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Western Intelligence and the Arab Revolutions

As I was perusing some of the latest Wikileaks cables, I came across this little nugget about Asif Shawkat, the former head of Syrian Military Intelligence and brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad: 05PARIS6580 (September 26, 2005) — President Jacques Chirac’s Technical Advisor on Middle East/Americas Dominique Boche “reiterated that the content of the final Mehlis report would … Continue reading

STL Releases Names, Charges of Hariri Murder Indictees

The Pre-Trial Judge of the the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has approved the lifting of confidentiality on “the full names and aliases, biographical information, photographs and charges against the individuals named in the indictment, confirmed on 28 June.” As previously reported in the press, the four individuals’ names are below (click the links for … Continue reading

The Case of the Four Generals

Several new embassy cables were released three days ago by Wikileaks. They are the same cables that al-Akhbar (which obtained advanced access to them) has been commenting on since July 13, so they’ll be old news for regular readers of the Arabic press. For the rest of you, here’s a basic summary of the most important revelations. … Continue reading

Oil and Water

There’s been a great deal of discussion lately on the issue of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel, and how it will impact Lebanon’s plans for off-shore drilling. If you haven’t been following along, I highly recommend a piece Matt Nash wrote on the subject about a week ago. (Matt, as I think I’ve said before, … Continue reading

Grand Theater: A Tale of Beirut

Thirteen years ago, one of my oldest friends, Omar Naim, made a documentary film about Beirut’s Grand Theatre, a landmark building that once hosted the great touring theatrical groups and musical stars of Europe and the Middle East. The film was Omar’s senior project at university, and it went on to win a Best Picture … Continue reading

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