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· April, 2009

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from April, 2009

Kuwait: Swine Flu Blues

  30 April 2009

While election related stories are dominating Kuwait's Arabic-language blogs, this week the Swine Flu seems to be the pet topic of the English-language blogosphere. Amer Al-Hilal has the story.

Morocco: Praising Al Jazeera

  30 April 2009

Cinema and Movies praises Al Jazeera for its excellent documentary on Ahmed el Marzouki, a former prisoner in Tazmamart, and the author of the memoir Tazmamart: Cellule 10.

Israel: Gay Couples to Wed at Pride Parade

  30 April 2009

The Israeli website Go Gay [Hebrew] is seeking a gay and a lesbian couple to wed during Tel Aviv's 11th annual Pride Parade on June 12th, 2009. Tel Aviv Fever reports that this will be the first public gay wedding in Israel, and perhaps the world.

Israel: Praying for War No More

  30 April 2009

Israeli blogger David Bogner of Treppenwitz reflects on the nation's Day of Remembrance. “Israel’s national anthem… is called ‘HaTikva’- literally, ‘The Hope’… The words speak about 2000 years of longing to live as a free nation in our homeland. As an Israeli, and as a father, I can’t promise… but...

Israel: Arab and Jew Represent Israel at Eurovision Contest

  30 April 2009

Israeli Arab Mira Awad and Israeli Jew Avinoam Nini will represent Israel in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest with “There Must Be Another Way,” sung in Hebrew and Arabic. Awad's performance will be the first time an Israeli Arab has represented Israel in the Eurovision contest. Daniel Lubetsky of the...

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Syria: Reactions to the Hariri Tribunal

  29 April 2009

The UN's Special Tribunal for Lebanon today ordered the release of all four suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on February 14th, 2005, in Beirut. Syria was largely blamed for the attack, and that caused the deterioration of its relations with the West, including the Bush Administration's recall of the American Ambassador to Damascus. Anas Qtiesh rounds up reactions from Syrian bloggers in this post.

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Egypt: Plans for Sexual Harassment Film Unveiled

  29 April 2009

After the success of Egypt's Anti-Harassment Day, Egyptian blogger Asser Yasser invited women to share their personal experiences with this issue. Women and young women will be filmed going about their everyday lives, registering the different forms of harassment they are subjected to. Marwa Rakha has the story.

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Bubisher: A Bus of Books for Children in Western Sahara

  29 April 2009

Do you want to go to the Sahara desert and read for children living in the refugee camps? Bubisher is a mobile library being driven across Western Sahara refugee camps. In those refugee schools, the bus shares with youngsters food for the soul and mind: books. Renata Avila highlights the initiative.

UAE: Torture video sends shock waves around the world

  29 April 2009

Last week, a grainy video from 2005 made headlines, shaking up viewers around the globe. The video, first shown on U.S.-based ABC News, showed Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan - brother of UAE's crown prince torturing an Afghan grain farmer, attacking him with a cattle prod then literally pouring salt on his wounds. Jillian C. York brings us reports from the blogosphere.

Egypt: “Egyptians are not Arabs”

  29 April 2009

Mathilda wrote her thoughts in a scientific research that believes Egyptians are not Arabs; it focused mainly on the Egyptians around Luxor, where old upper Egypt was located.

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Egypt's First Independent Union Formed

  29 April 2009

Egypt's real estate tax collectors have formed their first independent trade union since 1957. In addition to local recognition, the union has won international legitimacy after being accepted in the international body Public Services International. One blogger follows the developments from their start until the moment of triumph - with hundreds of photographs.

Armenia: Shooting the Messenger

  29 April 2009

Security, in the Caucasus and beyond…. comments on the tendency for nationalist voices in Armenia and the Diaspora to shoot down any proposals intended to promote peace and reconciliation with Turkey by discrediting them and preventing any open discussion or independent thought.

Egypt: Stigmatized by AIDS

  28 April 2009

A group of Egyptian bloggers and independent media personalities are putting their hands together in support of the “Openness” initiative, which aims at anti-stigmatizing AIDS patients, and calls for integrating them in the society instead of alienating them further by educating people on how to deal with them to avoid getting infected, reports Marwa Rakha.

Egypt: Wandering Internet Trolls

  28 April 2009

Wandering Scarab posted an interesting note on the four types of Internet trolls: “creatures that wander into forums and blogs, with malicious intent to generally interrupt online discussions by flinging their excrement everywhere, and inciting others into responding emotionally.”

Egypt: Interviewing a Baha'i Assailant

  28 April 2009

Egyptian blogger Ibn Rushd interviewed one of the Baha'i assailants. Marwa Rakha translates the interview, in which the assailant admits to his role in the burning of six homes belonging to Baha'i families in the village of Shoraneya, from Arabic.

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Morocco: AIDS, Money and Sex Toys

  28 April 2009

Morocco has a reputation of tolerance, and although this is mainly a young and fairly open society there are still instances of prejudices suffered by people infected with HIV/AIDS, and the stigma attached to the disease, writes Hisham, as his country marked a nationwide day of campaigning, information and screening on April 25.

Qatar: Video of Unpaid Workers Sparks Debate

  27 April 2009

The harsh realities facing migrant workers in Qatar was at the centre of a discussion on Qatar Living after an Al Jazeera English report highlighted their plight recently. The video zooms in on the lives of construction workers, whose livelihood was impacted by the economic crisis, some of whom haven't be paid for up to four months.

Palestine: Reading Anna in the Middle East

  27 April 2009

Palestinian-American Sarah, at Reflections of a Cultural Mutt, attends the book signing of Anna Baltzer, the author of Anna in the Middle East and shares her reflections: “It was such a powerful presentation, and so refreshing to hear someone non-Arab speak so passionately about the injustice and oppression of another...

Israel: No Swine Flu

  27 April 2009

Times Online religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill calls for help from Jewish readers on why the swine flu cannot be named after the non-kosher meat in Israel here.

About our Middle East & North Africa coverage

Dahlia Kholaif is the editor for the Middle East & North Africa. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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