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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

RAMADAN'S TOLL

*As Ramadan begins, the Syrian government's campaign to stamp out protests is intensifying, with more than 140 civilians reported dead in the past 48 hours. Meanwhile, the scale of protests is also intensifying as the military shifts its focus back to the central Syrian city of Hama. Here, a widow cries over her husband's body. The person who posted the clip writes, "Do not grieve, my sister. He has gone to a place where his head is held most high." Several comments under the clip extend blessings and prayers for the widow, with one writing, "May God send you and your family to the greatest paradise." Many gruesome post-mortem videos are posted on the Syrian Revolution Facebook site.

CASTLES MADE OF SAND
*Here, a cartoon of a member of Syrian security forces on a beach protecting a sand castle as an enormous wave is about to sweep them away.

NO THANK YOU
*The Egyptian Muslim-Christian organization called "Family Home" denounced the American appointment of a special envoy to the Middle East to specialize in protecting the rights of religious minorities. Egyptian news site Al Youm Al Sabaa quoted a Family House statement as saying that "Egyptian Christians and Muslims have respectfully lived side by side for 15 centuries. They are united and share each others' lives and support similar goals for the nation." The statement was signed by Mahmoud Zaqzouq, a former minister for Islamic affairs, and a secretary to the Coptic Pope Shenouda III.

ON TRIAL'S EVE
*Al Hayat reports on Egyptian security forces storming of Tahrir Square in Cairo, where they forcefully broke up a three-week-old sit-in demanding political reform and the prosecution of corrupt police officers. "Hundreds of soldiers entered the square, dismantled the tents and drove out protesters," the paper reported. "Military police used batons to disperse the demonstrators." Security personnel also fired into the air and beat protesters "with sticks when they refused to leave the square." Some protesters also hurled stones at police. On its facebook site, the Egyptian military stated that "military police have arrested a number of thugs in Tahrir Square." The move comes ahead of the trial in Cairo of ex-President Hosni Mubarak, accused along with senior officials of ordering the shooting deaths of more than 850 protesters during the January 25th revolution.


August 3, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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