tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Loose lips sink dictatorships

[Illustration from Bendib via Arabist]

The so-called Arab Satellite Charter is a proposal to create an Arab-wide media "monitoring" (a.k.a. censorship) outfit to police programming on Arab satellite TV. The proposal is being discussed today at a summit of the Ministers of Information of the 22 members states of the Arab League

Specifically, the three main (and privately owned) satellite stations the charter will target are: Al-Manar (the satellite mouthpiece of Hezbollah); Al-Aqsa (the satellite mouthpiece of Hamas); and Al-Jazeera (the Arab world's first and only independent satellite news network).

In unquestionably related news, these three satellite networks are among the most critical of Arab regimes and dictatorships, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whose Ministers of Information hatched this censorship proposal so that they might be spared the daily criticism from popular media beyond their well-censored borders.

Qatar, in whose capital city Al-Jazeera is based, and Lebanon, home to Al-Manar, are said to be among the few Arab countries who oppose the proposal.

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