Teacher, learner, troublemaker. Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Studies, Dickinson College, PA, USA. Specialist in the Middle East including Turkey. Former British diplomat. Member of the NITLE Advisory Board.

Member since Jan 07, 2009, follows 51 people, 26 public groups, 15678 public bookmarks (16907 total).

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  • Turkish Reforms Entangle Education - The New York Times about 7 hours ago
    • Secularism in schools has been undergoing a transformation that signals a reticence on the part of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., to separate religion from politics.
    • there has been a 73 percent increase in the number of religious vocational schools, known as imam-hatip, in the country since 2010. While the schools offer a general academic curriculum, they also provide compulsory Islamic teaching, principally Sunni, which represents the majority of the country’s 77 million population.
    • nearly 40,000 of them, including some non-Muslims, found themselves automatically assigned to religious vocational schools, often against their will. Many parents have demanded transfers, a difficult bureaucratic task on several counts, but mainly because of a lack of vacancies. Some critics argue that this reflects a deliberate assimilation project aimed at nationwide Sunni indoctrination.

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  • England’s Last Gasp of Empire - The New York Times on Jul 13, 16
  • The UK is in the middle of an all-consuming constitutional crisis | openDemocracy on Jul 05, 16
    • A referendum has been called on the future constitution of the United Kingdom and the result has split along national lines. This has huge implications for the Union.
    • The Conservatives - ironically - have broken the institutions that they supposedly love. They'll get their 'sovereignty'. It won't be a sovereign United Kingdom though, but a sovereign English rump. If the Tories invoke article 50 and try to cling on to Scotland there'll be a deepening of the current crisis
    • The key here, as the public have made clear, and as the Brexiters divined months ago, is sovereignty. But there’s no slipperier political concept, especially in Britain. The Queen is sovereign. Parliament acts on her behalf. The struggle is over who gets access, through the party system, to the prerogative powers of the State. The referendum was not a vote about the economy or a vote about taking control but the opening up of a monumental struggle within the British constitution - between the Crown and a People who have no intermediary institution to express their will.

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  • UAE government blocks access to Middle East Eye | Middle East Eye on Jun 29, 16
  • Erdoganism [noun] | Foreign Policy on Jun 22, 16
  • How elections are secularizing Iranian politics - The Washington Post on Jun 09, 16
  • The New York Times Presents Islam More Negatively than Cancer and Cocaine | Informed Comment on Jun 09, 16
  • Artists Covertly Scan Bust of Nefertiti and Release the Data for Free Online on Jun 09, 16
    • “The head of Nefertiti represents all the other millions of stolen and looted artifacts all over the world currently happening, for example, in Syria, Iraq, and in Egypt,” Al-Badri said. “Archaeological artifacts as a cultural memory originate for the most part from the Global South; however, a vast number of important objects can be found in Western museums and private collections. We should face the fact that the colonial structures continue to exist today and still produce their inherent symbolic struggles.”
  • Middle East states almost double small-arms imports | World news | The Guardian on Jun 07, 16
    • Middle East countries have nearly doubled their imports of guns and ammunition within a year, figures on the small-arms trade show, raising questions over how many of the weapons are fuelling conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

       

      The latest bulletin of the Small Arms Survey, sponsored by western governments and published on Monday, shows that some of the Arab states that most dramatically increased their imports of handguns, light weapons and ammunition between 2012 and 2013 are also the least transparent in terms of reporting on their arms trading.

    • The UAE came last in a list of 50 countries on a transparency barometer run by the Small Arms Survey, while Saudi Arabia came 49th, below Iran and North Korea.
    • Ammunition that was sold to Qatar was later found in Libya, in apparent breach of Qatar’s agreement not to re-export it without the permission of the countries of manufacture

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  • Sharm el-Sheikh and the Sinai: How Egypt's perfect beaches and just-built luxury resorts ended up empty — Quartz on Jun 06, 16

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