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55% is the new 98%: Arab Despots Take Vote Rigging Lessons From Iran Debacle

CAIRO, Egypt – The massive street protests triggered by President Ahmadinejad’s improbable 63% victory over opposition challenger Mir Hussein Moussavi have prompted Middle Eastern despots to re-think vote rigging strategies for their own upcoming elections. Abdul-Majid Nadwi, a former political advisor to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, says that real change has come to the Middle … Continue reading

Twitter 140-Character Limit Foils Major Breakthrough in Iran Election Controversy

TEHRAN, Iran – Western observers are touting Twitter’s critical role in helping Iranian opposition protesters organize rallies under the watchful eye of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s security regime, but some young Iranians are complaining about the 140-character limit imposed by the San Francisco-based company, calling it “draconian” and “stifling”. One opposition supporter who goes by the … Continue reading

Dialogue This

I have a drawer in my house that contains a collection of miscellaneous documents: past-due bills, soon-to-expire magazine subscription notices, important tax forms, etc. You know the drawer that I’m talking about; you probably have one yourself. It’s the “later drawer”: the drawer of important tasks postponed. As it turns out, Lebanon has its own … Continue reading

Leaving Beirut

That’s right, friends. QN is leaving the old country and returning to the New World where a dissertation and several sections of over-ambitious undergraduates await. I hope to keep the blog up so keep stopping by, won’t ya? What a difference nine months make. Back when we set up shop, the media was full of … Continue reading

Doha II … or Ta’if I?

We’re hearing more and more about the possibility of a “Doha II” agreement, a negotiated settlement to the anticipated standoff about the composition of Lebanon’s next cabinet. With Michel Aoun demanding a cabinet share proportional to his bloc’s strength in parliament, it’s clear that March 14 will not be able to assemble the cabinet simply … Continue reading

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