… by Mohammed VI of Morocco is the Maghrebi story making the international headlines today, Reporters Without Borders even going to the ridiculous lengths of expressing gratitude to the king for freeing someone who shouldn’t have been banged up in the first place. What most of the papers miss is that – apart from the journos – the king freed a bunch of arms smugglers, a couple of Islamic militants convicted of murder, as well as – and this is pretty interesting – various Sahraouis imprisoned for terrorism and political offences. Add to that the news that the World Bank has cut its credit line to the city of Fès, basically for nicking most of what had been lent to them previously, and it still isn’t easy to work out which way Morocco is heading.
However, the Moroccan story that really caught my eye today was about an explosion of call centres south of the straits. Although La Vie Éco doesn’t actually say so, I take it that companies in France, Spain and Benelux – Telefónica, Dell, Teletech and Redal are named – are passing Arabic- and Berber-speaking callers to centres in Morocco. While this is excellent news for Morocco, it’s not going to do much to reduce the increasing ghettoisation of European Maghrebis.
- “Sonatrach is studying all options in case BP decided to sell its assets for another party”
Does this recent MedGaz pipeline story mean we’re about to see more headlines like Swedish BP chairman ‘whisked married lover on luxury cruise as oil spill chaos erupted’ and Gulf Oil Spill: Tony Hayward Attends Glitzy Yacht Race As Oil Spews Into Gulf? BP: from British Petroleum to Barbarian Pissheads?
The article reports the words of Yusuf Yusufi, …
- Danse macabre
These three dancing Spidermen (Scripting News):
… reminded me of the trio of Batmen in Jan Mohammad’s 1990 Lollywood hunt-the-Salman epic, International Gorillay, which was shown on British television after Mr Rushdie asked the censors to lift their ban. Omar Khan’s review tells us:
Rushdie is leading the assault on Islam with his Satanic Verses and
- Street names
Santa Coloma has named a street after one
convicted murdererCatalan patriot. Does this mean that, if and when they are convicted of terrorism, it will also name streets after the Islamists picked up there? Or is this a whites-only thing?
- Frank and the sons of Ishmael
I suggested to Mark Liberman the other day that the word Frank turns up in western Arabic in the C8th. A provisional apology is due because the first reference I’ve found in a hitherto brief search is not until the first half of the C9th, when ʻAbd al-Malik b Habīb (display problems?) of Granada uses the word ifranǧ in …