Fake Pixels of Assassination in Dubai

As the Dubai  assassination  is accumulating more and more ‘evidences’ the mystery is growing in the same proportion.

…”UK probes fake passports in Hamas killing..
British PM Brown pledges ‘full investigation’ into how fake British passports were linked to killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.’ in Dubai, see here.

But in some way the underlying real story is that of the digital cameras  monitoring the people entering the hotel’s main entrance. With their benevolent help the Dubai police says she was able to reconstruct a plausible plot pointing to the group who presumably perpetuated the assassination of al-Mabhoud.

“The Group”, click to enlarge.

Should it come as a surprise? No, today in the era of the pixel, when every urban corner is infested  by digital devices screening,  filtering and distorting the visual space beyond the monitor display, you may use the title of the celebrated James Joyce’s novel,  “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”   paraphrased into  ‘You the citizen as a Fake digital Portrait of Yourself”‘.

You may  ask: why equating  ‘citizen’ to ‘fake portrait of himself’? Are Rembrandt’s auto portrait not some sort of fake of himself? Well no, a priory  he was  himself and himself is what he painted to finally be exhibited in the.. Tate gallery. The digital camera is not you and a priory know nothing about your existence while being busy at filming you.

But in terms of being exhibited, you are exhibited, but  not in a gallery. You are exhibited for your lifetime and afterward in the digital archives basements of your own country or elsewhere, with the help of your Gmail, facebook, Twitter, MySpace, You Tube … and I forget, your blog and your cellular.. and so on. You model and promote yourself into a pixelike  fake auto portrait available to anyone on the information highway.

But again, why ‘Fake”? Because the pixel  created in a monitor is only pure photon energy radiated into our eyes and brain without palpable substance. It’s you and not you. This sort of faking  the assassination in Dubai is something impersonal automatically performed on the fly by the cameras, created  by cutting out a very partial digital picture from the monitored space and inferring from this digital snapshot on the whole peripheral space of your own live. Is that not a fake re-creation of yourself ..far away from a printed photo,  drawing or painting and sculpture who embodied  something from the people who created them via yours and  their own personality, reverberating an intimate proximity with you.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, click to enlarge,

Now, the whole Mahmoud al-Mabhouh affair is almost an Hollywood espionage thriller, where the acting role  of the digital cameras monitoring the hotel entrance, the cameras monitoring the airport the customs, the town and  putting it shorty our entire living space are well worth an Oscar in the category of the best acting actor .

When I read about identity theft of innocent citizens from the UK, Ireland France and Germany I smile. Dubai  is monitoring her entire human traffic and is perpetuating a massive identity theft, copying passports visas and anything that can be stored digitally for any purpose legal or illegal. The UK, Ireland, France and Germany do the same..but ultimately it is a gigantic fake portrait inviting or forcing you to agree with.

This is far away from the meticulous investigations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson where the reality was dust, blood, stains and some lost handkerchief in a modest local neighborhood in contrast to the third millennium digital globalization.

So putting aside for a moment the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, lets admit that we live in  ‘A brave new world’….rewritten in terms of a global digital scanning machinery putting in danger any one of us now or in the future . If the Mossad did the assassination, he knows how to defend himself. We, the ordinary people.. ‘don’t know which way to go…’ .

As a footnote, way not, for us living in the digital era, here is the pixelization of Haifa Whebe and Lady Gaga,

done with the Photoshop threshold tool, reducing them to some binary form… 010001001111..being kept in some dusted mystery house basement.      Click to enlarge.

An Israeli Egyptian Movie Encounter


The 80th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2008 (today 3.00 AM Israel time 2/25/2008). Among the five films nominated to the Best Foreign Film is the Israeli film ”Beaufort’.see here.

