posts about or somewhat related to ‘middle east’

Middle East Hate Matrix Middle East Love Matrix Syria Hate Matrix Syria Love Matrix Middle East

Love, Hate & Other Difficulties in the Middle East

David McCandless & UniversLab created an interactive visualization of the relationships between countries and entities in the Middle East, along with those that exert influence on them.

Images from the Top: Those that hate each other; that that love each other; those that hate Syria (left); those that love Syria (right); and, probably, the most apt visualization, those whose relationships are “complicated” (bottom). Via Information is BeautifulSelect to embiggen. 

The data and sourcing McCandles & Universlab use can be viewed via this spreadsheet, and they invite feedback and updated information as relationships evolve. 

Middle East Friendship Chart
Via Slate. Read through to select cells for relationship information. Select to embiggen. 

Middle East Friendship Chart

Via Slate. Read through to select cells for relationship information. Select to embiggen. 

History of Israel/Palestine, Animation Edition

Nina Paley, copyleft advocate and creator of the ever lovely Sita Sings the Blues, takes on the history of Israel/Palestine in this animated short.

Starting with with the first human settlers of the region to the Egyptians, Assyrians and Romans who each controlled it throughout the millennia, she navigates her way down to current day Israelis and Palestinians while focusing on a a fairly simple theme: it’s a perpetual and ongoing battleground.

Confused who’s who? View Nina’s Viewer Guide to her cast of characters.

Run Time: ~3:30

Egypt
Yesterday: 34 ‘Islamists’ killed while in custody.
Today: 24 police killed in an ambush on their bus in Sinai.
Image: A Mohammed Morsi supporter injured when police broke up a sit-in lays on the ground near Cairo University, August 14, Hussein Tallal/AP via Boston.com.

Egypt

Yesterday: 34 ‘Islamists’ killed while in custody.

Today: 24 police killed in an ambush on their bus in Sinai.

Image: A Mohammed Morsi supporter injured when police broke up a sit-in lays on the ground near Cairo University, August 14, Hussein Tallal/AP via Boston.com.

As the deadliest country in the world for journalists right now, Syria provides an illustrative example of both the dangers that media professionals face in conflict zones and the importance of their roles in painting an accurate picture of the realities of the conflict on the ground.

Marie O’Reilly in her article “Protecting Journalists in Conflict Zones: Lessons from Syria" on Global Observatory discusses policies of journalist protection in conflict zones as well as the journalist’s difficulties of reporting accurately without that protection. 

Related: The Revolution is Being Televised, a documentary following activists who document the activities in Syria. 

We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, ICANN, ISO and other international organizations

Nathan Tyler, a Google spokesperson, to the Huffington Post. Google Recognizes Palestine.

FJP: Watch the HuffPo interview with Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Palestine Center, about why this is significant.

World Press Photo of the Year 2012 contest winners
newsflick:

Paul Hansen of Sweden, a photographer working for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 with this picture of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City taken on November 20, 2012. Jury member Mayu Mohanna said about the photo: The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.

Picture: REUTERS/Paul Hansen/Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

World Press Photo of the Year 2012 contest winners

newsflick:

Paul Hansen of Sweden, a photographer working for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 with this picture of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City taken on November 20, 2012. Jury member Mayu Mohanna said about the photo: The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.

Picture: REUTERS/Paul Hansen/Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

(Source: newsflick)

In recent months, a team of researchers part of Canada’s Citizen Lab have been conducting network scans of public servers in countries on almost every continent. Today, they released their findings—which appear to show that networking technology made by Blue Coat, a Silicon Valley-based company, is being used in a host of countries with questionable human rights records.

The equipment in question can serve a legitimate purpose—like filtering out spam or malware. But in the hands of an authoritarian regime it can easily be turned into a tool for monitoring users or blocking content. Citizen Lab says it found Blue Coat filtering technology capable of censorship operating in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It also found Blue Coat technology that can be used for surveillance and tracking of Web users in Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Ryan Gallagher, Slate. Report: Silicon Valley Internet Surveillance Gear Used by Authoritarian Regimes.

