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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
Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا


*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.


*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.


*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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The Trudeau-Modi Row Reveals Growing Right-Wing Bent Of India's Diaspora

Western governments will not be oblivious to the growing right-wing activism among the diaspora and the efforts of the BJP and Narendra Modi's government to harness that energy for political support and stave off criticism of India.

The Trudeau-Modi Row Reveals Growing Right-Wing Bent Of India's Diaspora

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 Summit in New Delhi on Sept. 9

Sushil Aaron


NEW DELHICanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought Narendra Modi’s exuberant post-G20 atmospherics to a halt by alleging in parliament that agents of the Indian government were involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian national, in June this year.

“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said. The Canadian foreign ministry subsequently expelled an Indian diplomat, who was identified as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada. [On Thursday, India retaliated through its visa processing center in Canada, which suspended services until further notice over “operational reasons.”]

Trudeau’s announcement was immediately picked up by the international media and generated quite a ripple across social media. This is big because the Canadians have accused the Indian government – not any private vigilante group or organisation – of murder in a foreign land.

Trudeau and Canadian state services seem to have taken this as seriously as the UK did when the Russian émigré Alexander Litvinenko was killed, allegedly on orders of the Kremlin. It is extraordinarily rare for a Western democracy to expel a diplomat from another democracy on these grounds.

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