Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back in Jerusalem

As the title indicates, I'm now back in Jerusalem, and ready to begin regular blogging. Just in case anyone hasn't seen it yet, though, check out Marc Lynch's new project, Qahwa Sada. The manifesto is here:
"Qahwa Sada will do a number of different kinds of things. First, it will post original medium-length essays on interesting things happening in the Arab or Islamic world. Second, it will organize on-line symposiums about new books in the field, with the authors taking part (for models, see The Valve and the TPM Cafe's Book Club). Third, it will host roundtable discussions centered upon either an article published elsewhere or else a question posed by the editor. Finally, I'll reprint appropriate contributions published elsewhere.

"Who can contribute? Middle East experts, defined broadly, whether in the academic or policy communities. What should they write? Whatever they want, as long as it's directly about the region and offers something substantive and interesting (so nothing directly about American politics, or posts which just link an article with a brief comment). I'm looking especially for insights from people in the field who see things happening that aren't showing up, or are being misunderstood, by the media. The sorts of politically relevant, important things which are not enough for an academic article, not timely enough for an op-ed, but definitely worth bringing to public attention. Have Kuwaiti or Bahraini political acitivists developed new protest techniques? Have you noticed new trends in mosque attendance in Jordan? Have you seen a new wave of politically-themed music videos? The ideal is empirically rich, analytically sharp pieces which are theoretically informed but don't dwell on the theory or use a lot of jargon. Accessible to the informed general reader, without sacrificing either empirical detail or analytical sophistication."


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