Daoud Kuttab at PostGlobal

Daoud Kuttab

Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. Mr. Kuttab is the former director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah, Palestine and the founder of AmmanNet, the Arab world's first internet radio station. His personal web page is www.daoudkuttab.com. Close.

Daoud Kuttab

Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. more »

Main Page | Daoud Kuttab Archives | PostGlobal Archives

December 2007 Archives

December 17, 2007 8:39 AM

Cairo's Win-Win Solution

**Editor's Note: This piece was written in response to a question asking panelists to choose the best of six proposals on how to move forward on climate change. Read More Panelist Views**

I would support the ‘Be Realistic’ option. I remember visiting Cairo last year and noticing for the first time that the usual smog that has always hovered over the city was not as bad as usual. When I asked a local taxi driver about it, he told me that he and most other taxi drivers were using natural gas instead of gasoline to fuel their vehicles. He said that the cost of converting to natural gas was about 5,000 Egyptian pounds, (roughly $700) but that their financial savings from using natural gas paid for the conversion in a short time. After that they were able to take home more money than when they had used gasoline and of course they helped the environment.

Of course, Egypt has plenty of natural gas and they have set up many natural gas stations throughout the capital city. This was a win-win situation: the taxi drivers were happy and the air had cleared up. This might not work in another country where natural gas is not available or cheap, but it has worked in Egypt. There are times when conservation has to be mandated, but for the most successful environmental options, a practical win-win situation is always better and longer-lasting.

December 24, 2007 10:46 AM

Valentine’s Day Bigger than Christmas

The Question: Is Christmas a bigger event in your country than it was ten years ago? Is this a sign of Westernization or just commercialization?

Christmas is celebrated in Palestine on three dates: December 25th for Protestants and Catholics, January 7th for Orthodox Christians, and January 18th for Armenian Christians. Christmas Eve in Bethlehem is an international event in the birthplace of Christ, even though the city has long lost its Palestinian Christian majority. Today the Wall chokes off the city physically, economically, and socially from Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the north of the West Bank. This Christmas looks like it might be better than the few previous years, but still nowhere near it has been in the past.

As to the effects of westernization I don't know that Christmas is bigger or the same. But the biggest westernization event in the Middle East has been Valentine's Day, which comes a couple of months after Christmas. Not only has it become a huge business venture (the price of a single rose on that day goes up to the equivalent of $2 in a developing country like Jordan.) Valentine’s Day has no religious basis, thus allowing all peoples to celebrate it. The population of the Middle East and North Africa under age 30 is nearly 40%. Valentine is also used as a verb in Arabic (valntinent), in the context of, "Did you valentine" your friend or not?

December 27, 2007 4:31 PM

Bhutto's Death Raises Larger Issues

The Question: After Benazir Bhutto's assassination on Thursday, what's next for Pakistan?

This is a sad story. Many rumors and stories will certainly be made about some conspiracy involved. One can't pretend to know the truth when writing from so far away, but some of the issues surrounding the last few months in Pakistan need to be talked about. It is clear that President Musharraf's undemocratic decision to declare emergency rule, to dissolve the court system and to bank independent media was just that: in other words, his attempts at retracting that decision were clearly just window dressing. In fact, the idea that democracy is no more than elections has proven once again to be futile. If democracy doesn't also include a truly independent judiciary, separation of powers, subordination of the army to civilian authority and of course a truly free media, it is not democracy. This has not been the case in Pakistan in the past few months, or in the past years, for that matter.

The U.S. role has to be talked about in all honesty. It isn't something for Washington to be proud of. I am not saying that the Americans have anything to do with what happened to Bhutto, but for sure they put a lot of energy into supporting Ms. Bhutto and pushed her to return to Pakistan when the country was not ready for her. The U.S. commitment to democratic change in Pakistan was never very convincing; there must have been behind-the-scenes dealings. Knowing a lot of that will certainly contribute to a better knowledge of the sad events that preceded and possibly led to this political and personal tragedy.

« November 2007 | January 2008 »

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