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· January, 2015

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2015

30 January 2015

Kurds of Kobane Declare Victory Over ISIS

After 133 days of bloody war against ISIS, the Revolutionary Kurds of Kobane have finally declared victory.

Iranian Women's Rights Advocate Mahdieh Golroo Released From Jail

Last October, a wave of acid attacks against women created a public uproar in Iran. When police failed to respond, protests and online campaigns against government inaction swept the nation.

25 January 2015

Yemen, a Country Without a President and Government

Yemen, often described as a “failed state”, has become a country without a president and a government. Even Yemenis living inside the country are perplexed by the latest dramatic developments.

23 January 2015

World Leaders’ Paris March Participation Provokes Wave of Criticism

Internet users responding to images of world leaders at the Paris march against terrorism earlier this month displayed what might be called a "consensus of mockery."

Israel's Arab Sector on Strike Over Alleged Police Brutality

The "unintentional" deaths of two men from the Bedouin city of Rahat has brought to the fore tensions over "the conduct of the police in confronting Arab citizens."

Saudi King Abdulla Dies at the Age of 90; Succeeded by Salman, 79

After weeks of speculation, Saudi Arabia today [January 23, 2015] announced the death of King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz, 90. He is now succeeded by his other brother Salman, 79.

The Secret Language of Turkey's LGBT Community

In Turkey, the LGBT community and others keep have created a secret language, or argot, called Lubunca to keep out prying ears.

22 January 2015

WhatsApp, Line and Tango in Jeopardy in Iran, As President and Judiciary Clash

Global Voices Advocacy

Culture Minister Ali Jannati refused to say if the government would implement the ban on three messaging services. They currently remain accessible to Iranians.

19 January 2015

Eight Years After His Death, Turkish-Armenian Hrant Dink Still Cannot Rest in Peace

Eight years ago today ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered by a nationalist teenager in broad daylight. The rest of the story remains untold.

15 January 2015

Outspoken ‘Israeli Zionist Arab Muslim’ Teen Emerges from Hiding in the US

"I had to leave Israel...for trying to show the world the real face of regular Arabs and Muslims who're simply sick of their leaders' corruption and unlimited hate..."

14 January 2015

Saudi Arabia to Erect a 600 Mile “Great Wall” to Fend off ISIS

Last week, two Saudi guards and a general were killed when ISIS suicide bombers attacked the Suweif border post, 80km from Al Nukhayb, Iraq.

Is Syria Ready for TEDx Damascus With Its Free Thinkers Dead, in Jail or Exile?

Innovation can hardly flourish while innovators like Bassel Safadi remained imprisoned, and when the majority of Syrian free thinkers have been killed, detained or forced to leave the country.

13 January 2015

The Original Santa Claus is Under Threat from the Turkish Construction Industry. So is Much of Turkey's Unique Heritage

The Bridge

Turkey's construction-crazed government is talking up the country's rich cultural heritage in an effort to reap tourist dollars. But Ankara is better at promoting historical legacies than preserving them.

12 January 2015

This Is No Joke: New Fatwa Prohibits Building Snowmen in Saudi Arabia

Back in 2008, clergyman Mohammed Minijed called for killing all rodents, including Mickey Mouse, during a television interview. Today, he strikes again with a fatwa prohibiting snowmen.

11 January 2015

They Are Not Charlie: They Torture, Jail and Kill Journalists in Their Own Countries

The presence of world leaders at the forefront of the Paris rally drew much criticism online, especially since some of those leaders were among the world's worst free speech offenders.

10 January 2015

The Spirit of Henri Young: A Bahraini Prisoner Tries To Take His Own Life

The Bridge

Bahraini Ali Altaweel, 25, has been in solitary confinement for over three years. He attempted suicide twice: once by cutting his veins, and more recently by trying to hang himself.

Dance Lessons Over Skype Connect Baghdad and New York City

Dance instructor Sean Scantlebury and his student Aadel Qies live on different continents, but that hasn't stopped them from holding dance classes and feeding Qies' passion for dance.

9 January 2015

Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi Flogged for His Liberal Ideas

Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi was publicly flogged today in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of founding an online forum for public debate and for "insulting Islam."

Asian Cup 2015 Opener: Australia 4, Kuwait 1 After Poor Start by Hosts

Australia has won the opening game of the Asian Cup 2015 at Melbourne's rectangular stadium 4-1 against Kuwait.

Tripoli's Torched Library Finally Re-Opens in Lebanon

Kafana Samtan announced the project was successfully funded thanks to 306 people who donated anywhere from $5 to $100. The $35,000 required to rebuilt the library was raised.

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