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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


*Social media gives Arab citizens a way to communicate with their leadership directly, bypassing the heavily censored traditional media, and shattering taboos in the process with what has become stunning frequency. In Jordan, a "Letter to Jordan's King Abdullah from a young man" was posted last week on YouTube, racking up 43,000 views in less than four days. "Your people are tired," the unnamed man tells his king. "Do not listen to the people around you…(who) tell you Jordanians love you. Jordanians love you, but they are fed up." While not giving his name, the speaker says this: "Let me tell you who I am – I'm not political, not a member of a political party. I'm not a politician. I'm a citizen with a laptop and a message."


*In a video clip called "And who said we don't want the regime to fall?" a montage of amateur clips from Syria plays under a new "resistance" song. Protesters are filmed tearing down enormous banners with the images of President Bashar al-Assad, and his late father and former president, Hafez al-Assad. In another sequence, a protester sets fire to a towering billboard of Bashar. The flames envelop the billboard in seconds. "Down, idol," comments a viewer below the clip.


*The Facebook group largely responsible for organizing the uprising in Syria and broadcasting images and messages of it to the outside world posted a stark message to Assad. Set in a black background with white and red Arabic writing, the author writes in informal Arabic: "Seems like this time things aren't working out for you so well, are they, Bashar?" Below that is written, "Swear to God – there is fear in your eyes." The tone, the slang, the more than 115 "likes' within one hour, and another idol goes up in metaphorical flames.


*The oil-rich city of Brega appears to have fallen back into into rebel hands. "We are now more organized," fighter Salam Idris, 42, told BBC Arabic.


*The Egyptian website "Revolutionary Socialism" reports on a series of strikes of oil and dock workers around the country, notably those working at the Suez Canal, to demand higher wages. Workers are "flouting the law criminalizing protests," the site reported.

April 4, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

The fate of the West Bank is inevitably linked to the conflict in Gaza; and indeed Israeli crackdowns and settler expansion and violence in the West Bank is a sign of an explicit strategy.

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

Israeli soldiers take their positions during a military operation in the Balata refugee camp, West Bank.

Riham Al Maqdama


CAIRO — Since “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” began on October 7, the question has been asked: What will happen in the West Bank?

A review of Israel’s positions and rhetoric since 1967 has always referred to the Gaza Strip as a “problem,” while the West Bank was the “opportunity,” so that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005 was even referred to as an attempt to invest state resources in Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.

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This separation between Gaza and the West Bank in the military and political doctrine of the occupation creates major challenges, repercussions of which have intensified over the last three years.

Settlement expansion in the West Bank and the continued restrictions of the occupation there constitute the “land” and Gaza is the “siege” of the challenge Palestinians face. The opposition to the West Bank expansion is inseparable from the resistance in Gaza, including those who are in Israeli prisons, and some who have turned to take up arms through new resistance groups.

“What happened in Gaza is never separated from the West Bank, but is related to it in cause and effect,” said Ahmed Azem, professor of international relations at Qatar University. “The name of the October 7 operation is the Al-Aqsa Flood, referring to what is happening in Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank.”

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