Stories from 23 March 2009
Latvia: Corruption and the New Bridge
Baltic writes about Latvia's corrupt political “elite” and its role in the scandal surrounding the construction of a new bridge in Riga.
Slovakia: Presidential Election
Central Europe Activ and A Fistful of Euros write about the presidential election in Slovakia.
Hungary: PM's Resignation
Coverage of the unexpected resignation of the Hungarian PM at Hungarian Spectrum – here and here; Central Europe Activ; A Fistful of Euros; Pestiside.hu; and Eternal Remont.
Qatar: Cooking for Purim
Jocelyn is an American living in Qatar, who loves cooking: “There's just something about living in a Muslim country that means the Jewish holidays seem to sneak up on me… so of course, I just realized today that tonight was Purim. A trip to the grocery store and a hurried...
Israel: The Pomegranate
Hatam Kanaaneh, who blogs at A Doctor in Galilee, writes about the pomegranate: “Rumman – Arabic for pomegranate, originally the Pharonic name for the Iranian native fruit – has a special romantic ring to it in my heart.”
Palestine: Remembering Rachel Corrie
Gazan blogger Fida Qishta commemorates the death of American activist Rachel Corrie six years ago: “Every year we remember 16th March. We remember a kind, insightful, talented person committed to the plight of the Palestinian people. Her name was Rachel Corrie. … We should remember Rachel and all that she...
Palestine: Robbed of a Childhood
Gazan blogger Ayman Quader describes the plight of children who are forced to work because of the desperate economic situation in the Gaza Strip: “It is true that Palestinians have honed a collective resilience in the face of historic hardships. But this strength should not be sentimentalized. Children, who remain...
Palestine: “Welcome to the Gaza Zoo!”
At the New Internationalist Gaza Blog, Louisa Waugh describes seeing hordes of foreigners arriving in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks – and calls it the Gaza solidarity circus.
Palestine: The Importance of Plastic
In Gaza, Eva Bartlett describes how plastic sheeting is playing an important role: “The siege is still on and cement is still unavailable. Major reconstructions and repairs won’t happen for a long time, just as the thousands of houses needing to be re-built won’t be so until Egypt and Israel...
Bahrain: Internet Puzzle
Bahrain blogger Hussain Yousif has a question: “As a provider, I know that deals for installing and configuring censorship solutions are held between the ISP’s and the providers. The providers are at most agents\resellers for an international provider. The new thing is that the “UNIFIED” solution is suggested by the...
Bahrain: A Mother's Perspective
Rick Beeman is an American living in Bahrain – and he asked his mother to write about her experience of visiting the country: “Here I am on the other side of the world for the first time in the Middle East… Bahrain so far has shown me some very beautiful...
Pakistan: Declaring Negligible Wealth
Adil Najam at All Things Pakistan is outraged with the populist practice of Pakistani politicians of declaring a negligible amount as their wealth: “I am not an idiot, and I would really really appreciate if our politicians stopped insulting my intelligence!”
Sri Lanka: The Rationale Behind Blogging
The Whackster's Lair from Sri Lanka asks some questions to find out why we blog: “are we all boring? or are we just interesting to some people? and if we are interesting is that the sole reason to keep writing? or are we writing for our own pleasure in which...
Maldives: Free Speech Under Threat
In early March Mohamed Nasheed, the new President of the Maldives, met with Frank La Rue, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression. In the meeting Nasheed expressed his government’s commitment to free speech and announced that Maldives will be made a haven for dissident writers from...
Fiji: ‘It was stones, now it's molotov cocktails’
At least six people in Fiji who could be termed “public opponents” of the country’s military-backed government have been targeted by unidentified individuals who late at night have thrown large stones at their houses and severally damaged their cars. During the stonings, much of Fiji’s political blogosphere have claimed the rock attacks were perpetrated by members of the country’s military.
Palestine: First Palestinian Search Engine Goes Live
Click on Tech reports on the launch of ZAAD, the first Palestinian search engine, which is available in Arabic and English.
Jordan: Psychological Problems
A million Jordanians suffer from psychological problems. Osamaa Al Romh discusses the phenomena in this post [Ar].
Saudi Arabia: What books won't tell you about twins
Expecting twins? Nzingha, who is married to a Saudi, tells us in this post what “the books won't tell you.”
Qatar: Unpeg the Gulf Currency from the US Dollar
Qatari Ali Al Jaber has formed a Facebook group entitled Unpeg the new Gulf currency from the dollar (Peg it to gold).
Is Egypt on the verge of a cultural revolution?
Between Bahaa Taher's first Arabic Language Booker Prize, bloggers' books, Youssef Zidan's Azazeel's Booker prize, writing competitions on Facebook, the Sawiris Foundation Competitions, and new creative initiatives to nurture new blood, Egypt's literary scene has been revived over the past few years. Marwa Rakha digs up even more projects being discussed on the blogs.
Tunisia: Hunger Strike Students Defend Right to Study
Five Tunisian students have been on hunger strike since February 11th to defend their right to study. Their health is seriously deteriorating but the government is ignoring their request. More on the story on Facebook — here and here.