yemeni province of Hadhramout on March 6, 2014. (Reuters)
Al-Qaeda militants shot dead a man in southeastern Yemen on Thursday for allegedly giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes against militants, witnesses and the SITE monitoring service said.
Residents said the man was found shot dead on a sandy football pitch in the town of Shahr in Hadramout province.
Pictures posted on the Internet showed his body, dressed in Yemeni traditional clothes, hanging by its arms from a bar suspended from a football goal, on which a black Al-Qaeda flag also hung. A crowd of onlookers stood nearby.
The man was captured a year ago and accused of working for American intelligence and helping to guide drone strikes in 2012 and 2013, notably one on Dec. 25, 2012 that killed five militants, SITE reported.
SITE said he had been killed by Al-Qaeda’s Ansar Al-Sharia group (Partisans of Islamic Law).
In a video titled “An American Spy in the Arabian Peninsula” posted on the Internet, a man identifying himself as Amin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mu’alimi confessed to assisting US intelligence.
He said he had been born in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, but recruited in Sweden, and joined a security training course led by a Saudi intelligence officer.
He said American handlers had told him that some countries wanted to get rid of some people, and asked him to place tracking chips on three men named Ashraf, Majid and Mubarak.
Other black flags were found near Mu’alimi’s body with slogans that read “An American Spy in the Arabian Peninsula” and “US drone strikes kill Muslims,” witnesses said.
Yemen has been racked by lawlessness and violence since 2011, when mass protests forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down as president.
The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the network.
Yemen, AQAP’s main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice.
Protesters and police were locked in a tense standoff after ferocious clashes that turned an area of central Kiev into a virtual war zone, with police using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets against protesters hurling stones and Molotov cocktails.
Picture: Roman Pilipey/EPA
The bloody clashes marked a new peak in tensions after two months of protests over the government's failure to sign a deal for closer integration with the European Union under Russian pressure.Picture: Sergei Grits/AP Opposition leaders including former world boxing champion Vitali Klitshcko have launched talks with President Viktor Yanukovych and they were due to meet again, with the chief demand of early elections.Picture: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images Oleg Musiy, the coordinator of the medical service, told pro-opposition Hromadske radio, that five people have been killed and around 300 wounded in Wednesday's clashes
The Oscar-nominated film "Gravity" traces the harrowing tale of astronaut Ryan Stone after a mission goes horribly wrong. She's lost in space and struggles to try to make her way back to Earth.
Water-ice clouds, polar ice and other geographic features can be seen in this full-disk image of Mars from 2011. NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover touched down on the planet on August 6, 2012. Take a look at stunning photographs of Mars over the years
"Gravity" is just a film. Imagine a similar real-life scenario: Would there be any chance of survival?
That's a concern for the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, or GAIAE, the United Arab Emirates' religious watchdog, for anyone who wishes to travel to Mars. The GAIAE has issued a fatwa, or an official Islamic ruling, to warn Muslims against a Mars mission.
So far, the UAE has supported space travel. Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments teamed up with Richard Branson's Virgin group to create Virgin Galactic to provide spaceflights for tourists, starting this year. But a mission to Mars, it seems, is one step too far.
Tourist trips to the Moon by 2043?
The mission is being planned by the Dutch nonprofit foundation Mars One. In April 2013, it announced its ambitions to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2025.
But the GAIAE likens the journey to a suicide mission. On the authority's free 24-hour hotline, the issue was deliberated by the center's specialized muftis, or scholars, who released the following statement: "It is not permissible to travel to Mars and never to return if there is no life on Mars. The chances of dying are higher than living."
Taking one's life willingly is against Islamic principles.
In response, Mars One issued a statement asking the UAE's Islamic authorities to cancel the fatwa, saying every precaution would be taken to reduce the risk to life. "If we may be so bold: the GAIAE should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today," the statement says. "The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Only when that outpost is established will human lives be risked in Mars One's plan."
The statement includes a verse from the Quran that "encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God's creation in the 'heavens and the earth.' " It goes on to say the first Martian settlers would walk in the footsteps of great Muslim explorers like Ibn Battuta, the 14th century Moroccan journeyman whose travels took him across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Indeed, space travel isn't alien to Muslim culture. There have been Muslim space explorers in the past.
200,000 people apply to live on Mars
The first ever Muslim space tourist was Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, when he joined the crew of American space shuttle Discovery in 1985. In 2006, Anousheh Ansari became the first Iranian-born woman in space. And to help Muslims observe religious obligations in space, the Malaysian government has been instrumental in setting up guidelines.
In 2006, Malaysia's national space agency Angkasa convened a conference of Islamic scientists and scholars to address the religious obligations of Muslim astronauts. The result was a detailed set of rules called "A Guideline of Performing Ibadah (worship) at the International Space Station (ISS)." It tackles a number of issues, like the number of times a Muslim should observe daily prayers, when a day lasts just 90 minutes in orbit.
This image was captured in 1976 by Viking 2, one of two probes sent to investigate the surface of Mars for the first time. NASA's Viking landers blazed the trail for future missions to Mars
The Valles Marineris rift system on Mars is 10 times longer, five times deeper and 20 times wider than the Grand Canyon. This composite image was made from NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which launched in 2001
Mars One says 1,058 candidates have been shortlisted for the mission, from pool of more than 200,000 applicants around the world. It's not clear how many Muslims are among the candidates, but Mars One says applications came from 107 countries.
Since its inception in 2008, the GAIAE has released nearly 2 million fatwas. The fatwa on the Mars mission is now among them
There are few things as overwhelmingly beloved as "Star Wars." The epic space saga involving princesses, rebels, robots and Sith continues to enchant us prequel after sequel -- regardless of the number of Gungan characters present -- so it's difficult to imagine anythingas undeniably awesome as the the George Lucas creation.
Enter Vesa Lehtimäki, a clever artist who's not only produced an intricate homage to the "Star Wars" universe, but also proved there's another pop culture phenomenon we can't help but adore: LEGO. Yup, Lehtimäki recreated familiar scenes from Hoth and Endor using LEGO versions of Ewoks, stormtroopers and Jedi. The results are pure magic.
"Photographing toys in general was originally a simple project. I wanted to document our kid's toys before they break, vanish or simply get passed on," Lehtimäki explained to HuffPost. "When I got to the 'Star Wars' action figures, though, my own history as a 'Star Wars' fan kicked in. This simply got out of hand -- but in a good way."
هذه المدونة تحمل رسالة، رسالة السيد الحر المستقل، لا لأنني أفهم وأعلم من غيري!وانى لا اعرف ما لا تعرف لكنى احاول انا اعرف!!أرفض ان اعيش بدون حلم، أرفض ان اعيش خاضعاً للإملاءات، أود ان اعيش في بلد ملؤه التقدم والإزدهار، كرامة الانسان,واجباتة و حقوقة,سياجه الكرامة، عنوانه السلام لا الإقتتال، ثقافته حياة لا ذل وخضوع وإنتقام .للمزيد