For more, see Citizen Lab, Blue Coat and the report itself. Bonus: a prior investigation on Blue Coat (via the article above.)

There is something grotesque and disturbing about two parties with a long history of conflict live-narrating the launching of bombs that kill civilians and destroy communities.

The Israeli military and Hamas are livetweeting their war, including images of killed and wounded children. This certainly raises some questions, including for the companies whose platforms they’re using.

(The linked articles notes that the Israeli army’s Twitter account was briefly suspended. However, this is based on a report in the Daily Dot that does not cite sources for its claim, so I would treat it with caution.)

The Washington Post has more, including on a Youtube video from the Israeli military that was briefly taken down but has been reinstated.

(via curiousontheroad)

FJP: Agreeing with the next sentence: “There is no empowerment or revolution here: just a dark, sinking feeling as we watch the bloodshed unfold in real time.”

And in the things they didn’t teach you in school department, to delete the content or suspend the accounts “is not a decision a couple of hundred engineers in North California want to be making.”

Jessica Roy, BetaBeat. Social Media Companies Have Absolutely No Idea How to Handle the Gaza Conflict.

Much of the criticism of the American media during the height of the Iraq War focused on its role repeating White House talking points and propaganda. But using the tools of social media, as Israel is doing, reveals there’s no longer a need to rely a media middleman, or to filter the raw feed of war through an “embedded” — and, military officials hope, captured — journalist’s mouth or keyboard. The military can broadcast exactly what it wants to, directly to its citizens, allies, and enemies. The IDF even appropriates the language of news, prefacing several tweets with “BREAKING” — and native social media, at one point saying “in case you missed it” before pointing to a YouTube video of it killing Ahmed Jabari in a missile strike. And unlike any propaganda machine before it, it’s inherently viral. It’s designed to spread. So the IDF spokesperson provides posters and YouTube videos and a constantly updated Flickr account; they’re more shareable than plain text. Its tweets are a mixture of documentation, saber rattling, sober reminders of the reality of war, and upbeat updates on the advanced state of its technology. All delivered direct to you. Please RT…

…Most importantly, though, consider this: A country can declare that it is at war with Twitter. If that doesn’t make the internet real, I don’t know what does.

— Matt Buchanan, Buzzfeed. How to Wage War on the Internet.

Currently on the Israeli Defense Forces Twitter Feed

Live blogging its attack on Hamas.

Images: Screenshots from @IDFSpokesperson. Select to embiggen.

The Center for International Media Assistance has just released its latest report, by journalist and editorial consultant, Jane Sasseen. The report traces the rise of crowd-sourced video and its impact on the international news landscape.
In short:

No longer do professional journalists have a monopoly on the footage that is shot and broadcast. Perhaps most importantly, in repressive countries where media is heavily controlled by the state or other powerful interests, the video revolution has destroyed their monopoly on what will be covered or deemed newsworthy.
Instead, the man or woman on the street has a powerful new ability to record what is happening around him or her. Citizens shooting video and spreading it through social media have become critical eyewitnesses in exposing government repression and abuse.

The report also examines challenges:

If the rise of video has created new opportunities and increased accountability, however, it has also created increased challenges for journalism. Much of the footage shot by citizens around the globe and loaded onto YouTube or elsewhere is of poor quality, with little context or clear narrative.
“We’re getting into totally uncharted territory when it comes to using these technologies,” said Eric Chinje, the former head of the Global Media Program at the World Bank Institute who now oversees communications for the London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports improved governance and leadership in Africa. “We’ve got to weigh the greater good that comes from them, but we also have to be conscious of what the potential dangers are.”

