Stories about Middle East & North Africa from March, 2010
Lebanon: The Adventures of Salwa
Liliane comments on The Adventures of Salwa a new comic-style campaign aimed at combating sexual harassment in Lebanon.
Sweden: Parliament Recognizes the Assyrian Genocide
The Swedish Parliament has recognized as genocide the massacres that took place within the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1920 against the Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek population - an episode that is also referred to as "Seyfo" by the Assyrian Diaspora. Bloggers react to this development in this post.
Arab World: Earth Hour Marked Across the Region
Earth Hour is an annual event celebrated on the last Saturday in March. Awareness of Earth Hour has been spreading throughout the world since its inception in Australia in 2007. In this post, Katharine Ganly takes a look at some of the initiatives celebrating Earth Hour in the Arab World.
Palestine: Anger At Opening Of Hurva Synagogue
Last week the rebuilt Hurva, or Ruin, Synagogue was opened in the old city of Jerusalem, amidst a wave of protests by Palestinians. The opening has been denounced by a number of Palestinian leaders as being part of a project to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is only 700 metres away. Mays Dagher reports on what Palestinian blogs are saying.
USA: In Census, Only Some Races Count
Census forms are being delivered to all U.S. households this month, but some citizens complain that the question on race does not offer enough answers to give an accurate picture of their ethnicity.
Morocco: A Photo Competition
The View From Fez announces a readers’ photography competition, in anticipation of the blog's fifth anniversary next October. Photographs should be taken in Morocco and can be submitted by email.
Iran: New wave of blogger arrests
Another wave of blogger arrests has been reported in Iran but the details are murky. The leader of an anti-censorship group named Iran Proxy, and the founder of blog hosting service Persian Blog have both been arrested.
Iran: Iranians marked holiday under surveillance
Iranians marked, Charshanbeh Soori, a holiday that leads up to the Persian new year under the watchful eyes of riot police Tuesday night, after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the Islamic Republic's leader discouraged celebrations.
UAE: Skin Whitening Cream
Arabmania questions the popularity for skin whitening creams in the Arab world, and gets lots of comments here.
Dubai: Iranian Blogger Omid Reza Mirsayafi Remembered
About 40 young people from all four corners of the world came together in a cafe in Dubai and remembered the first anniversary of the death of Iranian Omid Reza Mirsayafi, the first blogger to die in prison. The meeting also reflected on the March 18 Movement, OR318, via art.
Morocco: Tramway Line Reopens in Rabat
Mounir Bensaleh, who blogs on Des maux à dire [Fr], publishes pictures of the reopening of the Tramway line [Fr] in the Moroccan capital Rabat, which was abandoned 60 years ago.
Azerbaijan: Reflections on Novruz
This weekend marked the official start of Novruz, the Zoroastrian holiday marking the beginning of spring. Bloggers comment on the festival.
Lebanon: Runaway Maids
“When a maid runs away from her employer's house, the police station is unable to act because there's no law criminalizing runaway maids. So the police station officer tells the Lebanese employee to say that she stole money,” writes Ethiopian Suicides.
Lebanon: Billboards for Mothers’ Day
Beirut Drive-by Shooting posts photos of the Billboards planted along the Lebanese roads. One billboard about Mothers’ Day states: “because she gave you the gift of life” and the blogger comments: “…and you gave her backache, stretchmarks, swollen feet, indigestion, morning sickness, exhaustion, constipation, weight gain, bloating, dry skin, hair...
Lebanon: Baysour's Oasis Hoax
BabaGannouj et La Zaytouni has images of Plitvice National Park in Croatia which are returned by Google Image search whenever one is searching for the village of Baysour in Lebanon. “Even sites such as Souwar.com incorrectly show pictures of the Croatian Park and label them Baysour, Lebanon.” BetLZ tries to...
Lebanon: World's Richest Man Dropped By
A collaboration between Qifa Nabki and Maya Zankoul resulted in a comic strip about the visit of the world's richest man, the Mexican of Lebanese origin, Carlos Slim Helou, and who was “fêted in the Lebanese press for demonstrating the inherent superiority of Phoenician DNA in producing successful traders.”
Lebanon: Special Photographs
Shezshe goes around Beirut and other places in Lebanon spotting and photographing special people with special things and/or unique outfits.
Lebanon: Environmental Awarness
Emir Bachir discusses Lebanon’s environment which he believes is in free fall and posts a list of priorities that need urgent attention.
Lebanon: Shankaboot, first Arabic webdrama
A topic of several blog posts in the Lebanese blogosphere is Shankaboot. “Shankaboot– the world’s first Arabic webdrama – takes us into the beating heart of modern Beirut street life through the eyes of Suleiman, our 15 year old, happy-go-lucky delivery boy.” Enjoy.
Iran: Obama's Norouz message
President Obama sends a message to those celebrating the Persian holiday of Nowruz (Norouz), and in particular to the people and government of Iran. Here is the message in You Tube with Persian subtitles.
Iran: Raising money for Iranian journalist refugees
Balatarin web community is raising money for Iranian journalist refugees. The goal is to raise 15000 dollars.