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· July, 2011

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from July, 2011

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Kuwait: Bidun fly “Freedom Balloons”

  29 July 2011

A month ago, the stateless community of Kuwait started a 3 day-long campaign of “flipping your twitter avatar” to catch the media's attention and highlight their cause for the world. This Friday, they've made another campaign to set balloons in the air, calling them “freedom balloons". Mona Kareem shares the story.

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Lebanon: Musician Arrested for Mocking President in Song

  28 July 2011

Lebanese musician Zeid Hamdan was detained briefly this week for allegedly defaming President Michel Suleiman in a song he released in 2010. Lebanese newspaper Assafir has since reported the Hamdan has been released, but not before a Twitter and blogger storm publicised the news of his initial arrest. Lebanon's online...

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Lebanon: Maritime Dispute with Israel Escalates

  28 July 2011

Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has exclaimed that God had given Lebanon an opportunity to rid itself of a crippling debt, and become a "rich country" by providing it lucrative offshore oil and gas reserves. However, the reserves potentially lie in a disputed maritime border zone with Israel.

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Iran: Campaign to Free Last Two Jailed American Hikers

  26 July 2011

Sarah Shourd spent 410 days in solitary confinement in Tehran, Iran, on charges of "espionage". She now calls on the world to speak up for her two friends, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who are still in prison in Iran since all three were arrested while hiking in July 2009.

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Tunisia: Time to Register for Elections

  25 July 2011

Registration for electoral lists in Tunisia started on July 11 and will be closed on August 2, but statistics have shown that Tunisians are reluctant to register on the lists. A group of Tunisian bloggers have launched an online campaign to urge people to register for the October elections.

Saudi Arabia Blocks Amnesty International's Website

  25 July 2011

Saudi Arabia has blocked access to the website of the human rights organisation Amnesty International following their leak of a draft for a new Saudi anti-terrorism law that would introduce harsher penalties for political dissent or critique of the royal family.

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Egypt: Clashes in Abbasseya

  24 July 2011

On July 23, Egyptian demonstrators marched from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defense demanding the stoppage of military trials for civilians, the trial of Mubarak and his former regime, and asking their military rulers to speed up reforms. The initially peaceful protest ended with violence.

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Saudi Arabia: The Marriage of #Tabukgirl

  24 July 2011

Mona Kareem brings us the tale of #Tabukgirl and how this controversial story about a young girl being forcibly wed to a 60-year old man has sparked a strong response on Saudi Arabian social networks.

Iran: Global Day of Action for Dr. Arash Alaei

  22 July 2011

Physicians for Human Rights launched a global action day and an oline petition to Dr. Arash Alaei who is in jail in Iran. Arash and his brother, Kamyar, two Aids physicians were arrested in 2008. Kamyar was released recently and moved to the USA.

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Iran: Rage Against Pre-Islamic Statues

  19 July 2011

It seems that even statues are not safe in Iran. Religious motives appear to be behind the recent theft and destruction of several bronze statues of Iranian national heroes from public places.

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Kuwait: Bloggers Fight Internet Companies

  18 July 2011

In the past two months, Kuwaiti bloggers have campaigned against Internet companies in Kuwait which are enforcing a policy of limited bandwidth, steeply raising prices in the past year by agreeing between each other on the same prices, and killing the competition in the Internet market. Mona Kareem expands on this protest.

Iran: Plight of seven detained netizens

  18 July 2011

Exactly one year after seven young netizens were arrested in a series of raids by intelligence ministry agents, Reporters Without Borders is reiterating the call for their release.

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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