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Egypt

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

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

GADDAFI'S WORLD Protests continued to ripple around the Arab world, from Yemen to Algeria. In Libya, protesters clashed with police in the coastal city of Benghazi, demanding the release of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel.

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie


GADDAFI'S WORLD Protests continued to ripple around the Arab world, from Yemen to Algeria. In Libya, protesters clashed with police in the coastal city of Benghazi, demanding the release of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel.

*The regime's take on all the commotion? Libyan state television was reporting that "a series of demonstrations in support of Gaddafi took place around the country."

*Back in the real world, the Twittersphere was lighting up with calls to support the Benghazi demonstrators by protesting outside Libya's embassies around the world. A Twitter user in Benghazi wrote: "We will not surrender, we will win or die," a quotation from Omar al Mukhtar, a Quranic teacher and Libyan nationalist who fought the Italian occupation by organizing Libyans to resist before being hanged by the colonial rulers in 1932.

*Here's a video of Libyan women protesting in the streets of Benghazi Tuesday night as traffic passes by.

*Benghazi has a history of resisting Gaddafi's rule, with many of Libya's jailed Islamists coming from the eastern city. But of course, these latest protests arrive in the wake of two uprisings that have actually toppled longstanding Arab regimes . Al Jazeera reported the government in Tripoli decided on Wednesday to raise public-sector salaries by 100 percent. In Colonel Muammar Gadaffi's world, this is just a fortunate coincidence.

ALL NEWS IS LOCAL

*In Egypt: citizens organize a campaign to pick up garbage left in the streets of Alexandria following weeks of unrest.

*As policemen around Egypt hold protests of their own claiming they were forced by the Mubarak regime to open fire on protesters, Egyptian twitterer Mostafa Hussein posted a photo of four men on the rooftop of the Azbekiya police station in Cairo on January 28, with one pointing his gun toward the crowd.

FACEBOOKED

*Egyptian women descended on Tahrir Square with brooms and paint to clean up the site. Here's one physically challenged woman repainting a curb from her wheelchair. The caption reads: "An inspiring image of a girl with special needs participating in cleaning up Tahrir Square. We love you, liberated Egypt!"

*A facebook petition is circulating that calls for the election of the governor and head of the dreaded security apparatus in each governorate, or state, in Egypt. "We must have a new system in which people rule themselves and regain control of their lives after 60 years of rule by an individual." For Egyptians, the strongman dictatorship did not begin when Hosni Mubarak arrived in 1981, but when Gamal Abdul-Nasser came to power in a 1952 military coup.


Feb. 16, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Society

In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

Photo of five mothers holding their malnourished children

At feeding time, nurses and aides encourage mothers to socialize their children and stimulate them to eat.

Georgina Gustin

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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