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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


TENSION RISING
Lebanon's A-Nahar daily reports on the growing acrimony between the new Hezbollah-backed government and the March 14 opposition faction, headed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The UN's Special Tribunal for Lebanon last week indicted four men, believed to be members of Hezbollah, in the February 2005 assassination of Saad Hariri's father, ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Both factions have maintained armed militias, which raises the stakes for all Lebanese as the crisis over whether to proceed with prosecutions in the Hariri cases becomes more contentious.

TENSION EBBING
Bahrain appears to be emerging from months of martial law, while Saudi, Emirati and Kuwait troops sent it to control violent protests slowly begin to withdraw. Still, the Bahrain February 14 Revolution Facebook group is not giving up. The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the largest opposition bloc in Bahrain, is holding a "popular festival" this Friday. "Our demand for the nation: elected government" reads the poster advertising the event to be held on July 8th at 5pm in Karaneh village. While the event invitation attracted 120 "likes' in the 20 minutes after it was posted, one commenter wrote, "I probably won't be there because of Al-Wefaq's participation in the national dialogue" with the government.

HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE
The UAE daily Al Emirat Al Youm reports that Abu Dhabi is considering major changes to its high school curricula. The paper did not elaborate on the changes, but quoted the director of the Abu Dhabi Education Council Mugheer al-Khelee as he spoke on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony at the Institutes of Applied Technology. He said that scientific education has arrived late to the UAE, but that the institutes are moving quickly to fill the gap.

POP STAR
Algerian singer Souad Massi says that the wave of revolutions hitting the Arab world will not happen in Algeria because "the situation is very different." The people "really love the current president and he genuinely changed things," she told Reuters.

July 5, 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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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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