Middle Eastern card-stacking championship placed on hold again

From The Duffel Blog.

DOHA, Qatar — The International Playing Card Stacking Federation announced that its first All Middle East competition will be postponed for the 99th time since it was first announced in 1915, sources confirmed Thursday.

“We sincerely regret postponing this long-awaited competition. Card stacking is an art of patience, precision, and achievement in the face of adversity, values which we believe have great meaning for the Middle East. However, given the current regional situation, we do not believe this an appropriate time for the competition,” said spokesman and international champion card stacker Bryan Berg.

The delay, caused primarily by the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the ongoing Syrian civil war, and intensified Israel-Palestine conflict, is just the latest in an almost century-long string of delays and postponements since the competition was first proposed by British officer and card-stacking hobbyist Sir Arnold Wilson in 1915.

Previous delays have been caused by a variety of unexpected problems that made it impractical to stage the contest, including the Egyptian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution, the Iraqi Revolution, the Dhofar Rebellion, the Adwan Rebellion, the Ararat Rebellion, the Dersim Rebellion, World Wars 1 and 2, the Arab-Israeli Wars, the Iran-Iraq War, the Anglo-Iraqi War, the Franco-Syrian War, the Saudi-Yemeni War, the Lebanese Civil War, the Syrian Civil War, the Yemeni Civil Wars, the Suez Crisis, the Siege of Mecca, several intifadas, Operation Ajax, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the assassination of King Abdullah I of Jordan, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the assassinations of numerous Iraqi and Iranian prime ministers, the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide, several genocides targeting the Kurds and Yazidis, the Semele Massacre, the Hama Massacre, the Mecca Massacre, the bombing of the King David Hotel, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, a combined total of over 14 coups d’etat, and inclement weather, among other causes.

The delay is especially disappointing as organizers had held out hope as late as yesterday that an appropriately stable venue had been located in Dubai. However, the United Arab Emirates ultimately declined to host the competition, concerned that an additional several dozen tourists staying for a weeklong competition would tax their fresh water production capabilities to the breaking point.

Despite the postponement of the competition, the group’s robust teaching and mentoring of youth throughout the region will continue unaffected.

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