Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2009
Palestine: “They used our clothes as a toilet”
Bloggers in Gaza are gathering information about what happened during the recent Israeli attacks. In this update, we hear from families whose homes were looted and left covered with faeces by Israeli soldiers, learn what the effects of DIME weapons are, and are told the story of a father whose baby daughter was shot, his wife breastfeeding the girl as she bled to death.
Iran: Watch “Rick Steves’ Iran”
Watch Rick Steves’ Iran film here.
Iran: Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
In Hanif Doorbin you can see a photo of Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran.
Iran: Bloggers mobilize for animal rights
A number of bloggers are supporting an initiative by Iran-based blogger Mino Saberi, to defend the rights of dogs, birds, cats, and other creatures of the Earth. The mistreatment of animals is common in Iran, and bloggers are asking national television to stand up for their rights.
Egypt: Hijacked ship will be blown up
A few weeks after confirming the hijacking of an Egyptian ship by pirates of Somalia, Zeinobia reminds us again with the current status. On one hand, according to the crew's families, negotiations have stopped regarding the ransom because the pirates refuse to lower it and because the owners of the...
MENA: Reflections on Obama's Al Arabiya Interview
It came as a surprise to many people that US President Barack Obama gave his first formal interview as president to an Arab television channel. Some were optimistic with Obama's replies, while others were disappointed. Yet, almost everybody was more concerned about the decision to have the interview conducted for Al Arabiya.
Jordan: The BBC and Gaza
“The BBC says the risk of compromising confidence in its fairness, coupled with ‘question marks’ about aid getting through, had led to its decision not to broadcast the Gaza appeal. Because of this decision Sky and ITV are not allowed to make the appeal either,” reports Ali Dahmash, from Jordan.
UAE: Snow in Ras Al Khaymah
“Who would have ever thought that something like this could happen in the UAE? I sure hope it survives till the weekend so I could go and take photos,” says Jar of Juice, from the UAE, after newspaper reports wrote about snowfall in nearby Ras Al Khaymah.
Egypt: What Next After Guantanamo Bay?
“Honestly, what do you put on your resume after spending a couple of years working as a Guantanamo Bay interrogator? And where do you apply for work?” asks Egyptian Sandmonkey, now that US President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay in a year.
Jordan: 7iber wins award
“Last night was a milestone for 7iber as it received an honorary award at the third annual, 2008 Jordan Web Awards in Amman,” announces Jordanian site 7iber.
Egypt: “Kleenex” Literature at the Cairo International Bookfair
With more than 15 new titles, Egyptian bloggers took the 2009 Cairo International Book Fair by storm. Conventional writers label bloggers' literature as “Kleenex” Literature. Marwa Rakha reviews reactions from the Egyptian blogosphere in this article.
Erin Brockovich wanted in Egypt
Egyptian Blogger sued for slander and looses. Zeinobia wrote about Tamer Mabrouk who blogs from Port Said and who published a report supported by photography showing how “Trust Chemical Industries” Company was polluting the Lake Manzala with its chemical wastes from their factory. Author of “El Hakika” blog has to pay L.E 2500 as a fine and L.E 40,000 compensation for the company !!
Iran: Political prisoners under more pressure
Ghomar Asheganeh, an Iran based blogger says [fa] that “Iranian political prisoners have been under more pressure recently.They are forced to follow some religious activities such as prayer in order to meet and contact their family members”.
Israel: Where is Mahmoud al-Zahar?
Senior Hamas official Mahmood el-Zahar is no where to be seen. Gilad Lotan tunes into to the whispers making rounds on the blogs about his possible whereabouts.
Bahrain: Bloggers united against decision to block websites
Bloggers in Bahrain are fuming at a decision by the country's Minister of Information to block access to scores of websites, as well as prevent access to proxy sites which enable surfers to get to sites in a round about manner. Ayesha Saldanha reviews reactions from Bahrain.
Arab World: “We Stopped Saying Israel…”
A message on Twitter calling upon Arabs to stop saying Israel has snowballed into a movement across the Arab world, in this latest twist of the ongoing online war following the Israeli bombing of Gaza. Anas Qtiesh reports from the front lines.
Egyptians are Going Local
Inji, an avid Egyptian blogger and young economist who is distraught by the numerous emails and SMS messages calling for boycotting products, decided to “boycott the boycott” and take it to a positive extent. Nermeen Edrees brings us the story.
Iran:The first mixed football game draws punishment
The first mixed football (soccer) game — females vs. male teenagers — since the 1979 Islamic revolution led to punishment, as an Iranian football club said it had suspended three officials involved. Coralit,an Iranian blogger, says [fa] that some people filmed the match by their mobiles and these films were...
Iran: A conservative site was filtered
Fardanews, a conservative site that criticized Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and conservative Keyhan newspaper over Gaza was filterd. This site was close to Tehran's mayor,Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.
Morocco: Skiing in Morocco
Peace Corps volunteer Liz writes about the experience of skiing in Morocco.
Middle East, Balkans: Comparing the Conflicts
Marko Attila Hoare and Jasmin Ademovic discuss at Greater Surbiton whether “Israel today [is] like Serbia in the 1990s.”