Friday, April 14, 2006

Friday's Proverb

Today's proverb does not come from Qadi Isma'il but rather from another book that I can't seem to find in my library at the moment, but since it fits my mood I'll reproduce it here:

قد قلبي منك دود و عكابر سود
You fill my heart with worms and black rats.
Often said in a situation where one wants to get the best qat, although I wouldn't recommend using it unless one has a good relationship with the qat seller. Or, one can use it as I am doing now in my mental dialogue with my now cold thesis.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Yemen in Friday's Papers

(The view from Sana'a)

Well, both al-Thawri and al-Sahwa are out, as I skimmed them both this afternoon. But I have yet to print them off, and I can't read PDF news pages on the Internet. Also, I've been slaving away attempting to finish this damn thesis, which has meant a great deal of reading of Yemeni memoirs. And I have to say that I feel as though I now really know Sinan Abu Lahum, Muhsin al-'Ayni and Yahya al-Mutawakkil thanks to their memoirs. (Gasp, I may have just let a bit of my secret identity through, but really I'm much too tired to care. - a draft of the thesis is done.)

Al-Thawri does have a story on Nu'man as well as an interview with him, and al-Sahwa has an interview with Muhammad 'Alu, who is an intriguing lawyer. Hopefully there will be more on both by the weekend - after a number of drinks of course.

Al-Quds al-Arabi had little on Yemen today. I continue to have problems with al-Jazeera's website for some reason, so I'm not sure there. Al-Sharq al-Awsat is likely neglecting the country where wisdom and faith reside, as of course is al-Arabiyya. Al-Hayat has a business story about the Yemeni government pledging money towards education, but as business and economics bore me (don't tell my boss), I've elected not to link to it. If you are really interested you'll have to run the search on al-Hayat yourself.

Turks in Yemen

Not a lot of time, as I've got a lot of work before a Friday deadline. The big 3-2 had very little, none of which I'll link to, but I will say Khaled al-Hammadi (al-Quds al-Arabi) had a piece on Salih's visit to Pakistan and China (he is back now). (Oh and the White Sox won again, I take a couple of days off and look what happens.)

But now for today's proverb, again from al-'Akwa's book, a very famous one:

اليمن مقبرة الأتراك
Yemen is the graveyard of the Turks.
(This refers to two ill-advised attempts by the Turks to occupy North Yemen, never a very good idea.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Assassination Attempt in Yemen

(One of the Ultimate survivors of Yemeni Politics - Dr. Yasin Said Nu'man)

Well, I don't want to say too much about this before al-Thawri comes out tomorrow or Friday. But from reading the coverage in al-Sahwa and al-Wasat it appears that on Sunday night an assailant attempt to assassinate the Secretary General of the YSP Dr. Yasin Said Nu'man at his house with some sort of improvised bomb. He was unsuccessful.

The al-Wasat report links this attack to a recent attack on a Presidential hopeful - one can't call him a candidate yet, since he hasn't received the approval vote from both house of parliament - Tawfiq al-Khamiri. Here is an English report on those attacks.

Finally, here is al-Sawha's coverage. But I won't say more until I've went through al-Thawri this weekend. But I'm not so sure this is specifically related to the elections as most would have it. There was also an attack - if that is the right word, which I'm not so sure it is - on a YSP headquaters in al-Mukalla.

Again, I don't think we should jump the gun and start predicting a violent and bloody election season. It is extremely unlikely that these are coordinated attacks, as opposed to one-off incidents.

(The President)

Ahh, and how could I have forgotten this. Al-Wasat has a story quoting "well-informed sources" that there will be a large demonstration in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah with the purpose of convincing President Salih to stand for re-election in September.

This is one of the first - of what Husni Mubarak once called "smart-ass" (election) tricks" - but it is not likely to be the last. Plus if you are in Hudaydah why would you demonstrate anyways, it is too damn hot and humid. You should just kick back and chew some shami.

(The recent fire in Sana'a - from al-Wasat)

Here are two new articles from al-Wasat's most recent addition on the fire and tribal fighting. The first, agrees with today's al-Quds al-Arabi article that there were six people killed in the fire in Sana'a. Not, like al-Jazeera reported yesterday, seven. Here is the second on tribal fighting in Marib.

There is also an article about an "assassination attempt" on the Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party, Yassin Said Nu'man. But I have not had time to read it yet, as soon as I do there will be more posts. Hopefully with a picture of the wise old survivor of 1986. For the moment, however, it is back to the grindstone.

