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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

DAY OF DEFIANCE
*Wire agencies continue to cover the Syrian revolution from a distance, relying on eyewitness accounts and amateur footage posted online. Syrians turned out across the country for the "Day of Defiance" protests, with at least protesters killed in Homs and one in Hama. Meanwhile, the army deployed dozens of tanks and armored vehicles to the small coastal city of Banias. "They seem intent on attacking Banias as they did in Daraa," one unnamed activist told AFP.

UNDETERRED
*"Security forces open fire but the message from demonstrators is clear," writes the administrator of the Syrian Revolution facebook group under a video clip of a street with constant gunfire in the background. "This is the Friday of defiance," says one of the men filming. Speaking to President Bashar al-Assad, the men filming say "your days are numbered" and "Go on, shoot at us – we'll still come out and protest every day."

VIDEO EVIDENCE, PART 1
*A YouTube video features a clip from the Syrian official media and opens with a banner saying, "Witness the lies of the Syrian media. They say that an official and four members of the security forces were killed in Homs on Friday and at the same time they say that 10 security officers were killed in Homs. We filmed everything so they can no longer lie." The clip ends with the person filming cursing the state television channel.

VIDEO EVIDENCE, PART 2
*Another clip filmed by a group of men shows shaky camera work as they scan the streets trying to get a clear shot of the sniper on a nearby rooftop. His head is crouched down. But at :30, they zero in on the man in sunglasses on the roof of what looks like an apartment building when he lifts up his head. "There's the sniper," one exclaims. "Film it," says another.Then they start shouting, "the people want the regime to fall." Commenters below the clip expressed outrage, with one writing, "it's enough to make you want to cry" and another writing "the regime's flunkies are headed for the trash heap of history."

BIN LADEN BACKERS IN CAIRO
After months of protests directed at the Egyptian government, thousands of mostly hardline Islamists gathered on Friday in front of the American Embassy in Cairo to protest the killing of Osama bin Laden. The Salafist protesters shouted slogans such as "Obama – Bin Laden is in Tahrir Square" and "Bin Laden, Bin Laden, retribution, retribution!" while waving images of the fallen Al-Qaeda leader.

May 6, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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