"There are those who say that while Arab civilization had a great past, it has no present or future. They also question whether Arab immigrants to America have made any contribution to the U.S. In response to this slight to Arab culture, the Gibran awards recognized the work of the Arab Thought Foundation—an example of an Arab institution that promotes learning, cultural pride, and self-reflection. The Arab Thought Foundation is a center for the dissemination of learning and a beacon of enlightenment."
"What he brought home to his readers were the voices of his subjects and their story as it was unfolding through their eyes. When you read a Shadid dispatch from Baghdad, Beirut, or Tripoli, it was as if you had been transported to the place. The sounds and smells of the streets where he walked, the warmth of the homes he visited, and the emotions, and concerns of the people he met - all came through in full force."
"If somebody were to ask me what’s going to happen in this short medium term, I guess I see Iraq more and more controlled by men with guns. I see not necessarily a war that pits Sunnis against Shiites or Shiites against Kurds but instead a war that pits rival militias, sometimes within communities against each other. And they vie for territory and they vie for power. They vie for control of their respective communities. That’s my fear. You might have a functioning government in Baghdad with ministries and with a legislature and a lot of debate, but once you get out in the hinterland, you see men with guns in control."
"...while US Inc. allowed Abbas his time in the sun and provided him with the cameras and lights through which political theater seeks to rival Hollywood, behind the scenes negotiations are making his application to statehood a moot point. The US and Israel will not be swayed — peace must come through “discussions” with Israel, that is to say, any gesture towards Palestinian sovereignty is completely at Israel’s discretion. Given Israel’s rush toward settlement building all across the West Bank, even in the midst of this crisis, we can take this to its logical conclusion — Palestinian statehood via US-led peace processes is an endlessly-deferred utopia."