Stories about Middle East & North Africa from May, 2011
Azadi Ghlam reports [fa] Iranian security forces arrested 30 Bahais for ‘online university’. The Bahais are barred from higher education and government posts
Naser Hejazi, legendary Iranian football player, died today in Tehran. Several bloggers remember him as a national hero. He recently criticized Iranian government's economic policy. Negahe Man writes [fa] Hejazi wished to see freedom in Iran.
The Technology for Transparency Network is proud to announce the release of its final report, "Global mapping of technology for transparency and accountability". The report is being published by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (@TAInitiative) along with a over a dozen other reports on the global transparency movement.
Kuwaiti parliament members had a fight during a session discussing the case of Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo. The scuffle drew a flurry of reactions from netizens.
The Egyptian army cracked down with brutal force on a Nakba day protest in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on May 15, 2011, firing teargas, rubber-coated steel bullets - and, some reported, live bullets - at protesters. Coverage quickly turned dramatic, reminiscent in tone of the 18 days of the revolution, as many protesters and journalists tweeted non-stop reports of the clashes and posted snapshots.
The Arab revolution has also impacted the cinema world. Filmmakers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have just launched on their blog Maghreb du cinéma [fr], a suggestion box to reinvigorate the creation, production and distribution of their work. Their manifesto can be signed here [fr].
Adam Cathcart from Sinologistical Violoncellist has complied a list of North Korean news items on China, cultural diplomacy, US/Japan, Middle East, Environment, and etc. It helps to understand North Korea's understanding of its relation with the rest of the world.
This year, on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, several Iranians raised their voices by launching a “We are everywhere” campaign, on YouTube, Facebook and blogs against homophobia worldwide. In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death.
Rita Chemaly congratulates Lebanese women on recent progress toward gender equality in Lebanese law. Several laws have been modified to grant women more rights in the areas of income tax, inheritance, and social security. To read her post, Mabrouk! [congratulations], click here.
Football fans have been treated to some really interesting times in the last few months. The latest is the FIFA election, which comes at a time when one of the most powerful non-governmental bodies in the world has suddenly has started looking vulnerable.
Egyptian cyber activist Wael Ghonim, who shot to international fame after being arrested at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, is facing criticism from the very same Egyptians who earlier championed for his release. In a series of tweets today, Ghonim urged the protesters to put their country's economic prosperity ahead of their revolutionary agenda, sparking a flurry of reactions on Twitter.
Egyptian cyber activists went back to their keyboards to demand the release of protesters and bystanders arrested on Sunday for being at a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to commemorate the Nakba (Day of Catastrophe as it is known in the Arab world) which marks the day the State of Israel was created in 1948.
Tunisian netizens have enjoyed an unprecedented access to the Internet, following the fall of the Ben Ali regime in mid-January and the end of the country's previous web censorship. This short honeymoon seems to be coming to an end however, with a military court's recent order to block four Facebook pages. Netizens react to the new development in this post.
The announcement that Jordan and Morocco might join the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) caused an immediate shockwave of reactions. Many Jordanians were elated at the news, saying that it would lead to better economic conditions for their country. Betsy Fisher rounds up more reactions from netizens in this post.
The Coalition for Protection and Promotion of Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities has recently published [mk] its annual Report on sexual and health rights of marginalized communities in the Republic of Macedonia for 2010, available for download as a single e-book with Macedonian and English text documenting over...
Salem Husseini posted a Storify article on the Jordanian marches in honor of Nakba, or catastrophe, on the anniversary of the founding of Israel.
Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive. One Saudi woman claimed that right when she drove her children to school in Jeddah. Netizens debate the move, with many applauding Najla Hariri for her heroic feat.
“Meet me by the church next to the mosque across from the nightclub in Downtown” is a typical direction that you may get in Beirut, according to This is Beirut.
LebIDAHO is a new initiative by seven Lebanese LGBT bloggers in preparation for Lebanon’s International Day Against Homophobia. It calls on its readers to write about their personal experiences regarding homophobia.
“In Beirut, you just pick up the telephone and order a shisha, or so I discovered!” writes Mich in a post detailing the booming business of delivering shishas (hubble bubble smoking pipes) to homes in Lebanon.
The blog Moroccans for Change interviews Selma Maarouf, a leading figure in the Moroccan youth movement for change. Selma explains what motivates her to stand at the forefront of every major pro-democracy protest in her country.