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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing


By Kristen Gillespie

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah granted the right of women to vote… in 2015. Elections for the Shoura Council, will be held this week, but women are not allowed to participate. Elaph.com published a commentary by Essam Abullah, who calls the decision to allow women to vote "a step in the right direction," but notes that "political rights' should not be confused with "fundamental rights (such as the right to drive a car)" which are very much lacking. "Men dominate strict, traditional societies and do not want to give up their hegemony over women," Essam Abdullah writes.

The Egyptian government is denying reports that eight members of the Gaddafi family have moved to Cairo from Algeria. There is "absolutely no truth to the Algerian media reports," the ruling military leadership said in a statement.

An editorial published on news site JordanZad.com, entitled "Government bullying and fake democracy," laments the failure of any form of democracy in Jordan. The government pretends to reform the electoral process, but the bottom line is that MPs "will face the most severe government bullying and marginalization," the equivalent to "sitting in the back seat of the car," a role reserved for women. "Government bullying has contributed significantly to emptying democracy of its true meaning," the unnamed author notes.

The article cites examples of how Jordan's government makes unilateral decisions without approval or rejection from the public:

- changing monetary policies of the Central Bank

- joining the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-member union modeled on the European Union

- raising the debt ceiling unilaterally

- building a nuclear power plan.

Bahrain's leading human rights activist, Najeeb Rajab, an active opponent of the ruling Al Khalifa family, said in an interview: "Since the beginning of the revolution, we have been monitoring the mercenaries hired by the government who are vandalizing and stealing and burning and torturing, but this corrupt government is not prosecuting them. Rather, they are prosecuting young people for participating in protests."

Protesters on Sunday hid in a mall in Sanabis city, a suburb of Manama. As police raided one part of the mall, the longest-serving unelected prime minister in the world (the only premier Bahrain has had since independence, Sheikh Khalifa al-Khalifa, who came to power in 1971) held a photo op in a different part of the mall to reassure citizens.

Sep 27, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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