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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

SYRIA SCHOOLING
*It was back-to-school week in Syria for 5.6 million students, and pro-democracy activists called for a school boycott until President Bashar al-Assad resigns. CNN Arabic reports that protesters are urging parents to keep their children home from school. In a statement, a group of opposition activists said, "The regime has no mercy for women, children or the elderly – so why should we send our children to schools that have turned into prisons?"

*Students are organizing rallies calling for Assad to go. Here, girls hold a recent demonstration in the southern Syria province of Daraa. Syrians in recent weeks have adapted the chant heard around the Arab world, "the people want the regime to fall" with the similar-sounding "the people want the president to be executed." The girls and women in the demonstration shout for Bashar al-Assad's execution, then yell out, "Allahu akbar." In Hama, dozens of students in their school uniforms march and chant that they will not return to school until Assad falls.

*The Syria Revolution facebook group's new logo features a soldier in shadow carrying a Syrian flag as the sun begins to rise. "The dawn of the nation is getting closer" as victory approaches, the banner declares.

YEMEN WARRING
*Yemen continues to spiral into what is increasingly looking like anarchy, with open warfare in the streets of the capital, Sanaa. A truce that went into effect between dissident and loyal army units collapsed within hours, with shelling and artillery fire reported early Wednesday. Yemeni paper "Al-Hadath" reports that "no one can get in to rescue the injured because of the intensity of the shelling."

*The fighting spilled into the street that is home to Vice President Abdrabuh Hadi, who is ruling the country in the absence of President Ali Abdullah Saleh (who is in Saudi Arabia being treated for burns after a rocket attack in June on his presidential compound). At least 76 people have been killed since the weekend as battles unfold in the capital. The paper reports residents hiding in their homes, with only armed men in the streets.

*The lead story in the Yemeni official news agency's web page is a two-day old headline: "Vice President Receives Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council."

Sep 21, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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