Posted inInformed Comment

Why are Algorithms called Algorithms? A brief History of the Persian Polymath you’ve likely never Heard of

By Debbie Passey, The University of Melbourne | – (The Conversation) – Algorithms have become integral to our lives. From social media apps to Netflix, algorithms learn your preferences and prioritise the content you are shown. Google Maps and artificial intelligence are nothing without algorithms. So, we’ve all heard of them, but where does the […]

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“Intifada” in Arabic just means Uprising or Mass Protest; it is used for the Jewish Warsaw Uprising

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – A key feature of American bigotry toward people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and toward Muslims more generally, has been the demonization by journalists, politicians and interest groups of ordinary, everyday Arabic words. Arabic words have a proud and positive history in the English language. Consider a […]

Posted inSheerPost

On Kuffiyehs and Watermelon — Revealing the Meaning of Palestinian Symbols

FreePalestineRally.WDC.4November2023. Elvert Barnes from Silver Spring MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons By Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo / CounterPunch Those who admonish Palestinian Resistance, armed or otherwise, have little understanding of the psychological ramifications of resistance, such as a sense of collective empowerment, honor and hope. But resistance is not just […]

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The Music of the late Iranian Singer Faramarz Aslani, Forced into Exile by a Puritan Revolution

Newark, Del. (Special to Informed Comment) – Amidst war and genocide in Ukraine and in Gaza, a new spring came along. For millions of Persian-speaking people, March 19 marked the beginning of Nowruz or new day this year. A holiday with Zoroastrian roots, Nowruz is celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of India and […]

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The film ‘Dune’: Techno-Orientalism, and Intergalactic Islam

The latest film adaptation of the Sixties novel helps us understand the contemporary Middle East and its ecology. “Based on Herbert’s 1965 science fiction classic, “Dune” is a tale of a rising duke, intergalactic power struggles, a precious spice, and lethal spaceworms. The story, which deals with religion, politics, myth, destiny, heritage, environmental decay and […]

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The Ongoing Genocidal Violence against the Palestinian People and their Cultural Heritage in Gaza: MESA

The Middle East Studies Association of North America | Letters from the Board | Committee on Academic Freedom | The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association and its Committee on Academic Freedom condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing attack on Gaza by the state of Israel, which has now claimed […]

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Dune Part Two: The Islamic Dimension

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Journalist and science fiction writer Frank Herbert’s Dune epic has many themes. One is, clearly, environmentalism and the need for humans to adapt to their environment. Another is the struggle between regimented bureaucratic civilization and individualism. Yet another is the temptation to use religion for liberatory purposes. The Denis Villeneuve […]