With an eye on Yemen, Sudan, Palestine and even Egypt, Khalil El-Anani asks why Arab states are not more successful. He lists three contributing factors: "The first is the declining credibility of the Arab nation state due to political incompetence, economic corruption, social injustice, the failure to achieve domestic cohesion and to embrace religious and sectarian minorities, and the inability to meet the growing demands and aspirations of certain segments of society, notably young people. The second is the growing tendency on the part of the Arab state towards exclusiveness and an ever tighter monopoly on power, expressed daily in the form of police repression and tighter social surveillance and the natural reaction to which is social and sectarian discontent and rebelliousness.(...) The third factor is outside forces eager to exploit internal tensions to strengthen their influence in Arab society and whose success in such designs is contingent upon the existence of the foregoing conditions."
Hamid Dabashi, professor at Columbia University in New York delivers a devastating condemnation of the violence of the Iranian regime against the demonstrators. It ends with a warning that the Green Movement should not be encouraged by exiled Iranians (he does not name names) to resort to violence in return: "Outside the purview of the Islamic Republic and the violent expatriate 'opposition' it has generated against itself, the Green Movement needs to stay clear of both and turn to our extended literary humanism to sustain its moral rectitude. For all the terror that the Islamic Republic has perpetrated upon Islam and Muslims, the heart of Islam beats happily and resoundingly, sound and safe, where it has always been, in the best of our poetry, in our literature, in the solitude of our dis/belief..."
Giuseppe Acconcia writes about an Oud concert that took place during Ramadam. Samir Farid looks back at the Venice Film Festival.