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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

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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