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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

PALESTINIAN FEUD
One of the most powerful men in the Palestinian Authority, Mohammed Dahlan, is under investigation on murder and corruption charges. Palestinian security forces raided Dahlan's home near Ramallah on Thursday, seizing 16 weapons and 12 vehicles, and detaining 12 "illegal" armed men, Al Jazeera reported. A government spokesman said that having armed personal bodyguards violates a law stating that a citizen cannot do so "without the consent of the security services."

Dahlan, who in 2003 then-President George W. Bush called a "good, solid leader" is widely referred to as a "strongman" who sought to crush Hamas in Gaza in the 1990s. Last month, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, broke off ties with Dahlan, who still maintains parliamentary immunity as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

SYRIAN CHESSBOARD
Pan-Arab daily Al Hayat reports on a meeting between Jordan's King Abullah and French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Sources "familiar" with the meeting confirmed Sarkozy as saying "there is no longer any hope for the Syrian regime." The king, citing the totalitarian nature of the Syrian regime and its ubiquitous intelligence services and military structure, said "there is no alternative now to Assad," and expressed hope that Turkey would have a positive influence on events in Syria.

SYRIAN MAP
As the Syrian revolt intensifies, the multiplying locations of uprisings across the country appear to outpace the military's efforts to be everywhere at once, to stamp out protests. The tally of unrest reported in 24 hours is long and detailed, with Syrians in cities and towns continuing their efforts to unseat the Assad regime. In Kanaker, a suburb of Damascus, it was "a bloody day," wire agencies reported, with 11 civilians killed, two of them children, ages 7 and 11. In Hasrata, "security forces and the army were deployed in the streets, arrested hundreds, demolished the walls of houses and cut off electricity, water and the Internet." The southern town of Daraa, where the uprising began in March, is "in turmoil" with "widespread, intense security in key areas." The list goes on.

SYRIAN VIDEO
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group posted a video called "The Syrian Arab Army: what it was and what it is now." You don't have to speak Arabic to understand through the montage of clips that the soldiers are perpetrating atrocities against unarmed prisoners.

July 28, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Missiles And Euphoria: The Folly Of War On Full Display In Kharkiv

As Ukraine's counter-offensive gathers steam, the city of Kharkiv is targeted by Putin's forces. Here's a view from up close, during heavy shelling that has sparked power and water outrages, even as the liberation of territory sets off scenes of joy and elation.

Russian shelling destroyed a residential building in Kharkiv in early September 2022.

Ivanna Skyba-Yakubova

KHARKIV — For several years, a woman has been sitting on the corner of my street selling flowers almost every day. On Sep. 9, our neighborhood was shelled for the first time – and have no doubt that an hour and a half after the missile hit our street, she was sitting right there in her usual place. People were cleaning up broken glass and cutting tree branches 50 meters from her. Some came to buy flowers.

In some way, this is all you need to know about life right now in Kharkiv.

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We are hostages of geography: the time it takes for the missile to reach Kharkiv from Belgorod, Russia, as air defense officers tell us, is 43 seconds. None of our existing defense systems are able to prevent their arrival in our neighborhood.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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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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