Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Would Jesus Say?

Last night I spent Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. People from all over the world gathered in the ancient city where Jesus was born praying for peace on the special occasion.

Bethlehem lies 10 km south of Jerusalem. A seperation wall, called by Palestinians Israel's Apartheid Wall, and a number of checkpoints separate the two cities. As darkness fell, tourists and pilgrims gathered at the Manger Square near the Church of Nativity to listen to Christmas carols and a rock band. Yes, odly enough a rock band!

I woke up this morning thinking about what Jesus would say if he had seen what I saw today in Jerusalem & Bethlehem.

More updates by Jamal Dajani on Twitter

Connecting the Dots in the Middle East

2009 started out with a bang. Unfortunately, the bang was the sound of Explosions in Gaza as the Israeli air force and artillery relentlessly Bombarded several sites in the Gaza strip in order to stop the launching of Hamas Qassam rockets. On January 3rd, Israel launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip Catapulting the Gaza War into its second week.

On the other side of the globe, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th and first African American President of the United States. His inauguration speech was viewed by billions across the globe; including those who live in the Arab & Muslim worlds. In an effort to reach out to those in the region, the newly elected president Opted to grant his first official interview to an Arab television network: Al Arabiya TV. He also addressed 1.5 billion Muslims from the Podium of Cairo University.

Meanwhile, another election brought Turmoil to the Middle East.

On June 12, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was Reelected as the president of Iran. During the following weeks, supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi protested the results. The Resultant violence is said to be the worst seen in Iran since the Iranian revolution of 1979. The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, was captured on what quickly became a viral video, Neda turning into an international symbol of the civil Unrest following the presidential election.

The year 2009 ... From the war in Gaza to the election in Iran, how did Arab, Israeli and Iranian media cover the news?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: Reactions from the Streets of Jerusalem

President Obama received this year's Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first sitting president in 90 years, and just the third ever, to win the award. Across the globe, reactions to his selection for the prestigious award have been mixed, but here on the streets of Jerusalem, both Israelis and Palestinians were not thrilled.

Did Obama Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Obama's Surge: The Real Reason

Every year on the anniversary of September 11, the same question pops up: where is Osama bin Laden? And for eight years various pundits, who hardly speak a word of Pashto, Dari, Urdu or any other language spoken in the region, play the guessing game, placing him somewhere along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

This week, President Obama took Gen. Stanley McChrystal's advice and ordered a surge in the war in Afghanistan by sending 30,000 more American troops there to help battle the Taliban insurgency. In a speech at the US Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday, the President set out what he said was a new strategy to bring the war to a "successful conclusion" and reverse the momentum of Taliban gains.

Read more on the Huffington Post