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


*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

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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