Raif Badawi, Week 3

For the third week in a row, Raif Badawi, a writer in Saudi Arabia, was not whipped fifty times yesterday as part of his public punishment for insulting his nation’s official religion in his blog. No one is breathing a sigh of relief that this counts as sparing him, or that he is about to be freed.

Last week, when I wrote about this ongoing story (“An Update about Raif Badawi“), I quoted one speaker from an article in the Guardian and gave the partial identification given in the article as the complete identification of the speaker. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is indeed a Jordanian prince in the Hashemite dynasty, the same family that the current King of Jordan is the head of. Perhaps more importantly, Prince Zeid is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and has been since September. It is not the Guardian’s mistake that I did not do all of my reading. It is my error.
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Pete Seeger, One Year Gone

In 1996, in my then-job of assistant editor at a weekly newspaper, I awarded myself the title of music reviewer for a single issue and attended a concert given at a local high school by Pete Seeger, who died one year ago today at age 94. (Our newspaper’s actual title-holder was only interested in rock concerts.) I wrote a review, knowing full well that a review is not what one writes regarding a Pete Seeger concert. An appreciation. A thank-you note. But not a mere review judging aesthetic merits.

It was a great concert, by the way.
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