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

As protests in Egypt continued for the 11th day, calls continued for Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a state of affairs the Egyptian President said he is "fed up" with, in an exclusive interview with the American broadcaster ABC News.

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie


As protests in Egypt continued for the 11th day, calls continued for Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a state of affairs the Egyptian President said he is "fed up" with, in an exclusive interview with the American broadcaster ABC News. Mubarak insists he will not step down, saying the country would fall into chaos if he did. On the streets, it seems too late for that, as reports of lawlessness and looting continue to pour in, a general strike continued, opposition leaders refuse dialogue until Mubarak leaves and banks and the stock market remained closed as Egypt loses hundreds of millions of dollars in income for every day of instability.


ALL NEWS IS GLOBAL

*Pan-Arab media outlets and Arabic wire service coverage continue to emphasize the inclusive nature of the protests; peasants, leftists, Islamists, Egyptians of all beliefs and classes, uniting to fight for two things: the resignation of Mubarak and a more representative government.


*In Algeria, opposition activists say they are planning to carry out protests on February 12th despite the promises of President Abdulaziz Boutefliqa to lift the state of emergency that has been in place for 19 years and allow reforms. This from Reuters Arabic. "Rashid Malawi, a union president and one of the protest organizers, said he believed that the protest would take place because the actions taken by Bouteflika are not convincing. Malawi said he believed the government was not serious about achieving democracy in Algeria." The one common thread of protests across the Arab world, from Yemen to Algeria, is that the people out on the streets are not accepting their leaders' words at face value, and are demanding nothing less than immediate action.


TWITTERING

*Samih Toukan, one of the Arab world's most successful internet entrepreneurs, tweeted in Arabic the historical analogy Western analysts have ignored: "The Great Arab Revolt," begun in 1916 to throw off the yoke of Ottoman rule, led by T. E. Lawrence and Sharif Hussein of Mecca, the great-grandfather of Jordan's King Abdullah. The Revolt was also noteworthy for planting the seed of Arab nationalism, a new form of which is taking shape every day.

*Those people in the streets have no time for television, says @hmada20: "We're in the streets, not watching Al Jazeera – we're making our own revolution, ourselves."

*This homemade sign in Arabic was spotted in Tahrir Square today, addressed to Mubarak: "If you love Egypt, leave her."

GRAPHICALLY SAID

*Jordan's most famous cartoonist Imad Hajaj imagines the shame of Egypt's once-respected army as it stands by, allowing Mubarak's thugs to attack civilians:

"Mubarak's supporters savagely attack protesters in Tahrir Square"

The inscription on the statue's plinth reads: "The father of the modern Egyptian army, Abdel Moneim Riyadh and representative of the war of attrition"

photo credit: illustir

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photo of Senegal President Macky Sall coming out of his airplane

President of Senegal Macky Sall arrives Monday at Andrews Air Force Base for the U.S.-Africa summit. Md., Dec. 12, 2022.

U.S. Air Force, Airman 1st Class Isabelle Churchill
Alex Hurst

-Analysis-

Some 100 of the most important political eyes in Africa aren’t turned towards the U.S. this week — they’re in the U.S. For the first time in eight years, the White House is hosting 49 African heads of state and leaders of government (and the Senegalese head of the African Union) for a U.S.-Africa summit. Not invited: any nation that has recently undergone a military putsch, or otherwise not in good standing with the African Union, like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.

It’s only the second such summit, after Barack Obama held the inaugural one in 2014. For African nations, it’s a chance to push for trade agreements and international investment, as reports FinancialAfrik, as well as to showcase their most successful businesses. According to RFI, dominant in its coverage of West Africa, on the agenda are: fighting terrorism, climate change, food security, and a financial facility intended to facilitate African exports to the U.S.

These themes are recurrent in national coverage and official diplomatic communiqués, from the likes of Cameroon (whose communiqué pointedly notes the U.S.’s “lack of colonial history” in Africa), which is seeking to regain access to the the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, to Madagascar, which as an island nation, is particularly concerned with climate change.

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But is the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the accompanying nice talk all just cynical cover for what are, in fact, purely U.S. strategic interests in its wider global competition with China? That’s certainly the message from Chinese media — but also a point of view either echoed, or simply acknowledged as matter of fact, by African voices.

“No matter how many fancy words the U.S. uses, the country still sees Africa as an arena to serve its strategic goal of competing with China,” Liu Xin writes for China’s state-run Global Times.

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