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· May, 2012

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from May, 2012

Syria: Curating @TweetWeekSyria

  31 May 2012

Have you heard about Rotation Curation? It is the process of rotating the spokesperson on a social media account. It was originated in December 2011, when a project called Curators of Sweden was launched, handing the official Twitter account @Sweden to a new Swedish person every week. Now this initiative has...

Iran: LGBT, an online reality?

  30 May 2012

“LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online reality?” a new study published by “Small Media”,a London based non profit organization, shows how Iranian's LGBT communities use internet in their daily lives.

Iran: Top figure hails Facebook

  30 May 2012

Iranian former president and now head of The Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who is close to reformists says: ‘Today we see that a simple free page on Facebook is effective more than a set of TV and radio stations… And this is good for the world even if some...

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Syria: Ambassadors Expelled in Protest at Houla Massacre

  29 May 2012

The brutal massacre committed in the district of Houla has prompted a wave of horrified reactions around the world. A number of governments have taken the decision to expel Syrian ambassadors and diplomats in protest at the escalation of violence.

Iran: ‘Cultural programs’ in social networks

  29 May 2012

Iran's Revolutionary Guardians'would hold cultural programs in Facebook and Twitter’, an official in IRGC says. This two major social networks are blocked in Iran and users can check them only with circumvention tools. Iranian authorities blame such websites for ‘promoting regime change’ in this country.

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Qatar: Deadly Blaze in Shopping Mall

  29 May 2012

On May 28 a fire broke out at Doha's Villaggio Mall, leaving 19 dead, 13 of whom were children. The children were trapped in a nursery within the mall, and they and four teachers died of smoke inhalation. Two firefighters died as they attempted to rescue them.

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Syria: Houla Massacre Creates International Outcry

  28 May 2012

On May 25, anti-government protestors in Houla, northwest of Homs, took to the streets at midday, little expecting that their demonstration would be eventually answered by a massacre of unprecedented savagery. At least 116 people were killed by pro-government forces.

UAE: Some Savoury Questions

  28 May 2012

Krista, from the collective blog Muslimah Media Watch, shares her family's passion for “ridiculous and tacky” salt and pepper shakers. Their latest acquisition, a gift bought in Dubai, has raised a lot of questions in Krista's mind.

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Palestine: Remembering the Nakba

  28 May 2012

May 15 is Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate the displacement and dispossession that took place at the time of Israel's establishment in 1948. In this post we look at how the day was marked by Palestinians on blogs and Twitter this year.

Video: Media Portrayals of Cities in the Global South

  28 May 2012

How do international media represent cities in South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East? Is it fair or helpful to development? A symposium of scholars from the London School of Economics in London, United Kingdom explore this topic. See video.

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Egypt: The Resurrection of Ahmed Shafiq

  27 May 2012

The initial results of the first stage of the Egyptian presidential election indicate that Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq will take part in the runoff vote. There has been widespread shock at the reemergence of Shafiq, one of the “feloul”, or “remnants” of Mubarak's regime.

Syria: UN Report Shows Powerlessness of Observer Mission

  26 May 2012

As the situation in Syria worsens, and more terrifying reports arrive from the Homs district of Houla, Foreign Policy-hosted blog Turtle Bay summarizes a report [PDF] from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the UN observer mission. This “gloomy” account clearly shows that measures recommended by Kofi Annan have not been...

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Egypt: No, the Revolution is Not Over

  26 May 2012

On May 23 and 24, the eyes of the whole world were once again on Egypt as the country held its first presidential election after the huge popular uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak a year and a half ago.

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Tunisia: First Local Open Data Website Launched

  26 May 2012

Local open governance activists in Tunisia have launched the first open data website showing the municipal budget [ar, fr] of the city of Sayada for the current fiscal year. The Tunisian open governance community [ar, fr] has had some success in increasing the government's transparency; they have already convinced the...

Saudi Arabia: Censorship of Wikipedia

  25 May 2012

Saudi Arabia, one of Reporters Without Borders’ Internet Enemies, has blocked access to many articles on the free encyclopedia Wikipedia. The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission has censored over 130 articles in Arabic and English, including articles relating to sex and sexuality, the human body, and the theory of...

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Iran: “Let's Save Lake Urmia With Our Tears”

  23 May 2012

Protesters fighting to save Lake Urmia in Iran from permanent environmental damage have not given up. In protests across the Azerbaijan region of Iran, they called on government to protect one of the world's largest salt water lakes.

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Qatar: Shopping and Phones Permitted!

  23 May 2012

Netizens in Qatar have responded indignantly to an article published on the Sydney Morning Herald website, which claimed that Qatari women were not allowed to go shopping, and did not have easy access to technology.

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Egypt: First Free Presidential Election Underway

  23 May 2012

Egyptians are voting in the country's first free presidential election. While large queues have formed at some polling stations, the turnout seems to be lower than for the parliamentary elections in November 2011. This may reflect a disillusionment with the candidates felt by many.

Iran: Cyber Hezbollah Meeting

  23 May 2012

Farsnews reported “Cyber Hezbollah’ will hold its eighth meeting in Tehran on Wendesday.One of main points of discussion is Shahin Najafi‘s “insults regarding one Shi'ite Saint.”

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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