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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


LIBYAN WAR

* CNN Arabic reports Libyan state television declaring east Ajdabiya under control of Muammar Gaddafi's forces, and broadcasting a warning to residents in Benghazi that the armed forces are "coming to liberate them and cleanse the city of gangs."

*Gaddafi's forces appear to be encroaching on Misurata in the west, with resident Mohammed Ali telling CNN: "Gaddafi does not care if he kills all the inhabitants of Misurata."

*Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi tweets, "It is not manly to bomb your people and your cities and then claim victory afterwards and that you represent the people."

SYRIAN CRACKDOWN

"Disperse the demonstration..." exclaims the man in this cartoon by Ali Ferzet labeled "Interior Ministry," who is seen waving at drowning protesters.

*In response to the authorities breaking up protests and arresting about two dozen demonstrators, a facebook page has been set up to invite the public to take to the streets on March 18th.The location? "Following the noon prayer in public squares in all Syrian towns and cities, pointing toward the holy city of Mecca." A total of 628 people have confirmed that they will attend. Comments include "Syria, we're waiting for you"… "good luck to the young heroes of Syria"… and one Syrian in Finland writes, "our hearts are with you."


EGYPTIAN DEMOCRACY

*"No to the amendments," tweeted Egyptian opposition leader and possible presidential candidate Mohammed ElBaradei. He posted a link to a short video explaining why he thinks people should reject the proposed constitutional amendments during the national referendum on March 19th. "My honest opinion is that we should say ‘no"," ElBaradei says. By saying ‘yes', Egyptians will allow a second ruling party to emerge that resembles Mubarak's National Democratic Party and will not represent the people. "A new constitution is the place to start," he says, not with new amendments.

* Tweet from @fhilal on Egypt: "My new thought is that the negative attitude of many people was created by the hegemony of the regime and its monopoly on power… i.e., the lack of democracy."

March 17, 2011


photo credit: illustir


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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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