Qifa Nabki Turns Three, Plus a New Blog on Egypt

This blog began life three years ago with a “conspiracy chronicles” post that seems awfully relevant today. Four hundred posts later (we aim for concision) and with over 22,000 comments (our readers aim for prolixity), things remain interesting, so perhaps I won’t make good on my threat to shut it all down and retire to a life of greater productivity.

To celebrate QN’s toddlerhood, I thought I’d draw your attention to a noteworthy newborn, a blog about Egypt by a friend of mine living in Cairo. Margaret Litvin is a professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Boston University, and the author of a new book about Arab readings of Hamlet (forthcoming from Princeton University Press next month). She’s in Egypt this fall with her husband and two kids, starting a new book project and blogging about Egyptian politics and culture on the side. I highly recommend you check out her blog, Send Down the Basket.

Those of you waiting for my follow-up post to the Arab revolutions debate we’ve been having, it’s on its way later today or tomorrow. Sharpen your knives.
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36 thoughts on “Qifa Nabki Turns Three, Plus a New Blog on Egypt

  1. Margaret, you’re famous!

    Posted by mlynxqualey | October 4, 2011, 8:33 am
  2. Happy birthday is in order then? Where’s the cake?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | October 4, 2011, 12:24 pm
  3. Many Happy Returns

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 4, 2011, 1:52 pm
  4. Happy Birthday QN 🙂

    Posted by Sprinkle | October 4, 2011, 2:13 pm
  5. The following write up about Rai and Syria might be of interest to some.


    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 4, 2011, 2:25 pm
  6. Dealing with your “dear terrible twos” and dissertation you still found time to keep us informed about the beloved old country and very entertained with the Qnion masterpieces.

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Posted by Vulcan | October 4, 2011, 2:29 pm
  7. Oh my God … Oh my God … Oh my God …. !

    Apple introduced the Iphone 4S.

    ***Happy 3rd QN***

    Posted by R2D2 | October 4, 2011, 4:32 pm
  8. I second Vulcan’s sentiments

    Happy 3rd, QN!

    Posted by htj | October 4, 2011, 5:22 pm
  9. “A bridge too far”…The existing quandary of a people called Lebanese. Elias you make us proud. You are the bridge of our souls to that mythical land of ours.


    Posted by danny | October 4, 2011, 6:40 pm
  10. Happy B’day QN and to many more. The Qnions are awesome.

    Thanks for all the hard work.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | October 4, 2011, 11:10 pm
  11. Ya Abou Lila you sure make us proud. Putting the Lebanese knots to the table, so we could add more to them. Just as we think we reached an understanding we realize it is pulling deeper into the unknown.
    Thanks and hope for more ideas and thoughts maybe some day the Knots will be undone… loosened is fine too…

    Posted by kt | October 5, 2011, 12:27 am
  12. Happy 3rd QN…3a2bel l-miyee!

    For those who are following the events in Syria, I highly recommend this article:


    Posted by Maverick | October 5, 2011, 12:57 am
  13. Happy 3rd to you and to your outstanding commentators. I come here for respite and to eavesdrop on smart people talking.

    Posted by OFF THE WALL | October 5, 2011, 2:54 am
  14. OTW,

    You should try TED.com for respite and to eavesdrop on smart people talking.

    Posted by R2D2 | October 5, 2011, 2:10 pm
  15. Cheers and Many thanks QN for this wonderful forum.

    Posted by Gabriel | October 5, 2011, 5:19 pm
  16. GK…

    Doesn’t one of the gospels say something about rendering unto Caesar what is his?

    From one atheist to another, Jesus may have gotten mouthy with some Rabbis. But against Pontius, all he could say was that “His” kingdom was not of this world.

    Maybe Bashar is Pontius and Rai is Jesus after all.

    Posted by Gabriel | October 5, 2011, 5:22 pm
  17. Gabriel,
    Historical Jesus was a rebel and his legacy is a religion that opposes power. Scriptures are very revolutionary.
    The real story of those that do not practce what they preach, such as Patriarch Rai, is that spiritual religious leaders mast not speak with a “forked tongue”. Christanity has always opposed dictatorship and favoured the poor and downtrodden. If Rai wants to be a politician then he would still need to explain to me why his rationale for excusing dictatorship and oppression but as a religious leader his mistake is a ‘double jeopordy”. He is acting as a politician when he should not and in doing so he is acting against the principles of human rights and equality.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 5, 2011, 9:47 pm
  18. Many more years to come.

    Posted by A leap of faith | October 6, 2011, 4:31 am
  19. 3akbal al miyyeh !

