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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


WE ARE ALL...
Two police officers were convicted of torturing and killing the young Egyptian activist Khalid Said, 28, who was arrested while at an Internet café in Alexandria last July. Pictures of Said's tortured body post-mortem circulated on the web and inspired Wael Ghonim, who later said he saw himself in Said, to start the "We are all Khalid Said" Facebook group that ultimately served as a precursor to the January 25th revolution. The egregious killing of Said, and the government's version of events, which held that Said choked on a bag of marijuana, was the final straw for many young Egyptians.

After the verdict was read, relatives of the convicted police officers reacted with "anger and resentment," CNN Arabic reported, "which led to a verbal argument between the officers' relatives and those of Khalid Said." Armored vehicle and a contingent of soldiers quickly arrived at the scene. The officers were convicted of "arresting a person without reason," the "use of cruelty" and "physical torture."

ASSAD AND ARAB LEAGUE
BBC Arabic was reporting simultaneously: "Syria: Assad meets with Arab League delegation, 9 soldiers reportedly killed in clashes." The League's Ministerial Committee, comprised of foreign ministers from Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Sudan and Algeria met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. The opposition is being excluded from the talks, which opposition leader Hassan Abdul Azim told the BBC is "unacceptable."

GENERAL STRIKES
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group declared the "Wednesday of General Strikes, for your Houran province where protest epicenter Daraa is located." The group is urging Syrians to strike across the country, and reports a series of strikes in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Here, a small evening demonstration attended only by women. In Deir a-Zor, young men walk through the streets chanting, "Freedom, freedom – whether you like it or not, Bashar."

STOLEN H2O
Jordanian news website Khaberni.com reports that 70 million cubic meters of water are stolen every year by farmers in tribal areas who illegally drill wells. The Ministry of Water announced that the stolen water costs the government nearly $2 billion every year in lost revenue, despite measures requiring a permit before drilling. Jordan is one of the world's 10 most water-deprived countries.

October 27, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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