September 10th, 2008
11:53 AM ET

Serving up Soap Operas: A new twist to Ramadan

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Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN senior editor for Arab affairs

It's the holiest month for Muslims around the world.... A time to fast, cleanse the soul and surrender to God... but in the Middle East, there's a new twist to the tradition.

Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels. Millions of dollars are spent on special programming to entertain the masses during their fasting days from sunrise to sunset.

In one of its episodes, the popular Syrian production Baab El-Hara –The Neighborhood Gate– offers high drama of a family feud. A husband and his pregnant wife are separated as their mothers fight it out… with each mother-in-law trying to teach the other a lesson. The wife misses her husband and wants to go back to him. He kisses his mom's hand and promises her he'll only do what she wants.

Soaps showcasing social traditions mixed in with melodramatic characters and enough twists and turns of events to last you the entire month of fasting.


Filed under: Global 360° • Octavia Nasr
September 10th, 2008
10:35 AM ET

The Shot: Fainting animals

Goats and dogs with different genetic disorders that make them fall asleep mid-motion.

Filed under: T1
September 10th, 2008
10:11 AM ET

Countdown to confusion

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Atika Shubert
CNN Correspondent

There was a hushed silence in the media hall as reporters stared up at the screen projecting live images of the control room at CERN.

Lyn Evans, CERN’s director urged us to concentrate our attention on one particular flickering gray computer screen.

He began the countdown. Five.. four… three… two… one.. zero. And then … Nothing.

Well, at least nothing my eyes could see. But the scientists in the control room erupted into cheers and applause. Lots of congratulations all around...

So, clearly something had happened. I looked around...


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Technology
September 10th, 2008
09:10 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The politics of Palin

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Hey folks…

Since when did Lipstick become such a popular buzzword? Not that I have anything against lipstick, in fact, I’m a huge fan, but all this talk of pigs, pitbulls, and fish too…creative choices to add to our political dictionary. Anyways, I digress…onto real business.

Palin continues to dominate the headlines, she is the new gal on the scene and causing the biggest waves at moment, and there is so much to talk about. Today we see her split from the Mccain campaign trail and head back to her hometown where the Alaska locals await to greet their native daughter. It will be her first trip back home since she was introduced as Sen. Mccain’s choice for running mate. She will be back on her home turf long enough to see her son before he heads to Iraq to serve. Will it be a bittersweet parting for Sen Mccain who is benefiting from a healthy GOP buzz following her addition to his ticket? It will be interesting to see how he fares on his own later today. Our CNN correspondent Dana Bash travels with him on his plane today and she’ll offer good insight later tonight.


Filed under: The Buzz
September 10th, 2008
08:20 AM ET

Farewell, America's Imam

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/09/art.ahmedrehab.w.d.jpg caption="Ahmed Rehab, on left, watches as the Honorable Imam Warith Deen Mohammed gives a speech." width=292 height=320]Ahmed M. Rehab
Executive Director, Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

The American Muslim community mourns the passing of a historic figure who was crucial in the development of Muslim life in America.

The Honorable Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was an African-American Muslim spiritual leader, reformer, educator, civil rights advocate, interfaith activist, and an international goodwill ambassador. He died Tuesday.

Wallace (as he was named at birth) was born on October 30, 1933, in. Detroit, Michigan, the seventh son of. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam.

I had the privilege of personally knowing Imam Mohammed who was a key supporter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, the organization I lead.

I once asked him how he would like to be remembered after his passing. “That I preached the Unity of God,” he smiled.

Mohammed led many of The Nation of Islam’s followers to a more traditional embrace of Sunni Islam after the death of his father in 1975. He also accompanied Malcolm X in his spiritual evolution that culminated in Malcolm X renouncing his anti-white racist views and championing universal human rights in accordance with Qur’anic teachings.

Throughout his decades of leadership, Imam Mohammed, an interfaith partner of Pope John Paul, was a steady force for peace, reconciliation, and enlightenment. Few others matched the length and breadth of his impact on American Muslim spiritual life in the 20th century. He developed successful grassroots economic plans to help African-American Muslims living in hardship pull themselves up by the bootstraps and inspired a culture of confidence and motivated communities in the pursuit of knowledge. For Imam Mohammed, ignorance was the enemy and education was man’s best ally.

He helped build schools, newspapers, and several community organizations, the most recent of which was The Mosque Cares whose convention held in Chicago every year offers a unique blend of illuminating religious sermons, debates, and workshops together with great music, food, and fashion shows.

Imam Mohammed will be remembered for preaching “personal responsibility, economic independence, free thought, and moral excellence.”

Many will honor “America’s Imam” with services and tributes as the American Muslim community bids farewell to W.D.

Editor's Note: The Associated Press' article "Former Nation of Islam leader W.D. Mohammed dies" was used as background research for this blog.

Filed under: Islam • Religion
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