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


A R A B I C A
ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

PLEA FOR PROTECTION
The Syrian Revolution Facebook group, after months of encouraging Syrians to rise up and bring down the regime, has turned its attention directly to the international community. The "Friday of International Protection" protests feature the tagline: "We ask for civilians to be protected" on the group's home page. The home-page banner also features images of the Turkish, European Union and United Nations flags. Group administrators urged the UN to pass a resolution that would set up a "permanent observer mission in Syria."

CITY SIEGE
As the siege of Homs continues, YouTube filled up on Friday with dozens of video clips of protests in the central Syrian city. Here, a demonstration in a side street during which a protester holds up a banner that reads: "NO to any messages or initiatives that do not stop the killings. We demand international protection."

DEFECTOR HUNT
The Syrian army, meanwhile, rolled into the small northwestern town of Idleen, searching for army defectors. They stormed the home belonging to the brother of Hussein Harmouche, a lieutenant colonel who quit the army in June and posted a widely seen video explaining why. Three people were reported killed in the raid, though the victims' identities are not known, nor is it clear whether Hussein Harmouche was at the home.

In the by now famous video, Harmouche reads a statement, as the Syrian flag hangs on the wall behind him, declaring that he is joining the Free Syrian Army, whose "current mission is to protect the unarmed demonstrators who are demanding freedom and democracy. Harmouche abandoned the army because he was ordered to fire on civilians. His statement with English subtitles is here.

JOURNALIST DEAD
Iraqi website kitabat.com mourns the death of Hadi al-Mahdi, a well-known Iraqi journalist who was shot in the head Thursday evening. Al-Mahdi was a regular contributor to the site, in addition to hosting a radio show and writing plays. He was known as a harsh critic of the government, particularly after being arrested in February during a protest in Baghdad. Mahdi described the conditions in the jail where he was held as "brutal and inhuman." The site calls for protests in Mahdi's name, urging Iraqis to demand better from their government and to continue the journalist's mission. "Change and reform are in the hands of the people," one of the headlines reads.


Sep 9, 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.

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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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