February 2, 2016 |
History has shown us that chaos follows the fall of a strongman. A power vacuum sparks competition among the ambitious, who often lack the juice to adequately replace the deposed despot. Which brings us to the first floor of Philadelphia's City Hall, where the three elected officials who supervise the city's elections are enduring their own version of an Arab Spring. It has been four years since Margaret Tartaglione, a politician so well-known that you can still just say "Marge" and everyone in City Hall knows who you're talking about, ended her reign as chairwoman of the City Commissioners after losing her bid for a 10th term.
February 16, 2015 |
IN 2011, JOE CALTAGIRONE, a bartender/actor from Port Richmond, was watching TV coverage of angry "Arab Spring" crowds toppling leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, when he suddenly flashed back 30 years. Caltagirone remembered being in a thrift store on Kensington Avenue in the 1980s, browsing through the "All Books 10 Cents" shelves, when he came upon an old Kensington High School for Girls library copy of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar. " Caltagirone, 61, remembers thinking, "When a book's down to 10 cents, it's two feet from the trash can. Caesar and Shakespeare for a dime!
April 15, 2014
IT WASN'T exactly "When Harry Met Sally" when Haleh met Shaul. Haleh Esfandiari and Shaul Bakhash are both Iranian, both highly and Western-educated, but Haleh is Muslim and Shaul is Jewish. When they planned to marry almost 50 years ago, before the Iranian Revolution turned the clock back to the Bronze Age, their families were shocked, says Shaul, but they got over it, says Haleh, "when they realized how much we loved each other and what sensible people we were. " They were married in a civil ceremony in Vienna in 1965.
February 11, 2014 |
Last week, half-a-world away, Irvin Richter, 69, was visiting clients in United Arab Emirates, Oman and South Africa, trying to nail down deals worth tens of millions of dollars to his construction consulting company, Hill International Inc., in Marlton. The potential for reward is huge. So is the potential for risk. Ask Richter, Hill's chairman and chief executive, about trying to collect on a mostly unpaid $60 million bill from Libya. "They've since paid us a couple of million and we expect to be paid more soon," he said.
April 6, 2013 |
NEW YORK - So what does it all mean? Hillary Rodham Clinton has a deal for a memoir and policy book about her years in the Obama administration, Simon & Schuster told the Associated Press. The book has yet to be titled and is tentatively scheduled for June 2014, in time for the summer reading season and for the midterm elections, when a promotional tour could easily blend with Democratic efforts to recapture the House. The former secretary of state's itinerary will be closely scrutinized for any signs she may run for president in 2016 - any book-tour events in early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina would receive broad attention.
September 18, 2012
RE: "HOW TO fight 'their Islam,' " (Bykofsky, Sept. 14). I've spent a little over five years in the Middle East (Cairo, Beirut, Iraq, Amman and two other, lesser-known places). I understand the culture, the Quran, the economy and the prejudices/hatreds. I also understand there are a lot of "nice" people there not prone to violence for the sake of violence. Nevertheless, the region is prone to chaos. The violent chaos of revolt without a cause - what our ruling elite pronounced the "Arab Spring" - has yet to conclude.
September 14, 2012
THE GARDENS of the Arab Spring are being watered by the blood of innocents. This week, American blood was added to the flow. U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy staffers were murdered by Muslim jihadists who were presumably angry at a film that "defamed" Muhammad. The consulate in the city of Benghazi, site of last year's anti-Gaddafi insurgency, was set on fire, and the American victims were killed by a hail of rocket projectiles while attempting to flee to safety.
August 12, 2012 |
Alif the Unseen By G. Willow Wilson Grove Press. 440 pp. $25 In Alif the Unseen , G. Willow Wilson, author of the Islamic self-discovery memoir The Butterfly Mosque , weaves the tale of a young Arab Indian hacker who goes by the handle Alif , the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. It's also a celebration of the place of women in Arab culture, and a highly accessible examination of the issues involved in the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Wilson tells Alif's story from the perspective of a jinn narrator.
July 16, 2012 |
Postrevolutionary Libya appears to have elected a relatively moderate, pro-Western government. Good news, but tentative because Libya is less a country than an oil well with a long beach and myriad tribes. Popular allegiance to a central national authority is weak. Even if the government of Mahmoud Jibril is able to rein in the militias and establish a functioning democracy, it will be the Arab Spring exception. Consider: Tunisia and Morocco, the most Westernized of all Arab countries, elected Islamist governments — moderate, to be sure, but Islamist still.
June 4, 2012 |
DOHA, Qatar — As the Arab Spring morphs into a hot Arab summer, activists around the region are debating whether Islamist parties and democracy can mix. Given the triumph of religious parties in parliamentary elections in Tunisia and Egypt, and the lead roles taken by Islamists in Libya, Yemen, and the Syrian opposition, Arab human rights activists have become increasingly nervous that their revolution will be hijacked. Nowhere is that debate more intense than in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate is one of two finalists in presidential elections set for June 15 and 16. The Brotherhood already won 47 percent of the parliamentary seats in November; its success stems from its tight organization and loyal core of supporters.