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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


ESTONIAN HOSTAGES
Lebanon's An-Nahar daily features several articles examining the release of seven Estonian tourists who were kidnapped at gunpoint in the Bekaa Valley on March 23rd. While the circumstances surrounding the release are not clear, the Estonian Foreign Minister Uramas Paet is quoted as saying it happened "thanks to the help of France, Germany and Turkey in addition to other parties." The paper reports that one of the conditions for the hostages' release was that Lebanese security forces not be involved. But sources told the paper that Lebanese intelligence identified the sites where two of the videos of the Estonians taken by the kidnappers as "two different locations in Damascus."

EGYPTIAN MILITARY
The Egyptian Facebook group "We are all Khalid Said" posted a poll question: "Do you support Military Minister Sayed Mishaal remaining in his post?" Within 10 minutes of the poll question posted, the results looked like this:

Yes – 86 votes

No – 2,577 votes

Don't care – 164 votes

Not sure – 250 votes

The group just celebrated hitting the milestone membership figure of 1,500,000 people. "Thank God we stayed," the administrator wrote.

JORDANIAN JOURNALISTS
At least 10 people, most of them journalists, were injured when fighting broke out between government loyalists and protesters during a march in Amman, Jordan. An estimated 2,000 people showed up for a march that ended in front of the Amman Municipality complex, AFP reported. The protesters held up banners reading: "We demand political, economic and social reform," "we want Jordan free of corruption" and chanted "the people want the regime to fall."

ONE MORE FRIDAY
As Friday protests were the largest yet across Syria, with hundreds of thousands of people risking gunfire to take to the streets, at least 10 protesters were reported shot dead, including one child. The Syrian official news agency reached for its template that seems to be used almost daily to report that "armed gunmen opened fire on security forces," adding that "no civilians were killed."

BLAST FROM THE PAST
The "Syrian Day of Anger" Facebook group has a growing gallery of pro-revolutionary imagery. Here, the poster shows a scene from a protest, with the following message superimposed on it: "Friday, February 5th. We will go everywhere, in all of Syria's streets, against the regime and corruption. The Syrian Day of Anger." The poster is a reminder of the beginning of the uprising to unseat President Bashar al-Assad. Commenters at the time it was posted on January 29th offered messages of blessings and support, saying, "rise up – this is your chance" and "Syrians – you are making history."

July 16, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Economy

What's Driving The New Migrant Exodus From Cuba

Since Cuba reopened its borders last December after COVID closures, the number of people leaving the island has gone up significantly. Migration has been a constant in Cuban life since the 1950s. But this article in Cuba's independent news outlet El Toque shows just how important migration is to understand the ordeals of everyday life on the island.

March for the 69th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.

Loraine Morales Pino

HAVANA — Some 157,339 Cubans crossed the border into the United States between Oct. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, according to the U.S. Border Patrol — a figure significantly higher than the one recorded during the 1980 Mariel exodus, when a record 125,000 Cubans arrived in the U.S. over a period of seven months.

Migrating has once again become the only way out of the ordeal that life on the island represents.

Cubans of all ages who make the journey set off towards a promise. They prefer the unknown to the grim certainty that the Cuban regime offers them.

Migration from Cuba has been a constant since the 1950s.

In 1956, the largest number of departures was recorded in the colonial and republican periods, with the arrival of 14,953 Cubans in the United States, the historical destination of migratory flows. Since the January 1959 revolution, that indicator has been exceeded 30 times.

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