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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


*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,".


*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.


*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."


*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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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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