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Stories from and

Who Benefits from Trafficking Women from Madagascar to the Middle East?

Aaron Ross reports on his investigation in the heart of the ongoing human trafficking of young women from Madagascar to Middle Eastern countries:

For some enterprising businessmen, the collapse heralded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So-called placement agencies sprang up in Antananarivo and other cities across Madagascar, promising the good life in Middle Eastern “Eldorados,” where monthly salaries usually ran around $200. The agencies would pocket upward of $2,000 for each successful transaction [..] As Madagascar’s economy spiraled downward, the number of migrants grew anyway. Some headed clandestinely to Lebanon with the collusion of government officials. Of late, however, the most popular destinations have been Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Ross also details the consequences from of economic sanctions of the coup in his report. The topic was also discussed by national observers here.

A Platform for Middle East's Indie Musicians

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes' Indigeo campaign video.

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes’ Indiego campaign video.


Kim Kardashian Does Kuwait and Bahrain

Kim Kardashian completed a visit to Kuwait and is now visiting Bahrain. Here's Brian Whitaker's take on her visit.

Why is the GCC Quiet about Gaza?

“Gulf countries awfully quiet about Gaza,” tweets Foreign Policy editor Blake Hounshell. Lebanese journalist Antoun Issa adds:

@antissa: Amazing how eager GCC are to arm Arabs to fight each other, while disappearing completely when it comes to Palestine. #Gaza

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is made up of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Kuwait: Facebook Contest to Promote Child Safety

A mall in Kuwait is holding a Facebook contest to promote child safety in cars. Mark blogs about the initiative here.

Kuwait: Unconstitutionally Elected Parliament

Kuwaiti blogger Mona Kareem discusses the latest political developments after the Constitutional Court ruled the parliament was elected unconstitutionally. “So is the court acting political? This can only be fully read in relevance to the steps that will be taken by authorities in the coming days. If authorities re-dissolve and call for elections, then we need to observe what games the government would like to play next, if any,” she writes.

Kuwait: Christmas in Kuwait

Mark, from Kuwait, lists the places which have put up Christmas decorations in the Arab Sheikhdom. Tune into the comments for reactions.

Kuwait: Stop Internet Limits

Social Slave from Kuwait discusses limits on internet users in the country and what is being done about it in this post.

Kuwait: Blogger Wins a Lawsuit

Congrats are pouring in after Kuwait-based blogger Lebanese Mark won a lawsuit. He was sued by a restaurant for a review he posted in his blog.

Kuwait: Should the Kuwaiti Amir Join Twitter?

On Twitter, @kuwaiti (Ar) asks the Kuwaiti Ruler to join Twitter “to get closer to his people and understand their opinions.”

Arabic Hashtag Trending Worldwide on Twitter

Arabic hash tags finally trending worldwide  on Twitter

Arabic hashtags finally trending worldwide on Twitter

Kuwaiti Hamad Al Sabah tweets:

@hmalsabah: Twitter is finally allowing Arabic hashtags to trend worldwide #كلام_مصري_مترجم

Netizens are using the hashtag, which translates to Egyptian Talk Translated, to translate Egyptian expressions and idioms.

MENA: Acclaimed Authors’ Favorites of 2012

M. Lynx Qualey, blogger, who is interested in Arab and Arabic literature, wrote a series of posts introducing acclaimed Arab poets, novelists, and short-story writers’ favorite Arab reads of 2012. She started with a list of nonfiction books, then followed by a list for poetry [En] and fiction [En].

Kuwait: Who is Dumping Garbage Outside My Home?

Empty plot of land turned into garbage dumpster

Empty plot of land turned into garbage dumpster

Mark from Kuwait complains about an empty plot of land behind his home is being turned into a garbage dump. (more…)

Kuwait: “Demonstration will be met with Force”

Anti-government protests are planned in Kuwait tomorrow. Ahmad Al Kandare tweets [ar]:

@AhmadAlkandare: Kuwaiti foreign minister: “We call upon the Syrian regime not to oppress and prevent peaceful demonstrations.” The Government of Kuwait: “Tomorrow's demonstration is prohibited and will be faced with force.”

Kuwait: Factory Fire

Blogger Mathai from Kuwait writes about a summer fires he saw in an industrial area. He shares a photograph.

Kuwait: The Stateless Find A Voice Online

Writing on openDemocracy, Bidoun activist and Global Voices author Mona Kareem, profiled here, says that social media is providing the stateless with a voice online.

Kuwait: Fined for Bad Breath

From Kuwait, Mark shares a news item about an Arab motorist who was fined by a policeman for “having bad breath.”
“If they’re issuing tickets for bad breath then my previous joke about how sunglasses should be banned might actually happen,” he blogs.

Kuwait: What happens when we mix a rainbow with a garbage ?

Shams Ali, from Kuwait, publishes on her blog An image and a thought [ar], images of artwork pieces that look like rainbows, but are made from …..garbage.

Kuwait: MPs Expose More Police Torture

Desert Girl on Kuwait
draws our attention to police torture in this post. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Imagine being a mother and reading about how this happened to your child? In their own country,” she writes.

Kuwait: Football Talent Abdulla Al Moussawi's Dreams Cut Short

From Kuwait, Mark shares the story of Abdullah Al Moussawi, a talented nine-year-old football player whose chances at stardom were cut short. Find out why.

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