A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, April 30, 2010

Odds and Ends

A few, perhaps a little offbeat, interesting reads:
  • Nabil Fahmy — ex-Egyptian Ambassador to the US, now a Dean at AUC, son of Foreign Minister Isma‘il Fahmy — one of Egypt's top diplomats and a man who knows the West very well — weighs in at Foreign Policy on his own take on Aaron David Miller's recent, glum piece which I mentioned here. It's thoughtful and well informed. And I'm delighted that Ambassador Fahmy, instead of waiting in the wings to maybe become Foreign Minister some day, decided to take a job in academia. He can express his own ideas now. FP has been spinning off the Aaron Miller piece (which they published, after all, so let them capitalize on it) with a "So Why Have We Failed?" series of posts on their Middle East Channel. A collection of short takes here.


Anonymous said...

Normally I don't comment on blogs, but something always "push" me to explain things in this Blog.

There are street-names in Doha for the main streets only. none-main-streets are numbered (a system used in many Arab counties), also neighborhoods (sections).

For GPS, it is an old system, but in my opinion is much better that giving names to streets.

Imagine this (as example):

Sec. 100
St. 10
House. 1

This much easier for the GPS (and for the software to map the area) to find the locations.

I hope my comments helped

LJ Marczak said...

Bahrain has a similar numbering system as described by Anonymous. Problem is that most people don't know it - even though signs are posted.

We never gave our "official" address to visitors as cab drivers had no idea where to go.

We used landmarks to describe our location.

My favorite falafel shop in Abu Dhabi (Abu Qasim) - now sadly closed - was easily reached by telling the cab driver that it was next to Istiqlal Pharmacy.

One reaches a really fantastic restaurant in Damascus mostly easily by telling the cab driver the restaurant by the spice market.

In Bahrain my wife was told that a shop was near Burger King on a named street. She spent 15 minutes driving up and down the street. No Burger King. She eventually found the shop and asked the chap (non Arab) who gave her the directions. He appeared surprised that she didn't know and said well there used to be a Burger King two doors down. 5 or so years earlier!

And then there are the places that have been renamed. Is it Midan Sulayman Pasha or Midan Talat Harb?

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Thanks to both of you for some real-world information. Anonymous, keep right on commenting. You guys teach me.