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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

YEMEN: OPEN WAR
A series of explosions shook Sanaa International airport overnight following clashes between supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and forces loyal to dissident general and tribal leader Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. Sources told Al Jazeera that the airport would be closed "for some time, with scheduled flights diverted to Aden." While authorities opened the airport for a flight to go from Sanaa to Aden, in the south, it is not clear whether it will remain open. Al-Ahmar is preparing for open warfare in Sanaa, the network reported. Demonstrations are continuing daily in Yemen, with protesters demanding Saleh step down and be put on trial.

TUNISIA: ARAFAT'S WIFE
The Tunisia government is pursuing the widow of Yasser Arafat, with an international warrant out for her arrest in connection with a school she founded in Tunisia with the wife of ousted President Zine al-Abedine al-Ali. The two women fell out, and Suha Arafat was subsequently stripped of her honorary Tunisian citizenship and asked to leave the country. Arafat is wanted on corruption charges, the details of which were not yet released.

LIBYA: FUGITIVE P.M.
The lawyer of Libya's last Prime Minister, Baghdadi Mahmoudi, says his client is in a Tunisian jail and fears for his life given his knowledge of state secrets. Lawyer Mabrouk Krashid called on the Libyan authorities not to extradite Mahmoudi, and pointed out that the official entered Tunisia and was arrested for not having a visa. Though Mahmoudi's passport contains a stamp allowing him to enter, he has been in state custody since September 21st. Libyan authorities are trying to extradite the former prime minister. Tunisia extended recognition to the Libyan Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people on August 22nd.

EGYPT: COOKING GAS
Egypt's Petroleum Ministry has decided to increase the amount of cooking gas on the market by 15 percent following record-breaking purchases by citizens ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Al Youm Al Sabaa reported. Ahmad al-Ghrab, the head of the national gas company, announced that the company is taking measures to ensure that enough gas cylinders, used for cooking, are available for the public. The statement is noteworthy given chronic shortages of basic goods in Egypt, which has led to rioting in the past. The company will be running at full capacity, with cylinder stores remaining open later to meet citizens' needs, al-Ghrab said.

October 31, 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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