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The Purpose of Anthropology is to Make the World Safe for Human Differences Quote by Ruth Benedict

Post Islamism: Interview with Sociologist Asef Bayat!

January 23, 2010

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Stereotyping Muslim Women in U.S.A

December 21, 2009

Take your Jihad ….I got to protect my customers

You are obviously dressed like American

Two American girls who took a position against such discriminating act and Stereotyping…

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Could Online Activism Change Offline World?

December 21, 2009

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Media Coverage of Obama Speech in Cairo

June 25, 2009

Naila Hamdy, Chair of the Journalism Department at the American University in Cairo, discussed the changing landscape of Egypt’s media and how they covered the speech over  On the Media Program: Global Audience. Listen to it here

Also further discussions and voices by Egyptians are in the article entitled Egyptians Crave Deeds More Than Words in the New York Times

In the USA Today an article Obama plans to reach out to Muslim world also interviewed Egyptians regarding his speech in Cairo.

In Obama begins a new beginning is where Al Jazeera reported about President Obama’s speech.

You can also read the post by Yara El-Ghadban  A Critical Reading on Obama’s Cairo Speech

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Anthropological Reflection on President Obama speech in Cairo

June 10, 2009

The American President Barack Obama visited Egypt few days ago in order to give a speech to the Muslim world from Cairo University. What draw my attention in his speech as an anthropologist is that the speech itself shows that the contributors who created it did great efforts. I would say that a lot of anthropological work is done to make such speech has a great impact on its audiences. It reveals that the writers, if one can say, of this historical speech, worked on constructing it with deep understanding of both the Muslim nations and their states.

The speech obviously shows a great knowledge of the Muslim nation’s culture, tradition, mind, worry, history, religion, belief, and hope. In addition, it shows a well understanding of what should be avoided when talking about the states of the Muslim nation particularly in discussing un-favorite topics directly, such as democracy and human rights. It is needless to say that President Obama’s previous personal experience with the Muslim world, in his early days, gave the speech further flavor and sort of positive impact along with his mastering skills in giving speeches, and his previous academic background which he did refer to often during the speech. There is a famous phrase says if you want the power to listen to you, you should talk in a language that the power understands. From this perspective, regardless if the Muslim nation and their states are powers or not, he did talk in a language that the Muslim nation in particular and their states in general understands. Using verses from Quran in different contexts, starting his speech with the Islamic greeting Al-Salamo-Aleekom peace be upon you, and using his middle (biological father) name Hussein reveal that there is sort of anthropological insights contributed in such a speech. In sum, if this speech had some positive impact on enhancing the image of United State among Muslim nation, I think this is because of these reasons.

In this speech, by Obama’s usage of violent extremists when referring to terrorists instead of seeing the general Muslim nation as terrorists, I wonder if this de-stereotypization has an impact on the American nation and other non-Muslim nations, that watched his speech, to stop stereotyping Muslims as terrorists!

Here where you can watch the entire speech
Here where you can read the entire speech in text
Here you can watch a video about President Obama’s visit to the Egyptian Pyramids, where he sees self in the site!
Here where you can find a video of his visit to Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo

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Selected Videos:De-Stereotyping Arabs,Middle Eastern, and Arab Women

June 10, 2009

Two videos captured my attention lately. Each fits under de-stereotypization.

The fist video is entitled Don’t Call Me That! in which Middle Eastern- American comedians Dean Obeidallah, Negin Farsad and friends trying to de-stereotyping Arabs and Middle Eastern.

The second one is entitled See what Arab women Are Up To? in which also de-stereotyping Arabs mainly Arab women. It displays a small portion of strong and independent Arab women from the Middle East.

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