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· January, 2016

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2016

20 January 2016

ISIS Destroys Dair Mar Elia, Iraq's Oldest Christian Monastery

Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, Dair Mar Elia, has been destroyed by the ISIS. The monastery, built in 595, is located in Ninawa, just south of Mosul.

On Criticising Charlie Hebdo on Facebook, and the Perils of Selective Freedom of Speech

The Bridge

Did Facebook remove Efe Levent's post because he used the term "cracker"?

19 January 2016

British-Iranian Journalist Tweets Her Experience Being Denied Boarding on a Flight to the US

"My fully #British daughter can't attend her #American cousin's bday cos her mum was born in #Iran," wrote Rana Rahimpour, explaining how new restrictions prevented her from boarding the flight.

Expand Your Movie-Watching Horizons With These 16 Films From Around the World

The Bridge

Follow the exploits of a transgender dad, a rotten tomato, Iranian rockers, a janitor-turned-mayor and others in this list of films that take you to the world beyond Hollywood.

18 January 2016

Will Lebanon Finally Have a New President After Geagea Endorsed Aoun?

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has endorsed his war time rival Michel Aoun's candidacy for presidency today. Will Lebanon finally have a new president after 20 months without one?

17 January 2016

Moroccans Protest Ban of VoIP Calls, Including Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook and Skype

Advox

Moroccans have decided to boycott telecom companies for blocking VoIP services to teach them a lesson. Do such boycotts work?

Implementation Day in Iran: Nuclear Diplomacy Leads to Prisoner Releases and Sanctions Relief

An overview of "Implementation Day" for the lifting of nuclear related sanctions against Iran.

16 January 2016

Let's Not Forget There Are Still Political Prisoners in Iran

“If this release signals Iran’s desire for international reconciliation, so too it must move forward with national reconciliation.”

15 January 2016

The Conflict in the Middle East Is Not Between Sunnis and Shias and Doesn't ‘Date Back Millennia’

"Has the region been sectarianized? Yes. Are the differences real? Yes. Is the current war posturing an ancient theological dispute? No," tweets Iyad El-Baghdadi about the so-called Sunni-Shia rift.

Enterprising Refugees Invited to Show Off Their Business Acumen in Europe

While many see refugees arriving in Europe as a burden, one organisation in the Netherlands is looking for entrepreneurs among the influx so they can contribute to the economy.

13 January 2016

Netizen Report: Keeping the Spotlight on Syria’s Independent Media

Advox

As protests continue in Ethiopia, Bahrain is contracting for new Internet filtering tools. Meanwhile, another Ecuadorean politician faces jail time for critical tweeting.

Two Arrested and then Released for Taking Selfies with Burning Dubai Hotel in the Background

Advox

Two men who posted their selfies on social media with Dubai's 63-storey The Address hotel on fire in the background were arrested -- and then released.

12 January 2016

Saudi Arabia Arrests Samar Badawi for Tweeting on Behalf of Her Jailed Husband

Advox

Saudi Arabia arrested human rights activist Samar Badawi today allegedly for tweeting on behalf of her jailed husband, prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abulkhair.

11 January 2016

Zam Zam Cola, a Symbol of Happier Diplomatic Times Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Tensions rage between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi has ended diplomatic ties, and Iran has banned all Saudi imports. But where does this leave Iran's popular Zam Zam Cola?

8 January 2016

Netizen Report: Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ App is Under Fire in India, Offline in Egypt

Advox

Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

6 January 2016

Israel Strikes Lebanese Town Following Roadside Bombing Claimed by Hezbollah

Israeli forces have shelled the southern Lebanese town of Al-Wazzani near the border between the two countries in a retaliatory attack against the political party and paramilitary group Hezbollah.

Pakistanis Weigh In on Saudi Arabia and Iran's Diplomatic Break-Up

"In the Iran vs Saudi debate we should side with New Zealand. Be as far away from it as possible."

5 January 2016

Starving to Death: Images from Madaya, Syria, You Don't Want to See

Harrowing photographs of residents of Madaya, Syria, are making the rounds online, drawing attention to the plight of its 40,000 residents who are facing starvation and a slow death.

2 January 2016

Saudi Arabia Executes Top Shia Cleric Nimr Al Nimr Under “Terrorism” Charges

Saudi Arabia today announced it had executed 47 people on "terrorism" charges, among them top Shia cleric Nimr Al Nimr.