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

A R A B I C A ارابيكا


SAUDI RUMBLINGS. CAUGHT ON TAPE

*Hundreds of Saudi men gathered outside the Rajehi mosque in Riyadh for a protest. One commenter wrote under the clip, "we don't want the regime to fall, we only want reform." Another wrote, "now it's time for the regime's thugs to come out."

*Another protest took place on Friday in the eastern Saudi Arabian province of Al Ahsa. Demonstrators, perhaps several thousand, called for the release of political prisoners, in particular one Shiite cleric who was arrested last week after he delivered a sermon suggesting that the kingdom should become a constitutional monarchy. More footage posted on YouTube, with protesters waving posters of the jailed cleric, here and here.

CHANGE (AND OPRAH) IN CAIRO

*Egypt's Minister of Tourism Munir Fakhri announced that Oprah Winfrey has accepted an invitation to host a show from Cairo's Tahrir Square on a still-to-be-determined Friday this month. Al Ahram newspaper reports that Winfrey accepted the invitation and will focus on "the youth of Egypt who made this great revolutionary achievement," the minister said. Winfrey's appearance is part of a campaign to promote tourism in Egypt, Fakhri said.

*What was supposed to be a "Day of Rage" to demand the resignation of now former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, a Hosni Mubarak ally, turned into a celebration as opposition-endorsed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf stood before thousands of cheering people in Cairo's Tahrir Square, telling them, "My legitimacy comes through you."

*Just one day after being sworn in to office, Sharaf launched a facebook page already followed by more than 136,000 people. The page is posting news updates about the activities of various ministries, such as the Foreign Ministry working on bringing Egyptians home from Libya and the Ministry of Health "continuing its work" as a new government is formed. The page is also posting official documents, including an order for a referendum to be held on March 19th for the public to vote on new constitutional amendments. The page is efficient, informative and nothing short of a revolutionary step toward communication and transparency in Egypt.

LIBYAN LATEST

*Al Arabiya reports that Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Muammar Gaddafi and 15 other Libyan officials. Mustafa Ghariani, a spokesman for the revolutionary National Libyan Council in Benghazi, said that the fighting will not stop until Gaddafi steps down and leaves the country for good.


March 4, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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