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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie


A R A B I C A ارابيكا

LIBYA TODAY
Libyan rebels are launching an offensive in the western part of the country, as well as a push toward Muammar Gaddafi's historical stronghold of Sirte. One rebel military official predicts, "God willing, we will finish soon."

LIBYA TOMORROW
Libyan commentator Saleh al-Sanusi writes on Al Jazeera's website that carrying out the revolution is a small task compared with what lies ahead. "There is a big difference between the easy destruction of things and the difficulty of constructing them."

SYRIAN FRIDAY
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group rallied its followers to protest across the country on the last Friday of Ramadan, specifically in Aleppo's Al-Jabiri Square following evening prayers. The group is calling on citizens to hold a silent protest, "without chants' through dawn Saturday morning to commemorate the Muslim holiday of Lailat al-Qader, during which believers pray through the night.

Aleppo and Damascus are widely considered the keys to bringing down the Assad regime. Sporadic protests have broken out in both cities, and in their suburbs, but a heavy military presence may be a deterring factor in the relative calm witnessed there these past two months. The Facebook group is focusing on Aleppo, a city of merchants and trade, to put further pressure on the regime.

FOG OF REGIME, TAKE 1
As President Bashar al-Assad is facing its most serious threat after 41 years of Assad rule in Syria, with a popular uprising that appears undeterred even in the face of 2,000 civilian deaths, the leader himself this week praised the "genuine essence of Syrian citizens and the pride in their homeland."

FOG OF REGIME, TAKE 2
Meanwhile The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon stated on Friday that the situation in Syria is "good and stable." Ambassador Ali Abdulkarim Ali said Syria "is fine and on the way to implementing reforms." Following a meeting with officials in Beirut, he added that "the unrest is now behind us…Syria is reinforced by its national unity and the awareness of its people who reject any conspiracy that can lead to unrest."

August 26, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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