Wednesday's Proverb

For today's proverb, I decided on one that is often said in my presence in qat chews - or at least qat chews among some close friends:

القرد في عين امه غزال
My rather loose translation:
Even a monkey is a gazelle in the eye of his mother.

Yemen in Wednesday's Papers

(The area around Marib)

Very little from the big 3-2, in fact almost nothing.

Really the only thing to report is Khaled al-Hammadi's report on recent tragedies in the country: including five dead in a case of tribal revenge in Marib, six dead in a fire in Sana'a, and three more dead in Ibb. Not recommended reading if you want to feel better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fire in Yemen

Now that al-Quds al-Arabi is back up and running, I stopped by eager to see what news I had missed from Arabia Felix last night, only to be disappointed - there was nothing.

For those of you in desperate need of a Yemeni news fix, this is the only thing I could find - although admittedly I didn't look that hard: Fire in Yemen kills Seven.

The brief, is just that, and says that this morning a fire in a Mafrash store in western Sana'a killed seven.

Tuesday's Yemeni Proverb

I could be blogging about the White Sox win over the early season sweethearts - the Tigers - way to go Jim Thome. Or about the lack of Yemeni coverage in the big 3-2, but instead I've decided to start a new project.

As this blog is fairly new, it is only natural that from time to time new projects will be developed only to be surely dropped at a later time. Today's project, which will continue until I grow bored with it, is a daily Yemeni proverb.

So wonderful readers of al-Nawadir enjoy the proverbs - quote them to your friends, impress girls at the bar, stun your boyfriend and use them as one would other bar tricks - like tying cherry stems with your tongue - to get free drinks.

Unless otherwise specificed all proverbs come from the excellent two volume work by Qadi Isma'il al-'Akwa entitled: al-Imthal al-yamaniyya.

Today's proverb, and my personal favorite:

إذا قلبك سالي فجحر الحمار مفرج
My rough translation:
"If your heart is at ease even a donkey's asshole can be a mafraj*."
* A mafraj is the room in which qat is chewed, and where mortals commune with the gods.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mikhail Zoshchenko

(Mikhail Zoshchenko)

There are few things in life as sweet and as enjoyable as discovering for oneself a previously unread author. These moments are all too rare. How many us, after all, routinely discover for ourselves "new" authors that we will read and re-read over and over again throughout the course of our lives? I would guess that the number is relatively small. I know it is with me. And that is why I was so happy yesterday, when I finally got around to reading the latest issue of The Paris Review (which finally came - thank you much).

In it, I read for the first time three short satires by Mikhail Zoshchenko (1895-1958). The selection, which was translated by Jeremy Hicks, was only five pages long - but it quickly set me off on a buying spree of some of Zoshchenko's works, and I have been growing increasingly impatient - throughout the day - for the release of "a new collection of his short fiction, The Galosh and Other Stories, which will be published this year by Overlook Press."

This issue of The Paris Review, despite its tardiness, now has al-Nawadir's highest seal of approval. And I highly recommend that any literate readers go out and buy some of Zoshchenko's work. It is good. Trust the might al-Zanabiya.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Al-Quds al-Arabi

I'm not going to take complete credit for this, but al-Quds al-Arabi has went back to its previous format, which is much nicer and easier to use, but lacks the searchable database that I so loved. Please, please Mr. Atwan get your act together so I can amuse myself in your archives, and waste countless hours searching for articles.

Someday soon, I'm sure, al-Quds al-Arabi will surprise us all with a wonderful new design. But today is not that day.

Aden 1986 .... and the White Sox Finally Win

(Photo of a Mass Grave from the bloody events in Aden 1986 - from the Yemen Times)

In Yemen President Salih is on his way to Pakistan.

The Yemeni government is denying reports that it bought anti-riot gear from China. This might be the way to go: worried about rioting, buy from the guy who knows how to successfuly put down a riot - cameras be damned. After all, does anyone really think that last summer's Fuel Riots in Yemen would have been allowed to take place in China? Also, it was widely rumored in Sana'a last year, that Yemen's anti-riot police were using training, tactics and weapons supplied by American advisers. Just like in the glory days of the Cold War Yemen is trying to have it both ways.

Speaking of the Cold War, there is a new Russian program on the "bloody events" of January 1986 in Aden. I enjoy few things as much as a Russian series about internal coups and dissension in the Arab world's only Marxist state.

Here is a link to a story about the discovery of a mass grave from the January 1986 events, and from which the grisly picture above comes from.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat has a brief on the explosion in al-Baydha, which it says killed 2 and wounded 14.

And of course, the obligatory White Sox update:
The White Sox finally won a game. I mean they are no Detroit Tigers, but at least they managed to take one game from a much improved Royals.