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Showing posts from January 12, 2011

Kurdish club scene booming as Baghdad bans alcohol - Yahoo! News

Kurdish club scene booming as Baghdad bans alcohol - Yahoo! News: "SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq – Dozens of men gathered in the smoky little club to watch five scantily clad dancers sway their hips to the beat of a drum and the grooves of an electric piano. Once a common sight in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, the scene can now only be found in the more liberal Kurdish north.

Dozens of dance halls and clubs have opened across the Kurdish region during the past months, capitalizing on a crackdown against alcohol in Baghdad, where officials in November began closing clubs serving booze and banned alcohol sales at stores.

That prompted the capital's nightlife — its musicians, dancers and impresarios, and the patrons who flock to them — to migrate north.

'Baghdad has become a dead city where there is no more amusement, no drinks and no music. They have dressed the capital in religious clothes,' said Hameed Saleh, a Baghdad Academy of Music graduate who plays the drums and oud, the Arabi…

Why the demise of the Middle East ‘peace process’ may be a good thing - CSMonitor.com

Why the demise of the Middle East ‘peace process’ may be a good thing - CSMonitor.com: "In the Middle East today, another strict polarization which had branded everyone either pro-“peace” or against “peace” is melting fast. Israel’s growing belligerence on settlements and other issues has widened the gulf with the rest of the states in the region. It is matched by the growing power of Iran and the presence of Hezbollah in Lebanon, tilting the balance in the region towards a broad tent of “resistance politics.” Further, Turkey has taken on a new leadership role that stands up to Israel when necessary. And every passing day sees the Arab autocracies allied with the West growing more deeply moribund.

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