    Posted by marillionlb | October 6, 2011, 5:02 am
  20. QN: Happy 3rd

    according to GK logic

    The patriarchs of the Maronite Church, the Catholic church the orthodox church.The Vatican… All do not practice what they preach…

    ,” All hail St Sfeir…….. Jesus reincarnated. ”

    Then he quotes Billy Graham.
    Billy Graham for potatoes sake (as would The angry Arab say)
    The fascination with the white man continues.

    Pray tell me where in the world is Oqab Saqr?????

    Oh i forgot he is waiting for the Syrian regime to fall….. then everything will be fine. 🙂

    Posted by elsheikh | October 6, 2011, 11:19 am
  21. elsheikh,
    You are absolutely right, not having courage to oppose dictatorship, oppression and the cult of personality is a reflection of high moral standards and ethical values 🙂

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 6, 2011, 12:05 pm
  22. Happy Birthday QN.

    Keep this good thing going.

    Posted by OldHand | October 6, 2011, 1:08 pm
  23. HBD QN

    Posted by 3issa | October 6, 2011, 1:58 pm
  24. GK

    Once you start talking about :

    Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Haiti, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Turkey, Lybia, as well as maybe half of the world,
    Then come back and lecture me on high moral values and ethical values

    As long as you are silent on injustice anywhere in the world do not lecture anybody on Moral or Ethical anything.

    Why don’t i hear you speak about the Dr’s being sentenced to 10 and 15 years in prison in Bahrain? just because they treated patients? is it because they are Shia ?

    Go back and get your morality from the likes of Billy Graham, and wait for the fall of the syrian regime (however please don’t hold your breath) i rather like reading your posts

    Where in the world is Oqab Saqr ??????????????

    Posted by elsheikh | October 6, 2011, 2:47 pm
  25. El Sheikh- the majority here spoke against what is happening in Bahrain including GK. None is a supporter of the Saudi regime (except the late Iceman)

    How can you condemn what is happening in Bahrain and stay silent on Syria? When you say “wait for the fall of the Syrian regime (however please don’t hold your breath) ” you are in fact saying that you are pro Assad regime and you expect (joyfully) it won’t fall.

    Although you have tried to hide it many times it is you who are selective in condemning injustice and clearly stand on the Iranian/Syrian side of the fence.

    Deriving morality from Nasrallah isn’t really that much better.

    Posted by Vulcan | October 6, 2011, 3:47 pm
  26. Defense Minister Ghosn has just spoke on Al Manar. When asked about the Syrian army’s forays he replied they are being investigated (ahahah) and that we should focus instead on the israeli incursions (ahaha).

    My friends, sadly, this is to me a call for lebanese patriots to arm themselves and defend their land. A new front is opening and the army (not to mention the self-proclaimed resistance) will not do their job! Lebanese, aux armes! as armas! lebanese people protect your borders against the invaders by any means!

    and happy birthday QN!

    Posted by rm | October 6, 2011, 4:38 pm
  27. Funny is it not?

    When you mention Syria, the die hard Bashar worshippers are quick to dispel any facts and as usual point to Saudi Arabia/Bahrain.

    In their blind rage, they try to pigeonhole you by accusing you of bias and unfairness, yet its quite easy to see, they are what they accuse you of.

    Protecting and defending a mass murderer and the culture of death are synonimous with taking part in the crime. The silence has to stop, it is getting beyond the joke.

    For the Elsheikh types, I really pity you, nothing personal, but you all need to stop for a second, take in reality and make a judgement from a humanitarian point of you instead of self-interested clientelist political views.

    Just for your information, and if I can speak on behalf of most bloggers at QN, probably all, bar Iceman, who has disappeared anyway, Saudi Arabia is the target of the most vehement criticism and if it had mirrored Syrias situation it would not be spared.

    So before you start diverting attention from the iminent danger in Syria, calm down and lets agree as humans that this massacre has to stop now!

    Posted by Maverick | October 6, 2011, 5:20 pm
  28. elsheikh,
    I was not lecturing to you but only responding to your statement in which you make two accusations that cannot be supported. You imply that I was critical of Patriarch Rai because I think Sfeir is a Saint. Back it up. I will even provide you with access to most sites where I might have posted various things over the past 4-5 years and I will challenge you to show one place where I was not critical of Sfeir as well as all the clerics of Qom and the papacy for that matter.
    As for the issue of universality of values that is another fatal error of yours in your rush to judgement and you effort to speak wittily of Saqr and others that I know nothing about. I might be the only commentator on this blog and many others who has always taken openly and clearly the position of cosmopolitanism and universal applicability of ALL standards in All fields.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 6, 2011, 5:22 pm
  29. and you highlight numerous times the fact that Oqab Sakr is missing…. and thats big news.

