Stories about Middle East & North Africa from July, 2012
Iran: Pro-Ahmadinejad Blogger Jailed
"What a world and judiciary we have, Ahmad was arrested just for writing and supporting his country's president" - Ahmad Shariat is behind bars. Other pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers have also been hounded by Tehran prosecutor’s office for criticizing associates of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Tunisia: The Plight of Palestinians in Iraq
Tunisian blogger Nawel Abdullah posts an interview [ar] she conducted with the founder of The Australian Society for the Palestinian-Iraqi Refugee Emergency Yousef Alreemawi, who speaks to her about the plight of Palestinian refugees living in Iraq and efforts to resettle some of them in Australia.
Lebanon: ‘AlloFail’ Campaign Lobbies for Better Mobile Services
AlloFail is an initiative to improve the quality of mobile products and services in Lebanon which according to many, leaves much to be desired. See how a group of netizens are using social media to create awareness about the problems and usher change in this sector.
Guinea: The Plight of Guineans Students in Syria
Kante Taliby writes on Guinée News about the plight of Guinean students in Syria [fr] : “I am a Guinean student on scholarship in Syria and I am married with one child. My wife, my child and I have not had a proper meal for almost a week now, and...
Iran: Police is censoring ‘in affiliation with Facebook’
Commander in chief of Iran cyber police insists that the authorities would prosecute those who ‘promote immorality and prostitution’ in social network websites. Kamal Hadianfar claims [fa] that Iranian police would ‘purify’ this social network ‘with collaboration of Facebook managers’. Major social networking services including Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran.
Mauritania: Diplomat Sets Himself Alight
A few minutes before Iftar, Hassan Ould Abba, a Mauritanian diplomat who used to work as an advisor at the Mauritanian Embassy in Kuwait, set himself alight in the district of Ksar, North of the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott. An ambulance rushed to rescue him, but he passed away upon arrival at hospital. Ahmed Ould Jedou summarizes online reactions.
Bahrain: ‘Boycott the Olympics’
Many Bahrainis are calling for the Olympics to be boycotted. First, a royal, who is allegedly personally involved in the torture of athletes, is attending the games. Second, most of the Bahraini squad is made up of African athletes.
Jordan: Thousands of Syrians Seek Refuge
The situation in Syria has led hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee the country to neighbouring Jordan. A Jordanian government source has said that officials are preparing for the possible arrival of up to one million Syrians.
London Olympics: Ambush Marketers Be Warned!
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has taken stringent measures to try to ensure no ‘ambush marketing’ tactics are used during the London 2012 Olympics. A common feature at modern major sporting events, ambush marketers try to sneak in promotions of their brands and companies in front of the crowd and, most importantly, the TV cameras. Sports law bloggers and marketers posted their opinions on ambush marketing and the London Olympics.
Saudi Arabia: Kingdom's First Female Olympic Athletes Called ‘Prostitutes’
For the first time, two women from conservative Saudi Arabia will be competing in the Olympics. Their involvement in London 2012 triggered the Twitter hashtag, "Prostitutes of the Olympics."
Saudi Arabia: Lone Protester Khaled Al Johani Temporarily Released
When the Day of Rage was called for in Saudi Arabia back in March 11, 2011, only a handful of protesters challenged the heavy police presence and protested. Khaled Al Johani was the only one caught on tape and was soon detained. Netizens react to Al Johani's release for 48 hours.
Morocco: Video Explores the Question of Racism
In Morocco, an ethnically diverse country and one that has seen a recent influx of sub-Saharan African migrants, racism is seldom discussed. A video [Ar] posted by Moroccan YouTube user ch3aldaw (Turn on the light) asks: Are Moroccans racists?
Saudi Arabia: The “Faceless” Experiment
Rana Jarbou is a Saudi blogger who has decided to carry out an experiment. For a week she is wearing the niqab or face veil, to see how she feels, and to see if she is treated differently.
Egypt: Egyptian Woman faces Sexual Harassment, in Washington DC
Nancy M is an Egyptian woman who moved from Cairo to Washington DC last month, thinking she has left sexual harassment behind her.”I was still a woman, walking the streets of a city by myself, always open to the possibility that there was a man out there who felt entitled...
Syria: Weapons and Combat Tutorials Online
Syrian rebels turn to a YouTube channel called 'Free Syrian Army Help' for training. The channel has 80 videos explaining tactics like hand-to-hand combat, how-to-make flame-throwers, and ambushing an enemy.
Syria: Refuge in Armenia
With the situation in Syria deteriorating rapidly, Cilicia comments on the plight of the country's 100,000 strong ethnic Armenian population. The blog says that many are already applying for Armenian citizenship, but more could be done to offer them refuge in Armenia.
Mauritania: Outrage Over the Murder of a Worker
In the early hours of Sunday [July, 15], Guard Forces (police) in Mauritania attacked a group of workers on strike, at the headquarters of the Mauritanian Copper Company [MCM], where they work. The attack led to the death of a worker for the first time since the sixties of the last century. The case sparked the interest of Mauritanian activists. Mohamed Abdou summarizes their online reactions.
Bahrain: Elderly Men Arrested for “Protecting Women” from Police
The elderly are not immune to arrest for taking part in "unlicensed" protests in Bahrain, where demonstrations should be sanctioned by the state. According to netizens, two elderly men were arrested for "protecting women from the police" in the village of Karzakan.
Morocco: Mc Donald's Won't Serve Muslim Adults During Ramadan
An image of a sign in a Mc Donald's restaurant in Casablanca has been circulating among Moroccan netizens today. The sign reads, “Notice to our customers. During Ramadan, only children and non-Muslims can be served in the restaurant. All other orders will be served strictly for carry-out.”
Palestine: Remembering Political Cartoonist Naji Al Ali
On the 25th anniversary of his assassination, we take a look back at the Palestinian political cartoonist Naji Al Ali, who was famous for criticising Arab autocratic regimes and Israel in his work.
Jordan: Orphans Sit-in Attacked
Jordanian blogger Ali Al Hasani blogs about the brutal crackdown on a protest by orphans in Amman, Jordan. “They were protesting their horrible living conditions and how the Jordanian government classifies them in a different social security number then the normal Jordanian citizens,” he writes.