  But as with the Middle East imbroglio, another Israeli film, The Band’s Visit [By Writer-director Kolirin] who actually  triumphed at the Israel film academy’s 2007 awards, I quote,.. “has reaped accolades at film festivals abroad  has been blocked from film festivals in the Arab world and become the focus of domestic dispute at home.”…” the film’s disqualification as Israel’s official candidate for an Oscar nomination in the category of best foreign-language film, on the grounds that too much of its dialogue is in English. According to the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to qualify for the category a foreign-language film must have a dialogue track that is predominantly in a language, or languages, other than English, meaning more than 50 percent.”…see here.
  And so here we are, with the technical ‘language disqualification’ that forced the Israeli film academy to submit its 2007 runner-up, Beaufort,” directed by Joseph Cedar and all in Hebrew, for best foreign-language film.
  The ‘Oscar’ fate of ” Beaufort’ will be decided today in a straightforward way by receiving the award or not. But the Middle East fate of the “The Bands Visit” is more subtle. In 2005 the Egyptian director Mr. Arafa, created the movie “Embassy Is in the Building”, a movie with many similarities matching the Israeli humorous movie.   The NYT headline was “No Joke: Egyptian Comedy Promotes Peace With Israel”, see here. The release of the “The Bands Visit” in September 2007   provoked similar headlines. In ‘The New york Sun the headline was ” ‘The Band’s Visit’: What Peace Is About”, (December 13, 2007). Both movies, in their own way, stages a foreground of possible friendship and love without to much political filters between the involved people.
The Bands Visit, Sasson Gabai
 The Israeli movie, “The Bands Visit”, I quote,..” Crisply executed, beautifully acted, charming, and brittle, “The Band’s Visit” is about an eight-man uniformed Egyptian police orchestra that lands in an Israeli desert town, where the locals greet the band members first with total indifference, then with growing warmth. Think of it as one of the funnier Coen brothers movies, just set in a Middle Eastern desert outpost instead of a quirky American town.”…
 The Egyptian movie, “The Embassy Is in the Building.”, Amr Arafa’s hilarious take on the elegant building on the Nile in Cairo that housed the Israeli Embassy for some 30 years, transforming the structure’s social geography and the wild lifestyle of one tenant who could not have cared less about politics until his womanizing became a threat.”…
 …”In both movies, peace boils down to people doing their best under the circumstances to find common denominators. Israelis and Egyptians are victims as well as heroes. In “The Band’s Visit,” as a critic for the NYT noted, “Love doesn’t exactly bloom in this desert, but a sense of inarticulates longing does.” Ditto for the film’s Egyptian counterpart.”… see here.
Adel Imam “The Embassy Is in the Building
   But again, to spoil the whole situation, Egypt banned the “The Bands Visit” from The 31st Cairo International Film Festival  (Nov 27, 2007) I quote ..”A total of 153 films from 100 countries will have been shown by the time the festival closes on December 7, with the notable exception of the Israeli production “The Band’s Visit” which has been boycotted by the organisers.”…see more.
  And here another quote on what is going on  behind closed doors ..”The renowned, award-wining Israeli film ‘The Band’s Visit’, which has garnered critical acclaim in film festivals around the world, is stirring up interest among Egyptian intellectuals as well, even though it has been officially banned in the country.”…” Behind closed doors, however, Egyptians are quietly circulating bootleg copies of the “forbidden” film, though no one would actually admit to having seeing it. Not three months ago, the film was turned away by the Egyptian Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, following threats by the Egyptian Actors'”..”The Egypt Today article goes on to state “if this sounds like a high quality movie to you, there is not doubt that this is indeed the case judging by the numerous international awards that the film had won.” The magazine also notes that ‘The Band’s Visit’ director, Eran Kolirin, is a big fan of Egyptian cinema. That being said, the magazine informed readers that the banned film will not be showing in Egypt anytime soon.”.. see here
  Well what can I say? “The Embassy Is in the Building” and “The Bands Visit”, two excellent movies. Egypt and Israel with a Peace Treaty between them. Two good leading actors, the Egyptian  Adel Imam and Sasson Gabai the Israeli and their co-actors. An audience of people on both sides… An Israeli  Egyptian encounter between individuals ? Perhaps in the future.
The embassy Is in the Building
More photos From the Egyptian movie “The Embassy Is in the Building”.
“The Embassy Is in the Building”
The Embassy Is in the Building”
The Embassy Is in the Building”

From the Egyptian movie, “The Embassy Is in the Building”. Dubai International Film Festival
More Photos from the Israeli movie ”The Bands Visit”.
From the Israeli movie, ”The Bands Visit”.
Sasson Gabai as Tewfiq Ronit Elkabetz as Dina and Saleh Bakri as Haled
Ronit Elkabetz as Dina and Sasson Gabai as Tewfiq 3jjj
Saleh Bakri as Haled Shlomi Avraham as Papi and Rinat Matatov as Yulakkk
I published this story on NowPublic and  here are the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.


good stuff:korzac, I like this story. It’s good stuff.

polishd, thanks for the flag.


Am I missing something in this article… coz as far as the Egyptian movie is concerned, “There is no promotion for PEACE, at all”. “The Embassy is in the Building” is quite provocative actually; and by no means promote for friendship among citizens of Israel and Egypt. I haven’t seen the Israeli movie, yet. But, speaking of the Egyptian movie – although I personally disagree with its principles – I’d say that whoever wrote this article either haven’t seen the Egyptian movie, or haven’t gotten its message!!



 sara_alnashar,   you are absolutely right I didn’t seen the movie “The Embassy Is in the Building”, so I couldn’t possibly get his message. Instead I quote Michael Slackman  who wrote in The New York Times from 2005 an article whose headline was “No Joke: Egyptian Comedy Promotes Peace With Israel “, see here. I suppose he did seen the movie and the headline resume his impressions about the movie.  And from the same article here is another quote..” ‘I loved the movie,” said Reem Abdel Nasser, 19, as she left the theater last week.’ It deals with all the problems and issues we are concerned and confused about. And he presents a diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Arab problem which I agree with. We have to live with them. We do not have to be friends, but we do not have to be enemies. We should just live together.”..
If that promote peace or not, I sincerely don’t know.
I wish you the best and thanks for the comment.