17 Stories

Calif. High School Drops Arab Mascot

But school's replacement is also an Arab

(Newser) - Mascot makeover: California's Coachella Valley High School has retired its football team's hook-nosed Arab mascot and his bellydancing genie sidekick after complaints about "Orientalist stereotyping" from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. But the school district plans to keep the team's "Arabs" nickname and has come up... More »

Time for This High School to Change Its Mascot?

Activists take on Coachella Valley High's 'Arab'

(Newser) - Meet the "Arab," Coachella Valley High's mascot: He wears a smirk, has a hooked nose, and, in some depictions, has just one tooth. And the controversy around him is heating up. In a letter to the school last week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee slammed the "orientalist... More »

Only 10% of Arab World Likes Obama

US more unpopular there now than it was under Bush

(Newser) - You know President Obama’s plan to reach out and win hearts and minds in the Middle East? It’s not going well. In a stunning new Pew Poll spotted by Glenn Greenwald of Salon , only 10% of residents in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates... More »

Facebook Won't Allow Users Named 'Arab'

Ooops: Automated filter blocks common name

(Newser) - Facebook’s automated filters appear to be preventing anyone with the last name “Arab”—a fairly common Palestinian surname—from opening an account. A tipster told Gawker about the bug, and the site quickly verified it with a number of test accounts. The tipster added that her husband... More »

Marine Beats Terrorist... Er, Orthodox Priest

Reservist may be guilty of hate crime in Tampa, police say

(Newser) - A Marine reservist in Tampa chased down a terrorist and beat him with a tire iron—only the terrorist was actually a lost tourist and Greek Orthodox priest who spoke little English. Jasen D. Bruce went after Alexios Marakis after Marakis approached him asking for directions. Bruce chased him for... More »

Arab World Head-Over-Heels About Return of 'Hero' Shoe-Tosser

Zaidi hailed as Goliath-battling David

(Newser) - The Iraqi journalist who hurled both his shoes at George Bush during a speech in Baghdad last year will be released early from prison next week to a hero's welcome, a free house and offers of money, a wife, and a gold-saddled horse, reports the Guardian. Muntadar al-Zaidi "is... More »

Palestine Could Offer Bright Spot for Arab World

PM Fayyad's economy- first approach a good model: Friedman

(Newser) - Things are bad in the Arab world, but Thomas Friedman sees green shoots in an unlikely place: Palestine. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to the wider Middle East what off-Broadway is to Broadway,” he writes in the New York Times. “It is where all good and bad ideas... More »

Obama's Mideast Success Jacks Expectations

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East has established even higher standards for his presidency, Politico reports. Obama is using his global celebrity to restart Israel-Palestine talks and improve relations between the West and the Muslim world, proving he’s “not a president who has ever shied away... More »

Dubai Woman Rattles Arab World With Sex Advice Book

Book of frank erotic advice rooted in religion shocks Arab world

(Newser) - A Dubai marriage counselor is making waves in the Arab world with a frank book on sexuality, the New York Times reports. Wedad Lootah, a former Islamic scholar, grounds her book of erotic advice in the teachings of the Koran. She discusses taboo subjects such as homosexuality and urges readers... More »

'Torture Sheik' Detained

(Newser) - An Abu Dhabi prince captured on videotape torturing a grain merchant has been detained by authorities, CNN reports. Sheik Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan is under house arrest pending an investigation, officials of the United Arab Emirates have told the US State Department. The videotape shows the prince beating, burning and... More »

Obama to Address Muslim World From Egypt

President to tackle US-Muslim relations on first Middle Eastern trip

(Newser) - President Obama will travel to Egypt next month to deliver a speech aimed at mending America's relationship with the Muslim world, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Egypt is a politically risky choice due to President Hosni Mubarak's heavy-handed autocratic rule, but a White House spokesman said the country "in many ways... More »

Middle East Fumes Over Obama's Gaza Silence

Arabs and Muslims disappointed after 'promise of change'

(Newser) - Barack Obama's studied silence on the Gaza attacks—there’s only one president at a time, and so on—isn’t playing well in the Middle East, writes Simon Tisdall in the Guardian. “Foreign wars don't wait for Washington inaugurations,” Tisdall notes. Many Arabs and Muslims “cannot... More »

Arab Leaders Shower Condi With Jewelry; Bush, Meh

State chief got $316K in gifts last year, to about $100K for Bush

(Newser) - Condoleezza Rice scored $316,000 worth of lavish jewelry from Arab royals last year, the AP reports. Jordan’s King Abdullah treated Rice to an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings, and other finery; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a ruby and diamond necklace and earrings, bracelet and ring.... More »

Shoe-Throwing Journo Beaten, Brother Alleges

Iraqi military denies claim and says man is healthy

(Newser) - The journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush during a news conference 2 days ago has been beaten in custody, his brother told the BBC. The brother alleges that Muntadar al-Zaidi, 28, has a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding, but the Iraqi military says the journalist is... More »

Shoe-Throw Is Arab World's Heartiest Insult

Journo's sole assault on Bush would likely have meant death under Saddam

(Newser) - Throwing a shoe at someone is hardly a positive gesture anywhere, but in Arab and Islamic countries, footwear is viewed as ritually unclean: Even mentioning your shoes while insulting someone carries vile significance, the BBC reports. Accidentally displaying an exposed sole is also considered insulting, so yesterday’s loafer-launching aimed... More »

Iraqi Hurls Shoes at Bush

Shoe-throwing a signal of intense contempt in Arab world

(Newser) - President Bush never quite got the book thrown at him for invading Iraq, but the next closest thing happened today, CBS News reports. A correspondent for a Cairo-based Iraqi TV station hurled a pair of shoes at the outgoing president during a press conference in Baghdad, shouting, “This is... More »

Disney Takes Aim at Family-Friendly Mideast

Company seeks to tap into Arabic appetite for family-friendly films

(Newser) - Disney has decided it's a big world after all, the Financial Times reports. The company is making its first Arabic-language movie, aiming to tap into demand for family-friendly fare in the Middle East. The Last Storyteller will be produced somewhere in the Middle East and distributed in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon,... More »

17 Stories