A R A B I C A ارابيكا
*The administrators of the Syrian Revolution Facebook group are calling for a general strike on Wednesday: "Mass protests, no school, no universities, no stores or restaurants open and no taxis." The call comes as the Syrian military continues a brutal crackdown on the village of Tal Kalakh near the Lebanese border, with reports of dead bodies and wounded left in the streets.
*The state media, meanwhile, is weaving a different narrative entirely. The state-run Al-Baath daily notes on its front page that a meeting between Syrian President Bashar Assad and residents of Daraa addressed "recent events in Daraa and the current positive atmosphere there, the result of cooperation between residents and the military." The report also touted "reforms underway across the country."
*The official news agency, SANA, ran an identical report. "The members of the Daraa delegation expressed their appreciation for the sacrifices the army has made," SANA reported, adding that the residents asked the president to keep the military in Daraa "to pursue the insurgents." The meeting is "part of a series of ongoing meetings between the president and activists around the country."
*Protests are continuing, with women from the town of Darya outside Damascus calling on others to come out to the streets. "Women of Darya: Show the men who you are" reads the street-wide banner carried through the town by several women.
*This cartoon posted on the "We are all Khalid Said" Facebook group shows a man wearing the Egyptian flag as a cape struggling to push the country up a mountain. His feet are chained to smaller rocks which read, "internal strife," "foreign powers' and "the regime." The caption reads: "Egypt needs us."
*A 27-minute Al Jazeera documentary explores the class and cultural differences of residents of the Jordanian capital's poorer east and affluent west neighborhoods. The opening scenes show children in the east climbing through rock piles to get to their modest homes, with their father telling the interviewer that the books the children use are old and outdated. This is contrasted with shots of luxury cars picking up children from West Amman's private "Modern American school."
May 17, 2011
photo credit: illustir