Barack Obama gave a formative speech on the future of U.S. – Middle East relations today, focusing in particular on U.S. relations — both as perceived and purported — with the Muslim World. Initial feedback is that it was a powerful speech that went over well by most accounts. Watch and decide for yourself. For photos, transcripts in multiple languages, and more, check the White House blog here.
Dying to know how well these Contextual YouTube video ads do as far as CTR, etc. And HOW insulting that al-Zaidi’s shoes reveal an add for women’s shoes! And that’s not all, the infamous shoe incident — which already is on its way to becoming the viral-est of all online videos — is now immortalized as a Flash game:
Very sad. Especially after listening to the 5 year Iraq War retrospective on On the Media. Add to that 419 dead U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. And according to several accounts, many of the fallen are not even included in the casualty count. Sad, just sad.
I finally tracked down the song that I can’t get out of my head. Firkat il-Shamal’s “The Hawk of Lebanon” is catchy as hell, in spite of its lyrics (the translated verse begins: I hail thee, hawk of Lebanon / I welcome thee, Hassan Nasrallah / Here are your men, Hezbollah / Victory, victory with the help of God).
Firkat il-Shamal (Band of the North) consists of The El Haija brothers from Jenin and until this summer was known primarily as a top band on the Palestinian wedding circuit. That is, until they penned the hottest song of the summer in Gaza, and the West Bank. Israeli police are confiscating copies of the song on grounds that it is inflammatory, According to the AP. (The article, published yesterday and written by Sarah El Deeb, carries the bizarro title, “Boy band sings praises of Nasrallah.”)
The World’s Web site has an excellent feature on the song and the El Haija brothers, complete with a translationn of the lyrics and photos. (click here).
Even as the war has let up militarily, it appears that Israeli soldiers continue attacking Palestinians with Nasrallah screen savers on their mobile phones, according to this article by the Palestinian News Network’s Ali Samoudi. Interesting.
One-sided songs of war are nothing new, however, the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East contain many examples, including this, of how technology and the Internet is revolutionizing the way war is fought by states and publics. (See my presentation “The Internet is the Machine Gun of the 21st Century” and Jade Miller’s “Hezbollah, Israel, and the U.S.: A Conflict with Far-Reaching Implications.”
I am posting an MP3 of “The Hawk of Lebanon” for educational purposes and with no intent of making a political/cultural statement of any kind. (thx to BBC/PRI/WGBH)