A R A B I C A ارابيكا
IT'S ALMOST FRIDAY IN SYRIA
*Syria's community of online activists is organizing a "day of defiance" for Friday despite the military's ongoing arrests of hundreds, possibly thousands of who the Syrian government is calling "terrorists." The "Syrian Day of Anger" facebook group reminds supporters, "The people of Daraa are saying to us, "We want you to lift the siege on us, but do not forget that our primary mission is to free all of us from this criminal regime."
*The always-defiant "Syrian Revolution against Bashar al-Assad" group, with an unknown administrator operating from an unknown location, has a new logo ahead of the Friday protests. "Syria: Freedom is coming," the banner reads.
*A young Syrian girl, covered in a checked keffiya with only her eyes showing, posts a video on YouTube calling for people to continue taking to the streets to bring down the regime. After 50 years of repression, "we have to go out on the streets and we have to say no." She is part of a growing tide of young citizens, so long part of the acquiescing majority, who suddenly feel they deserve a say in Syria's destiny. "I'm a part of this country," she says.
*An article in the Egyptian daily Al-Shorouq asks, "What does it mean to permanently open the Rafah crossing?" Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi announced that Egypt would soon permanently reopen its border with the Gaza Strip. What Gaza needs more than anything is building materials, said Mohammed Ali Salameh, a resident of Rafah. "We hope that there will be a trade route for the transport of construction materials legally from Egypt," he said.
The open border will also curb smuggling through hundreds of underground tunnels, Salameh said. An open border would restore jobs to hundreds of taxi drivers who regularly shuttled passengers back and forth. Poor families enter Egypt to buy goods not available in Gaza as well as visit relatives and seek medical treatment. The nearly two dozen comments below the article applaud the decision to open the border crossing, calling it "a national duty" for "our brothers, the Palestinians."
*Gemy Bashir tweets that in order to gain popularity, Egyptian presidential candidate Mohammed ElBaradei should do what other politicians do and "veil his wife."
May 5, 2011
photo credit: illustir