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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


SYRIAN DIPLOMACY
Syria is expected to respond to an Arab League proposal to end the country's crisis, Al Jazeera reported. The Syrian opposition maintains that the regime is stalling for time and has no intention of reforming -- and called on the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership in the League. The Syrian National Council said in a statement that the government has responded to Arab League efforts to mediate by "stepping up the repression." The opposition also called on the League to recognize the National Assembly as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

SYRIAN MEDIA
News website Elaph.com looks at the Syrian official media and concludes that it "lacks professionalism," but remains a vital weapon in the propaganda war. Syrian intelligence agencies run the official media, says Syrian journliast Iyad Shabarjee, using "the lowest standards of professionalism."

EGYPTIAN ENCOUNTER
The chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces met with Coptic Christian clergymen to emphasize the goal of civilian democracy without distinction between Muslims and Christians. Bishop Marcus Shubra al-Khaimeh said after the meeting that they discussed recent sectarian riots and lifting laws that ban Christians from building and repairing churches as well as a law to prevent discrimination against Christians, key demands by Coptic leaders.

YEMENI PROTESTS
Protests have been ongoing in the south Yemeni city of Aden since February to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Activists are mobilizing young revolutionaries to clean the streets, which are piled with dust, rocks, garbage and even pieces of the sidewalks. Street cleaners have not cleaned the protest areas, with residents blaming the government for imposing collective punishment.

LIBYAN PROTESTS
Fighters representing Libya's National Transitional Council clashed for three hours near a hospital in Tripoli "in what is believed to be the largest confrontations between the rebels since the war broke out," CNN Arabic reported. Machine guns and anti-aircraft guns were used, with casualties not yet reported. Medical sources from the hospital said some of the fighters appear to be drunk. The battalion is responsible for securing the area around the hospital. "We are working to reorganize the army – when we have a great and powerful army, we will be secure," said Colonel Ahmed Bani.

November 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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