Stories about Middle East & North Africa from September, 2008
Blogger of the Week: Sami Ben Gharbia
This week's Blogger of the Week is none other than Global Voices Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia, known for his dedication to the fight against oppression and censorship. Sami is originally from Tunisia, but has been based in The Netherlands since 1998. He blogs at fikra.
Morocco: Rural Women
Peace Corps volunteer Duncan Goes to Morocco explains what life is like for women in the rural community where he lives.
Morocco: Schools Closing
The View from Fez reports that the Moroccan government plans to shut down 60 Qur'anic schools around the country, all of which are associated with Sheikh Mohamed Ben Abderrahman Al-Maghraoui, who earlier this month decreed that the marriage of nine-year-old girls was permissible. His declaration is an affront to Morocco's...
Iran:Filtering in Iran in One Web Day in Oxford
In One Web Day in Oxford, a small exhibition of Kosoof‘s works portray Iranian bloggers, who struggle with censorship and Internet filtering in their country. Watch them here and here.
Egypt: National Theater on Fire
It seems that the Egyptians have succeeded in bringing Nero back to life. And the Egyptian Nero has a long list of places to burn. He started with the Egyptian Parliament a few weeks ago, and now it's time for the Egyptian National Theater.
Bahrain: The same racism everywhere?
Ali Abdulemam has just watched the film Freedom Writers – and thinks it describes Bahrain perfectly.
Syria: Chilling Eyewitness Blogger Account on Damascus Explosion
With very little information coming out on today's massive explosion in Damascus, Syria, one blogger was on the site and rushed back to his computer to describe to the world the scene of devastation and chaos he has witnessed. Also, what are other bloggers saying about the incident?
Russophone Bloggers Discuss the U.S. Presidential Candidates
Last week, Israel-based LJ user avva asked his Russophone readers - some of whom are eligible to vote in the upcoming U.S. election - whether they supported Barack Obama or John McCain, and for what reasons. The post generated over 300 comments from bloggers based in the United States, Israel, Canada and Russia. Below are some of the responses.
Jordan: Queen Rania the Blogger
Queen Rania of Jordan is blogging her visit to New York here.
Kuwait: Is Kuwait Being Finlandized?
Kuwaiti blogger Don Veto introduces his readers to the word Finlandization and asks: “Is history repeating itself? Is Kuwait being gradually Finlandized because of its powerful neighbors?”
Egypt: Jihad Hackers
Is Jihad spilling from the ground on to the virtual world? Egyptian blogger Marwa Rakha writes here (and here) about how the internet has affected the ongoing debate between the secular and Islamic camps in Egypt.
Jordan: An Illustrated Accident
Jordanian Jad had a car accident and illustrates how it happened here.
Jordan: Think before you Fire
Jordanian Jazarah links to a story from India where a mob of dismissed workers beat the CEO of their company to death with a hammer. His advice: “Think twice before such decisions, or take the decision on your way to the plane and take a long vacation.”
Kuwait: Rabbit Outside the Mosque
Kuwaiti Frankom [Ar] found a rabbit outside the mosque … and shot it – with his mobile phone's camera, of course.
Jordan: Nothing Wrong in Not Knowing
Jordanian Qwaider remarks that there is nothing wrong in admitting that you don't know something.
Iran: Iranian American Writers
Parsarts says that the Association of Iranian American Writers (AIAW) has just launched their website, iranianamericanwriters.org, which features member profiles, excerpts of member work, and a blog.
Bangladesh: Meeting Queen Rania
BRAC Blog reports that Dr. Fazle Abed, founder of BRAC, the largest NGO in Bangladesh and the world met with Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and she writes about him in a blog post: “People like him fill me with hope.“
Bahrain: Mystery of the bowls
Maldita, a Filipina married to a Bahraini, has discovered why the plates and bowls at family gatherings never match.
Palestine: Ramallah bling
In the West Bank, Alajnabiya describes shopping for her daughter's wedding: “The problem is that I like looking at this stuff, but I really want to buy it and hang it on the wall to look at, not wear!”
Saudi Arabia: Compound life
Stranger in this Dunya explains what life on a compound in Saudi Arabia is like.
Saudi Arabia: Part of the tribe
Saudiwoman explains the significance of belonging to a tribe in Saudi Arabia: “To urban families, being called Bedouin has connotations of being unrefined and unruly. And in Bedouin families, being called an urban essentially means sissy.”