FJP: In light of the recent video that’s sparked outrage throughout the Middle East, let’s look at this from another perspective. The report is an in-depth look at how new citizen video production is, particularly in the Middle East. Granted, the discussion is largely about video-as-news. But Chinje’s worries can point—by extension—to the fact that the culture around independent video production is very new as well.
In the United States, the culture around video production is born from a long precedent of free speech. That said, our filters for video quality, credibility, humor, sarcasm, opinion, and fact are well-developed. YouTube and the like have very much helped to speed up our process of developing such filters. 
In the Middle East, the way media is received and has historically been governed is very unlike in the United States. In Michael’s words:

Little has been said that in the countries where protests are taking place the media is government controlled. Whether this is hands-on control or self-censorship, people consider created media such as The Innocence of Muslims as something that has some sort of “official” approval. There isn’t necessarily a First Amendment concept where anyone, anywhere can go out and create a trashy hit piece, preview it in a movie theater and then throw it on a YouTube.

And just as the region is acclimatizing to its newfound democracies, it’s also acclimatizing to, and creating its own unique culture around media in the era of internet.
That, perhaps, can shed some light on why some in the western world have trouble understanding Muslim reaction to the film, and lack of Muslim gratitude to the US.—Jihii
Read the full PDF.

The Center for International Media Assistance has just released its latest report, by journalist and editorial consultant, Jane Sasseen. The report traces the rise of crowd-sourced video and its impact on the international news landscape.

In short:

No longer do professional journalists have a monopoly on the footage that is shot and broadcast. Perhaps most importantly, in repressive countries where media is heavily controlled by the state or other powerful interests, the video revolution has destroyed their monopoly on what will be covered or deemed newsworthy.

Instead, the man or woman on the street has a powerful new ability to record what is happening around him or her. Citizens shooting video and spreading it through social media have become critical eyewitnesses in exposing government repression and abuse.

The report also examines challenges:

If the rise of video has created new opportunities and increased accountability, however, it has also created increased challenges for journalism. Much of the footage shot by citizens around the globe and loaded onto YouTube or elsewhere is of poor quality, with little context or clear narrative.

“We’re getting into totally uncharted territory when it comes to using these technologies,” said Eric Chinje, the former head of the Global Media Program at the World Bank Institute who now oversees communications for the London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports improved governance and leadership in Africa. “We’ve got to weigh the greater good that comes from them, but we also have to be conscious of what the potential dangers are.”

FJP: In light of the recent video that’s sparked outrage throughout the Middle East, let’s look at this from another perspective. The report is an in-depth look at how new citizen video production is, particularly in the Middle East. Granted, the discussion is largely about video-as-news. But Chinje’s worries can point—by extension—to the fact that the culture around independent video production is very new as well.

In the United States, the culture around video production is born from a long precedent of free speech. That said, our filters for video quality, credibility, humor, sarcasm, opinion, and fact are well-developed. YouTube and the like have very much helped to speed up our process of developing such filters. 

In the Middle East, the way media is received and has historically been governed is very unlike in the United States. In Michael’s words:

Little has been said that in the countries where protests are taking place the media is government controlled. Whether this is hands-on control or self-censorship, people consider created media such as The Innocence of Muslims as something that has some sort of “official” approval. There isn’t necessarily a First Amendment concept where anyone, anywhere can go out and create a trashy hit piece, preview it in a movie theater and then throw it on a YouTube.

And just as the region is acclimatizing to its newfound democracies, it’s also acclimatizing to, and creating its own unique culture around media in the era of internet.

That, perhaps, can shed some light on why some in the western world have trouble understanding Muslim reaction to the film, and lack of Muslim gratitude to the US.—Jihii

Read the full PDF.

humanrightswatch:

The Price of Sex (Trailer):

The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives. Learn more at www.priceofsex.org .

FJP: The Price of Sex was written, directed and produced by Mimi Chakarova, won the 2011 Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and the 2011 Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.

If you’re in DC there’s a screening of the film this evening.

Know Your Thobe
The afternoon explainer via Brownbook.
FYI, I’ve only worn it Saudi style. — Michael

Know Your Thobe

The afternoon explainer via Brownbook.

FYI, I’ve only worn it Saudi style. — Michael