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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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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