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

Reports from Libya indicate that leader Muammar Gaddafi is quickly losing control of several cities around the country, "especially in the east, which is under the full control of protesters," according to website Almoslim.net

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

FEET ON THE GROUND

*Reports from Libya indicate that leader Muammar Gaddafi is quickly losing control of several cities around the country, "especially in the east, which is under the full control of protesters," according to website Almoslim.net

*AFP picked up a report from the Libyan Quryana news site that a military fighter jet crashed on Wednesday, with the pilot and co-pilot parachuting out after refusing orders to bomb the restive Libyan city of Benghazi.

MONEY MATTERS

*The Egyptian government froze the assets of the Mubarak family this week and sent out a request to Western embassies to lobby judicial officials to freeze any wealth that may be in their countries. The extent of the former president's net worth is not known, but what is clear is that it did not come from his salary: Just $2,000 base salary per month. With housing allowance and other benefits factored in, his salary totals $4,100 every month. Assuming that salary was in place over the 30 years of his rule, Mubarak legitimately would have earned $1,476,000. How he earned up to $70 billion is not known, as presidents by law cannot engage in private businesses while in office.

A KING'S COMMITTEE

*News website "Kul al-Urdun" reports that Jordan's government cabinet approved the formation of a national dialogue committee of union leaders, political opponents and other civil society institutions "to reach a consensus on political reform and laws relating to public freedoms." Though committees are often the place where Jordanian initiatives go to die, the Twittersphere reacted optimistically to the news.

*@aymanhyasat: "Political reform and a parliament that represents the people will lead to the monitoring and accountability of corruption."

*@samihtoukan: "An excellent step on the part of the government to form a national dialogue committee. Let it be the beginning of real change in Jordan.

ARAB HUMOR

*This beggars mockup is buzzing on Facebook showing former President Hosni Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, former Tunisian President Zeinedin Ben Ali and the possibly future ex-leader of Libya, Muammar Gadaffi.

The sign "curses anyone who rules after we do," and then adds this wry kicker: "Donations in dollars, please."

*After Gaddafi's often incoherent rant on state television Tuesday night, this joke (شعار المظاهرات في ليبيا:

" الشعب.. يريد ..تفسير.. الخطاب) is making the email rounds, a play on the now-ubiquitous phrase, The people want the regime to fall: "Slogan seen in Libya: The people want an interpreter for the speech."

*Google exec-cum-democracy icon Wael Ghonim tweeted a picture of what he believes is another small sign of change in Egypt: an orderly line to board a minibus.

Feb. 23, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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