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Media Review

The BBC's Orientalist Odyssey

The BBC's Orientalist Odyssey drama

It seems every television production set in the Middle East or North Africa has an obligatory scene where a woman is stoned to death. The one in new BBC drama Odyssey (produced by US television network NBC) was quite creative – the viewer got to watch from behind the sack covering the accused's head whilst angry, bearded men in traditional dress crowded round her with rocks in their hands.

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In the Skin of a Jihadist: Inside Islamic State's Recruitment Networks

In the Skin of a Jihadist: Inside Islamic State's Recruitment NetworksAuthor: Anna Erelle
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published Date: 04 June 2015
Paperpack: 240 pages
ISBN: 978-0008139568

Review by: Emmanuela Eposti

"Don't forget, you're mine now. You belong to me for eternity. Do you understand? Don't forget!"

When French freelance journalist Anna Erelle (a pseudonym) first got in contact with Abu Bilel Al-Firanzi, an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter of French-Algerian origin, while researching a story, she had little inkling of the potential consequences of her action. Posing as a young Muslim convert interested in finding out more about ISIS, within a few months Erelle found herself effectively married to the terrorist and planning to undertake a journey to the fraught border between Turkey and ISIS-controlled Syria.

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The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neo-conservatism

The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neo-conservatism

A new report by Spinwatch, a public interest investigation group, provides an in-depth scrutiny of The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neo-conservatism; it examines the history, activities and politics of the right-wing think tank, which is a leading exponent of neo-conservatism in Britain.

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Monthly Media Digest - April 2013

One of this month's biggest pieces of news was the resignation of Western backed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. There were widespread hunger strikes in Israeli prisons in protest against the death of an inmate suffering from cancer who had also faced medical neglect by the Israeli authorities, while hunger striker, Samer Issawi, ended his hunger strike following a deal struck with the same authorities.

Writing about the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman described it as "very bad news". Unelected Fayyad, you see, "was the 'Arab Spring' before there was an Arab Spring". This was a prime example of the conundrum facing Western liberals who want to export democracy but only if the right people win elections.

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The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

The Unravelling

Author:Emma Sky
Publisher:Polity Press
Published Date:21 November 2014
Hardcover:496 pages
ISBN:978-1782392576

Review by Emmanuela Eposti

"How had I ended up in such a role...? I had come to Iraq to apologise for the war. Now I was sitting like some colonial administrator in the office that before the war had served as the governor of Kirkuk's. I was seen as the new symbol of power..."

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The Siege: Palestinian play makes its London debut to a packed audience

the siege

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It's April 2002 and the Second Intifada has engulfed cities across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In Bethlehem, a group of armed fighters have fled to one of the world's holiest places to seek sanctuary- the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus. Around 200 Palestinians are also sheltering inside, hiding from the Israeli incursion into the city. In response, Israeli soldiers place Bethlehem under siege and completely surround the Church.

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LIVE BLOG: Where now for Palestine: Abdelwahab Elmessiri's thoughts on Zionism

Abdelwahab Elmessiri Memorial Lecture

Annual lecture to honour the memory, scholarship and achievements of the late Egyptian thinker

Lecture to be delivered by Ronnie Kasrils, prominent South African anti-apartheid activist and politician. The event will be chaired by Victoria Brittain. Read their profiles.

Yasmina Allouche will be live blogging the event on May 19th, from 6.30pm BST.

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