If, like me, you could use a smile today, I offer the following links:
The good folks at Rocketboom have produced a video field report on reactions from around the world to the pertinent question, “Why is George W. Bush so awesome?” Predictably, not everyone feels like it’s a particularly fair question. And, also predictably, other people are very happy to answer it as a straight question. I’m amused by the fact that most of the Boston interviews involve people I know, including the inimitable SJ Klein and Dr. David Weinberger. (That’s Dr. W in the final interview, standing in front of the Berkman Center copy machine…)
Global Voices friend Taran Rampersad offers an open letter to conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, trying to help her get a better understanding of the goings on in his home, Trinidad and Tobago. He appears to feel roughly as much warmth for Malkin in his letter as I do for Menes Zenawi in my recent letter.
On a slightly more serious note, Global Voices Middle East editor Haitham Sabbah speculates on future fatwahs against his friend and mine, Hossein Derakshan. Hoder is visiting Israel, hoping to report on the lives and opinions of Iranian jews living in Israel. He recognizes that this will almost certainly make it difficult for him to return to his native Iran, as Iran doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. (Hoder is now a Canadian citizen, but it’s very important to him to be able to return home to Iran.) I’m happy to see that Haitham – who is going through a complex process of assessing his own feelings about Israel and Palestine – is considering a trip to Israel: “… although I really wish to make a visit to Israel, but I would prefer to go through the checkpoints of the Occupied Territories rather than going through cozy gates of Ben Gurion airport… Why? Because if peace has to take a chance, we have to remove the barriers, not jump over them!”
(By the way, Haitham is nominated for a 2006 Bloggies Award in the Middle East and Africa category. His blog is very much worth your vote. But so is Sleepless in Sudan, Mahmoud’s Den and Subzero Blue, who are all also nominated…)
Updated: Where does an Iranian Global Voices author stay when visiting Israel? With an Israeli Global Voices author, of course. Read Lisa Goldman’s account of their first day hanging out together in Tel Aviv as well…