A dizzying abundance of events this coming week

There’s never a shortage of rich cultural programming in a cosmopolis like Chicago, but the coming week presents an absolute frenzy…

 

Monday, April 3 at 6:00 PM

Joel Beinin discusses his book Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt — at the Evanston Public Library (in partnership with Northwestern University’s Middle East and North African Studies Program)

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Wednesday, April 5 at 6:00 PM

Mustafa Akyol discusses his book The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims — at Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston

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Continue reading “A dizzying abundance of events this coming week”

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Mohammed Omer denied from entering US (updated)

UPDATE: Success! See Haymarket Books Press Release (appended below in full): International Pressure Campaign Brings Award-winning Palestinian Journalist Allowed Entry to the U.S.

I’m late posting this.  But nevertheless, it’s still important.

Award-winning journalist Mohammed Omer is being denied from entering the US.  The US consulate in the Netherlands is holding his visa application for an extended period of time and has led to a cancellation of his US speaking tour. Omer was scheduled to speak with Ali Abunimah in Chicago on April 5.  Abunimah has more on the story at his Web site Electronic Intifada. The US Consulate did not provide an explanation as to why they denied his visa and the only American media source (that I know of ) that’s raising a concern is The Progressive.

Omer was to visit Houston, Santa Fe and Chicago, where local publisher Haymarket Books was to host his Newberry Library event, “Reflections on Life and War in Gaza,” alongside a broad set of interfaith religious, community and political organizations.

Rather than cancel the meeting, organizers are calling on supporters to write letters and emails calling for the US consulate’s approval of Omer’s visa.

Continue reading “Mohammed Omer denied from entering US (updated)”

Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

book cover
"The Bases of Empire", By Catherine Lutz, NYU Press, 356 pages

Why does the U.S. government maintain over 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees in 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories? How long can the American taxpayer support this far-flung force given the severely weakened economy? And why has there been no public discussion by the Obama administration over scaling back our imperial presence abroad? Chalmers Johnson seeks to explain.

In her foreword to “The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts,” an important collection of articles on United States militarism and imperialism, edited by Catherine Lutz, the prominent feminist writer Cynthia Enloe notes one of our most abject failures as a government and a democracy: “There is virtually no news coverage—no journalists’ or editors’ curiosity—about the pressures or lures at work when the U.S. government seeks to persuade officials of Romania, Aruba or Ecuador that providing U.S. military-basing access would be good for their countries.” The American public, if not the residents of the territories in question, is almost totally innocent of the huge costs involved, the crimes committed by our soldiers against women and children in the occupied territories, the environmental pollution, and the deep and abiding suspicions generated among people forced to live close to thousands of heavily armed, culturally myopic and dangerously indoctrinated American soldiers. This book is an antidote to such parochialism.

Continue reading “Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire”

Nakba remembered amid Gaza suffering

As ever Al Jazeera is one of the few media outlets which recognises that the narrative of the Jewish state began with an ethnic cleansing in 1948, which aimed to erase the history of an entire people and falsely create that of another. We hear how the Palestinian suffering caused during the Gaza war invokes memories of the first Nakba. “61 years and we are still waiting to return,” said one man displaced with his family in a makeshift tent. “Our grandfathers told us the stories about their catastrophe and sadly it is now our turn to tell our children and their children about our catastrophe.” One unfortunate note is that the journalist in the report refers to how hundreds of thousands of Palestinians “fled”, as opposed to being “expelled” by Israeli forces, as was ordered by the future Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Mohammed Omer wins Reporters Without Borders journalism award

I just got an e-mail from Mohammed Omer and I’m pleased to tell you he received a journalism award from Reporters Without Borders.

Swedish press freedom prize to Gaza journalist Mohammed Omer

Photojournalist Mohammed Omer has been awarded the Swedish section of Reporters without borders Press freedom prize 2008. His courageous reporting gives a voice to the confined and oppressed people of Gaza. At 24 Mohammed Omer is one of the most important young voices from the region.

Mohammed Omer reports for numerous media outlets, including the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pacifica Radio, Electronic Intifada, The Nation, and Inter Press Service; he also founded the Rafah Today blog.

In 2006 Mohammed Omer was awarded the Best Youth Voice Award from New American Media.

In 2008, Omer was awarded the 2007 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. In the award citation, Omer was honored as “the voice of the voiceless” and his reports were described as a “humane record of the injustice imposed on a community forgotten by much of the world.” Continue reading “Mohammed Omer wins Reporters Without Borders journalism award”