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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Do Yemenis live in a Bizarro World --- or do we?

By Jeffrey Fleishman




One reporter's search for the new face of terror


JewishWorldReview.com |

SANA, Yemen — (MCT) "Anwar Awlaki?"

Mmmmm.

"Is he a doctor? I don't think I know him."

Americans may regard the U.S.-born cleric with the beard and hard stare as a new face of terror, but when you mention al-Awlaki in the Yemeni capital, it's as if you've asked someone to solve a complicated bit of arithmetic. Eyes narrow, faces scrunch.

"I don't know who he is. I work all day and don't watch a lot of TV," said Ibrahim Abdulrab, standing over an ironing board with a pile of shirts at his feet.

The radical preacher is on the CIA's assassination list and is believed to be hiding with al-Qaida fighters in Yemen's mountainous tribal lands. He is implicated in a number of plots, including inspiring an Army psychiatrist who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, and the recent attempt to blow up aircraft with packages of concealed explosives.

Internet videos, website manifestos and pundit rhetoric are splicing al-Awlaki into the American consciousness. But he is largely unknown here or referred to as an apparition hiding in a distant crevice. Even his al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is scoffed at by many as an invention, a ploy by Washington and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to advance larger agendas.

Rumors dart like sparrows across this city, flitting through conversations, sermons and newsrooms. Perceptions are shaped by conjecture and thinly drawn asides. They highlight the ideological and emotional divides between the U.S. and the Middle East on matters ranging from drone strikes in Pakistan to the elusive characters and strange blueprints of global terrorism.

"Al-Qaida in Yemen? A myth," said Mohammed Asari, a university student dressed in a blue blazer and sitting on a motorcycle. "I haven't seen them. They're mentioned on the news, but I don't trust the news. It's full of liars."

He slipped on his sunglasses and rode away, just as another student, Isa Ahmed, strolled into an alley past rows of books for sale on blankets. "Al-Qaida is not real," he said. "They've been created for political reasons. We don't know what's going on or what exists and what doesn't."

In an electronics store, pecking away at a laptop on a slow morning before prayers, Khaled Farih offered a theory.

"Al-Qaida is an Israeli gang using Islam as a cover," he said. "They want to defame Islam through terrorist acts. Yemen has a lot of enemies and they're all looking for gaps to slip through and destroy us. Al-Qaida might also be the work of the secessionists who want to divide Yemen."

Many Yemenis believe that Saleh, a shrewd tribesman who has ridden atop this country's rambunctious politics for three decades, is inflating al-Qaida's strength as a ruse to attract Western aid. His government has attempted to link terrorist elements to an intensifying separatist movement in the south that analysts fear could ignite a civil war.


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But nobody knows; figuring out reality here is like reading road signs in the fog. Besides, there are too many other problems: joblessness, corruption, malnutrition, human rights abuses, and questions like how a man such as Abdulrab — who charges about 24 cents for each shirt he irons — feeds his family.

Don't complain too loudly. The beggar at your elbow may be a spy. Interlopers are everywhere, listening, making phone calls. Or so it seems. Yemenis love intrigue, folding and unfolding possibilities, sketching scenarios to fit a confusing world beyond the old city's fortress walls.

But what of al-Awlaki? A Yemeni judge on Saturday ordered his "forcible arrest." But despite his website and eloquent missives, al-Awlaki, known for public relations savvy and quoting from the Quran and Charles Dickens, drew barely a hint of recognition from shopkeepers, waiters and computer engineers along Sana's streets and alleys.

"Never heard of him," said Adnan Lotef, who served flat bread and tin plates of beans at a cafe not far from men with paint rollers and shovels waiting on corners and hoping for a day's work.

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