    Like he is the captain of the M14 football team, and without him they lack any inspiration. I would laugh, but the terrible thing is, that this is not a game. There are no winners in this sordid affair.

    Posted by Maverick | October 6, 2011, 5:25 pm
  30. Ghassan

    The comment about Sfeir was in jest. However it is curious how now everybody on this board is against the church and papacy.

    I know you and many others have spoken about the Kingdom and repression in other states however all the states i mentioned are clients of one. (do i really have to mention it’s name?)

    I’ll take your word for it please tell me how many articles blogs entries etc have been devoted to the states i mentioned.? How many have been devoted at attacking Syria, Hizballah or the current Majority. Oh and i forget Iran.

    How many times were you critical of Mubarak (before he was overthrown) ?

    Posted by elsheikh | October 6, 2011, 5:38 pm
  31. Maverick

    you want to agree as humans? Humans? please clarify to me who is human in your opinion.
    The children that die in south Lebanon weekly because of the bombs that Israel left?
    Or the children that are Killed daily in Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Etc Etc…

    Am i a supporter or Assad? I am no socialist and i do not believe in Pan Arabism. that should give you an idea.

    Most of the posters on the blog have absolutely no interest in Syria or Syrians, whether its democracy theocracy or even genocide.
    So spare me the crocodile tears over the poor Syrians being killed by big bad Assad.
    The reality is most of the posters here care about the removal of the regime that is supporting the current majority in Lebanon.

    Posted by elsheikh | October 6, 2011, 5:51 pm
  32. I forgot

    Where in the world is Oqab Saqr?????????????

    Posted by elsheikh | October 6, 2011, 5:53 pm
  33. “The children that die in south Lebanon weekly because of the bombs that Israel left?”

    I can understand why an enemy of war would do such a thing but I cant possibly fathom why children would be killed point blank, mutilated, and dumped at the doorsteps of their houses by the very people who vow to protect them.

    Again, you are sidestepping the issue like a landmine.

    “Am i a supporter or Assad? I am no socialist and i do not believe in Pan Arabism. that should give you an idea”

    You dont have to be of any political persusaion to see straight through the lies and fabrication, a massacre is a massacre.

    Posted by Maverick | October 6, 2011, 6:17 pm
  34. elsheikh,
    I do not know why we are personalizing this issue when it is more important than any individual. But since you ask I will tell you that I probably was severly critical of the Kingdom of saudi Arabia and its Lebanese clients in dozens upon dozens of posts. Actually I have often argued that the Arab Spring was stunted primarily as a result of the opposition of Saudi Arabia and that view was not expressed only on blogs with rather limited audiences but on BBC TV.
    Obviously I have not devoted a whole post to Mubarak but I have denounced him over and over again as well as all the other illegitimate Arab regimes (All of them).
    Elsheikh, I do not mind anyone disagreeing with me, actually I welcome it since I feel uneasy if I am in the mainstream but disagree with the substance of what I say and not with unsupportable allegations. Have a nice day.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | October 6, 2011, 6:39 pm
  35. elsheikh;

    Israel is a barbarian entity that treats Palestinian population as second class citizens and dumped cluster bombs that have killed and maimed hundreds if not thousands of innocent children and citizens.
    That being said…Nassrallah & HA are a terrorist entity that have no regard to Lebanon and care about their sect & are at the service of Khameini!
    Bashar is a bloody murderer similar to his father. Lebanese who have lost their lives or maimed & tortured by their mukhabarat can attest to that.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right! It seems you are a “devout” sectarian who does not see past your nose; otherwise why would you support the brutal crackdown by Bashar on his own people. Don’t you have a shred of humanity? What’s wrong with you? As for Oqab Saqr? What’s up with that? Are you missing him that much?

    Posted by danny | October 7, 2011, 9:26 am
  36. MABRUUUUUK !!!! Have been reading your coments 2+ years. Have been extremely impressed about you blogs ! —- However I have been equally disapointed about some of the comments you have received 😦 Keep on blogging !!!! —- You might find this interesting : we are remotely ( well, NOT so remotely ) connected by family ties from my Lebanese husband’s side. Wish you all the best & down to earth comments to continue. —– From my side, I have been more interested in your academic work !!!!

    Posted by Ritva Lehtinen | October 16, 2011, 9:16 am

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