A R A B I C A ارابيكا
Five million Saudi schoolchildren gathered to pray for the soul of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, who died over the weekend at a New York hospital. Saudi media praised the crown prince, who was also the country's defense minister. Sultan was believed to be battling cancer, though his health condition was never made public. Saudi media reported only that he died "outside the country."
Students were read a prepared biography of the prince's life, including his achievements in the "historical, cultural and humanitarian realms," Okaz newspaper reported. The news of Sultan's death was "received by students with much grief and sorrow, with students describing him as a father with a big heart," the paper reported.
Syria's Interior Ministry announced that Syria ranks third in the Arab world for the most honor killings following Yemen and Palestine. Last year, Syria reported 249 honor killings, with 375 in Yemen and 264 in the Palestinian territories. An estimated 80 percent of the killings of females for so-called shaming of their family's honor took place in rural areas, "which are predominantly tribal," Ahram Online reported.
Egypt's deputy prime minister, who is also finance minister, Hazem Biblawi, is seeking to reassure the public and potential investors that Egypt is on the mend. "Despite the crisis in Egypt now, there are many reassuring signs about the future," said Biblawi, quoted by Egyptian news site Al Youm Al Sabaa. The minister cited the fact that goods are still found in the marketplace, and are not being hoarded by citizens. Biblawi cited two reasons behind the economic crisis in Egypt: the lack of liquidity available from public funds and a psychological uncertainty about the future.
In a separate story, a source at the Libyan embassy in Cairo told Al Youm Al Sabaa that stockpiles of weaponry were hidden inside the embassy. Egyptian security officials are planning on investigating the origin of the cache, and questioning staff members working in the embassy before the collapse of Gaddafi's government. "This discovery represents a new piece of evidence of the criminal nature of the Gaddafi regime," the site reported. Rifles, machine guns and pistols equipped with silencers are among the weapons found inside.