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


A R A B I C A
ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

YEMEN: TAKING STOCK, COUNTING DEAD
Protests in Yemen have been ongoing for more than eight months, with the epicenter of the uprising at a square near the University of Sanaa. Protesters have been camped out, and despite periodic attempts by security forces to forcefully break them up by opening live fire on the crowds, the mostly young demonstrators have remained resolute.

It appears that what is left of the central government is fed up after a tribal insurrection in the north, an Al-Qaeda insurrection in the south and a nationwide revolt against the leadership of 32-year incumbent President Ali Abdullah Saleh. While most foreign journalists have been expelled from Yemen, the Arabic media puts the death toll at 46 people in Sanaa over the past 24 hours. Three of those killed were soldiers who had defected from the army and joined the opposition.

Yemen is part of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, a European Union-style bloc, which has offered a proposal aimed at convincing Saleh to leave power. The GCC Initiative includes full immunity for Saleh and his family from prosecution, a far more generous offer than the Arab world's other deposed leaders were given. A UN envoy and the Secretary General of the GCC, Abdullatif al-Zayani, both arrived in Sanaa on Monday. The official Yemeni news agency did not address the 46 dead, but stated that "the visit aims for al-Zayani to get acquainted with the latest developments in local arena."

EGYPT: STRIKING TEACHERS, FIGHTING KIDS
Egypt's al-Wafd newspaper published a report called "Fights and assaults, chaos in schools" chronicling the third day of the teachers' strike in Egypt. Education Minister Ahmed Moussa met with teachers' representatives, but told them the national budget could not accommodate the salary raise and other demands of the teachers. The strike will continue, teachers responded, until the government meets their demands. As teachers sat in the courtyards of schools and refused to enter the buildings, the paper reports on fights between the students inside due to a lack of supervision.

ARAB ONLINE: CHIT-CHATTING, NOT JOB HUNTING
A new study by one of the Arab world's largest job-finding sites, Bayt.com, finds that the vast majority of Internet users in the region are going online only to chat with friends, "rather than looking for a job, learning or shopping." A total of 67 percent of those surveyed said they use the internet for socializing, and use the internet for three hours or more per day.



Sep 19, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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