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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


ON THE GROUND

*Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi barraged the western city of Misurata as allied airstrikes entered their fourth day. An item on the BBC's Arabic page warns that "the specter of Iraq looms over Libya crisis." Foreign military intervention in both countries is leading "many to think that the goal in both cases is the same: regime change." Still, the article concludes: "it is clear that both Washington and London want the overthrowing of Gaddafi to come from home, not outside the country,".

IN THE POLLS

*An informal poll on Al Jazeera's website asks readers whether or not they support military intervention in Libya. With more than 62,000 votes cast, a total of 61.9 percent voted yes, and 38.1 percent voted no.

ON THE WEB

*Administrators from the "We are all Khaled Said" facebook page that helped launch the popular revolt in Egypt are asking its more than one million fans which direction the group should take now that they have reached their primary goal of bringing down Mubarak and his regime. Readers are asked to submit feedback about whether the page should continue to focus on making political demands or raising awareness about human rights and related issues.

*Wael Ghonim, the Google employee who secretly founded the FB before famously being imprisoned in Egypt during the uprising, adds "What is happening in the Arab world is not a foreign conspiracy but rather the result of an internal one by the people whose rulers conquered them, stole their wealth and destroyed their dignity."

*Jordanian Hashem Tal tweets that calls for reform will only continue: "These demands are the result of a lack of seriousness toward reform. The more reform is delayed, the more the demands will grow, which the government does not understand."

IN THE ARTS

*Al Arabiya reports that calligraphers, painters and other artists in Morocco are in high demand as protesters seek to creatively vent their anger during protests. Protests are entering their second month in Morocco, largely unnoticed as large-scale protests unfold elsewhere in the region. But flag vendors and other revolutionary symbols, such as images of Che Guevara, are being snapped up across Morocco. "The work of a calligrapher is usually restricted to special occasions," says calligrapher Mohamed al-Daryoush. "Now, I am earning more money writing banners for protesters."

March 22, 2011


photo credit: illustir


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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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