Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2017
Algerian Blogger Merzoug Touati Could Face 25 Years in Jail for Interviewing an Israeli Official on YouTube
The interview focuses on Algerian government accusations that foreign powers stoked protests against austerity measures in the country. Blogger Merzoug Touati is charged with "exchanging intelligence with a foreign power."
More Than a Hundred Iranians, Many of Them Legal Residents, Face Challenges Entering the US
A crowdsourced database started by an Iranian MIT professor offers a snapshot of the impact of Trump's ban on Iranian nationals.
Protests, Deportations and Uncertainty: Iranians Ensnared by Trump's Immigration Ban
"My timeline is full of stories of people impacted by #Trump’s order. They are in shock & can’t believe it."
For Jordan's LGBT Community, the Law Books and Reality Send Different Messages
Same-sex relations were decriminalized in Jordan in 1951, but nearly 70 years later the country's LGBT citizens remain the targets of discrimination and mistreatment, with little protection from the law.
Passenger Says Anti-Arab Racism, Not ‘Fake Bomb Threat’ Led to Madrid-Berlin Flight's Cancellation
The eyewitness told Global Voices that a German-speaking passenger on the Iberia flight called a fellow Lebanese passenger, who was sending text messages in Arabic, a "terrorist."
The Tyrants Bring the Invaders: What Follows After Russia Helps Secure Assad's Victory
Russian’s bombing campaign in Syria has helped put an end to Aleppo’s civil democratic experiment, once a beacon of hope. What next?
Hardliners Pressuring Iran's President Rouhani to Ban Popular Telegram App, This Time for 2017 Election
“This (the internet) isn’t freedom. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Polluted anti-religious networks are functioning in this country because the organizations in charge are not doing their jobs.”
Worried About Its Future, This Former East German City Recruited Syrian Refugees
In Golzow, the population had shrunk so much that authorities were considering closing the village's only elementary school. That's when the town mayor invited Syrian refugee families to move in.
Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say
Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.
Netizen Report: Bahrain Orders News Outlet to Stop ‘Using Electronic Media Tools’
Israeli lawmakers give nod to ‘Facebook Bill’, Oman suspends free speech cases against Facebookers, and Kenyans fear an election day Internet shutdown.
What Eyewitnesses Say Happened When Israeli Police Tried to Demolish Umm el-Hiran, a Bedouin Arab Village
Eyewitnesses explain what happened in Umm el-Hiran on the morning of January 18, 2017 as Israeli authorities prepared to destroy a Bedouin village
Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary
On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".
Many Feared Dead After High-Rise Mall in Tehran Collapses Following Fire
"Memories of buying special clothes and fish, now it has all collapsed"
Dissent and Solidarity: When Iran Mourns One of the Fathers of Its Revolution
Massive crowds gathered in Tehran on January 10 for the funeral of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who led a paradoxical career as a revolutionary and figure of moderation.
#SaveArash: Jailed Iranian Activist Arash Sadeghi is Fighting for Human Rights — And His Life
Arash Sadeghi was on hunger strike from 23 October 2016 until January 3, 2017. He remains alive and conscious, according to close contacts of his family.
In Israeli Soldier's Manslaughter Conviction, Palestinians See Injustice
"I think it's a false conviction. The Israeli legal system is supporting the occupation. As Palestinians, we are not only suffering from one soldier."
Lebanon’s Seaside Dump Threatens Not Only the Environment, But Also Airplanes
"To solve this problem they must shut down the Costa Brava landfill and fix the Ghadir River problem from the root. Anything short of that just won’t do."
Israel Advances New ‘Facebook Bill’, Threatening Free Speech
Between October 2015 and January 2016 alone, Israel arrested 150 Palestinians on the grounds of "incitement through social media."
Reviving Beirut: How an Artist Collective Is Coloring Lebanon's Capital
With so much paint and goodwill, it's safe to say these artists have made their mark on Lebanon.
For Telegram Users, Iran's Registration Requirement Boosts State Snooping Powers
Telegram is Iran’s most popular messaging application and host to some 170,000 Iranian-owned channels. The new policy will require owners of popular channels to register with the government.
Users Boycott Lebanon’s Mobile Phone Operators, Alfa and touch
In addition to the exorbitant mobile rates highlighted by this campaign, cell phone operators in Lebanon also engage in unethical practices.