Russell Khan, Sulman Afridi, and Khalid Latif (left to right) at New York City’s Honest Chops, the country’s first halal whole animal butchery.

by NEW YORK (CNNMoney), May 30

Thick T-bone steaks and richly marbled oxtails decorate the display case at Honest Chops, a new whole animal halal butchery in downtown Manhattan.

Not only is the shop committed to selling humanely raised meat, it’s all slaughtered in the Islamic tradition, which involves a prayer and quick death using a sharp knife.

Khalid Latif, who founded the butchery in March, spoke to Muslim students and working professionals in his community who wanted a higher quality of meat than their neighborhood markets offered.

Initially, he and his partners Anas Hassan and Bassam Tariq were just interested in opening a halal butchery. But after learning about the unnatural feed that commercial cattle and chickens are raised on, they opted to source their meat from small producers in upstate New York, Maryland and Massachusetts.

“When there’s not a certain kind of purity to the food that we’re consuming, that becomes problematic from the spiritual standpoint,” said Latif, who has rigorous standards for the meat he sources. (more…)

Here is a short review of an exciting new book:

Marwa Elshakry, Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950 University of Chicago, 2013.

by Carla Nappi on May 23, 2014, New Books in Science, Technology and Society

The work of Charles Darwin, together with the writing of associated scholars of society and its organs and organisms, had a particularly global reach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Marwa Elshakry’s new book offers a fascinating window into the ways that this work was read and rendered in modern Arabic-language contexts. Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950 (University of Chicago Press, 2013) invites us into a late nineteenth-century moment when the notions of “science” and “civilization” mutually transformed one another, and offers a thoughtful and nuanced account of the ways that this played out for scholars working and writing in Syria and Egypt. The early chapters of Elshakry’s book focus on the central role played by popular science journals like Al-Muqtataf (The Digest) in translating and disseminating Darwin’s ideas. We meet Ya’qub Sarruf & Faris Nimr, young teachers at the Syrian Protestant College who were instrumental in translating scientific works into Arabic there and, later, in Egypt. An entire chapter looks closely at Isma’il Mazhar’s work producing the first verbatim translation of Darwin’s Origin of Species into Arabic, but the book also looks well beyond Darwin to consider broader Arabic discourses on the relationship between science and society, as those discourses were shaped by engagements with the work of Herbert Spencer, Ludwig Büchner, and many others. Elshakry pays special attention to the ways that this story is embedded in the histories of print culture, the politics of empire, and debates over educational reform, materialism, and socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and concludes with a consideration of the continuing reverberations of these issues into late twentieth century Egypt and beyond. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the entanglements of science, translation, and empire in the modern world, and it will change the way we understand the place of Arabic interlocutors in the history of modern science.

Here is a Youtube trailer for an environmental documentary film about Yemen, produced by Tony Milroy of Arid Lands and Sustainable Communities Trust for the Channel 4 series ‘Fragile Earth’.

Thimar is a new organization that promotes research on agriculture, environment and labor in the Arab World. Check out their website, which is still under production.]


The lands which formed a cradle of plant and animal domestication exhibit today the greatest ‘food insecurity’ of any region in the world. Stark dependence on imported food is often attributed, on the production side, to aridity exacerbated by climate change, soil salinity, and under-capitalized small land-holdings, and on the consumption side, to population growth and change in food cultures. Dominant political and economic interpretations would have us see the region’s food deficit as ‘natural’ (a result of aridity, population growth and the force of the market).

But this argument dismisses the centrality of economic, political and social policies. An important example is Syria, where changes in policy from the end of the 1980s have led the country by 2007 to face, for the first time in its history, major national food insecurity and growing rural child-malnutrition. A comparison with Iran since the late 1980s is telling. While Syria lost industrial production, scaled back support for agriculture, and failed to develop a national consensus about the relation between wealth distribution and population policy, Iran sustained the growth of its manufacturing sector, strengthened its programme of national food-security, continued to engage with pastoral producers, and opened a public debate on population and development which led to an effective family-planning programme operating through the country’s public primary healthcare service. (more…)

اب الخضراء؛ عبقرية المزارع اليمني وحكمته في أبهى صورها

There are many postcards on the Internet from old Aden under British control. This continues the series with more views of camels and a bullock in Aden.

to be continued… for #11, click here.

There are many postcards on the Internet from old Aden under British control. This continues the series with views of the camel caravans that came to Aden.

to be continued… for #10, click here.

من غرائب الطبيعة .. قرد يقع في حب دجاج
الإثنين, 27-يناير-2014
حضرموت نيوز – اليمن متابعات

وقع قرد في غرام دجاجة من النظرة الأولى، حين شاهدها في سوق محلية بجزيرة جاوا الإندونسية، بينما كان برفقة مالكه.

وقالت صحيفة «ديلي ميرور»، إن مشهد القرد والدجاجة معا صار مألوفا في سوق منطقة بانيوانغي، الواقعة في الطرف الشرقي من جزيرة جاوا.

وأضافت الصحيفة التي نشرت صورا للثنائي السعيد، أن القرد يملكه رجل يدعى، حكيم، ويقيده بالسلاسل حتى لا يتمكن من التحرك لمسافة بعيدة، ما حرمه من الاستمتاع بقضاء أوقات طويلة مع حبيبته الدجاجة.

ويأتي خبر العلاقة الغرامية بين القرد والدجاجة، بعد أن ذكرت تقارير صحافية أواخر العام الماضي، أن كلبا من فصيلة الراعي الألماني، وقع في غرام وزة تمكنت من ترويضه بسبب طبعه الشرس، والذي كان يتطلب قيام شخصين بإطعامه، واحد لإلهائه والآخر لرمي وعاء الطعام في حظيرته.

وكان الكلب (ريكس)، البالغ من العمر 11 عاما، يعيش في دار لرعاية الحيوانات الشاردة، وينبح ويتذمر من كل شيء يمر من أمامه، ويطارد الأرانب البرية لأكلها، لكنه سرعان ما هدأ حين شاهد وزة تدعى «جيرالدين» ووقع في غرامها من النظرة الأولى، وصارا يتنزهان معا وينامان في سرير واحد كل ليلة.<

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