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Geopolitics

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

GADDAFEED Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi delivered a virulent, often rambling television address, directly threatening violence against his people and declaring himself "the eternal leader of the revolution."

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

GADDAFEED Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi delivered a virulent, often rambling television address, directly threatening violence against his people and declaring himself "the eternal leader of the revolution." Shouting often, repeatedly wiping his mouth with a red handkerchief and pausing for water, Gaddafi declared that he would die a "martyr" rather than being forced out of the country.

Al Jazeera, which regularly broadcasts Osama bin Laden's statements in full, for unknown reasons cut the feed about halfway through the speech, during which Gaddafi alternately blamed the Arab media, foreign entities, and drugged youth for fomenting unrest and tarnishing the image of Libya. The protesters have until Wednesday to clear the streets, Gaddafi said, after which time he vowed the execution of the "enemies of Libya."

LOCAL REAX

*@samihtoukan: "Gaddafi: He who kills an innocent person kills all humanity!"

*from Zantan, in west Libya, this sign reads: "Let the repressive Gaddafi fall. As long as he is in power, we are prepared to die." It is signed by "the people of Zantan."

*3alarasi.com has a cartoon of what it calls "free Libya." The word "Libya" is spelled out in white writing, as the hands on either end break the chain.

*One of the Arab world's most influential clerics, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradwi, called on Libyan soldiers to put a bullet in the leader if given the chance. "Any officer or soldier who can kill Gaddafi…if any one of them can fire a bullet and free the great people of Libya from the evil of that dangerous man should do it." Qaradawi is an Egyptian cleric based in Doha who hosts Al Jazeera's "Sharia law and life" program.

ET AL, UP CLOSE

*Egypt: @waelabbas: "The number of people in Tahrir Square is growing."

*Bahrain: An estimated 30,000 people gathered in Bahrain's capital in response to the opposition's call for protests. Demonstrators chanted, "No Shiite or Sunni – only Bahraini" and "down with the regime," reports CNN Arabic. The protest follows a major concession by Bahrain's King Hamad on Monday to release an unspecified number of political prisoners.

*Yemen: Protests continued for the 12th straight day, spreading to the eastern part of the country. Thousands of demonstrators have a single demand: the resignation of 32-year-incumbent Ali Abdullah Saleh. Reuters Arabic reported on an unnamed woman covered in black from head to toe who climbed up to the platform at the protest in the capital of Sanaa and told the crowd of mostly men: "I am a woman from the eastern province of Marib. And we hold more than anyone to our traditions. But I call on you to let your women join the protests." The crowd responded by chanting, "We want the regime to fall," the rallying cry heard these days across the Arab world.

Feb. 22, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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