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Germany

Foreskin, The Play: Circumcision As Art For A Turkish Playwright

A Turkish immigrant playwright in Germany explores the meaning and theater of a religious rite that divides modern society.

Image in Istanbul of an 18th century circumcision ceremony of Sultan Ahmed III's sons.
Image in Istanbul of an 18th century circumcision ceremony of Sultan Ahmed III's sons.
Igal Avidan

BERLIN — A quiet New Year’s Eve in the maternity ward of a Berlin hospital. The doctor, a woman of Turkish descent, pours sparkling wine for herself and a blonde nurse. But the quiet ends when a fit, young, undershirt-clad macho man arrives pushing his pregnant wife Ela in a wheelchair. His name is Abraham B. Schneider. Pronounced in German, B. Schneider comes out as Beschneider, meaning "circumcisor."

His brother-in-law, an elegantly dressed real estate mogul named Mohammed Habibi Nassir, enters with them. Before the baby boy is even born, both men are vigorously insisting that he must be circumcised, after being pressured to do so by Ela’s domineering Turkish mother Elif. When the only German family member, Christian Eichelmann another pun, Eichel meaning "glans" arrives, the other men try to bribe him into a pro-circumcision stance. Eichel, though, feels he has to defend "Europe’s last firewall" and "the oppression of the German majority."

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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