· March, 2010

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from March, 2010

Sweden: Parliament Recognizes the Assyrian Genocide

  30 March 2010

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

  30 March 2010

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

  24 March 2010

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

  23 March 2010

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

  22 March 2010

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

  22 March 2010

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

  22 March 2010

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.

Dubai: Iranian Blogger Omid Reza Mirsayafi Remembered

  21 March 2010

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

  21 March 2010

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.

Lebanon: Runaway Maids

  21 March 2010

“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

  21 March 2010

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

  21 March 2010

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

  21 March 2010

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

  21 March 2010

Shezshe goes around Beirut and other places in Lebanon spotting and photographing special people with special things and/or unique outfits.

Lebanon: Environmental Awarness

  21 March 2010

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

  21 March 2010

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

  20 March 2010

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.

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