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A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie


ALL NEWS IS GLOBAL

*Outrage spread (digitally) around the world, as people woke up to the news of the early-morning attack on Pearl Aquare in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Sleeping protesters awoke to the scent of tear gas and armed riot police forming a human chain to sweep the square clear of thousands of protesters. One amateur video captures the chaos. Despite the heavy-handed tactics, a public funeral, now banned by law, is planned tomorrow for the "martyrs' killed in the protests.

MSM MATTERS

*Jordan's leading daily newspaper, Al Rai, led with a photo of King Abdullah talking with Catherine Ashton, Europe's foreign policy chief. The state-run paper reported that the two leaders "discussed regional events and relations between Jordan and the European Union and ways to enhance them." Such phraseology is stock language in Arab state newspapers, and usually the extent of "coverage".

*To get a sense what Jordanians—and others in the region – are used to reading every day, here is some other typical verbiage from the same edition of Al Rai: "His Majesty King Abdullah II on Sunday received a telephone call from his brother the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during which they discussed ties between the two countries and ways of enhancing them, in addition to developments in the region. The King and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, reinforcing the deep relations between the two countries, expressed their keenness to strengthen and build upon the common interests of the two brotherly peoples."

GADDAFI CORNER

*In Libya, six people were reportedly killed in the eastern city of Benghazi during clashes between authorities and protesters. Lawyers there also held a demonstration, demanding a constitution.

The day before the protests started Tuesday in Benghazi, The Brother Leader of the Revolution, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, gave a live interview to a Tunisian station in which he weighed in on the Internet and social media. (The translation may not be exact because the Leader's Arabic is choppy, fast and difficult to understand, even for native speakers)

"Everything is published on Cliniclix (NOTE: he appears to be referring to Wikileaks). Facebook, book face, YouTube, TubeWhoever – all these tools they use to make us look like idiots. Someone is sitting somewhere like France, or something like that, getting paid by American, French and Israeli intelligence to send messages to people in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. Some guy is lying on a bed, watching his kids playing and sending messages to people using this thing, what is it – the Internet. He's sending messages day and night telling people to go out on the street, to go out at night, and burn these places. And he's sitting there in France. In Nice."

THE LAST WORD

From Egypt: @Shokeir says, "What kind of revolution is it when our brothers and sisters are being arrested and Mubarak sits in Sharm al-Sheikh eating Swiss chocolates? Release our prisoners immediately."

Feb. 17, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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