A R A B I C A ارابيكا
TO DRIVE OR NOT TO DRIVE
*A Saudi woman named Manal al-Sharif was arrested for violating the public order after she was caught driving in the eastern part of the country.
*Budoor tweets, "King Abdullah signals that women will soon be allowed to drive!" linking to an interview with the Saudi monarch in which he professed his respect for women, and, regarding the driving issue, said that "patience is a virtue." The interview, however took place more than two years ago, and there is no sign that women will be permitted to drive anytime soon.
FOR A SYRIAN PHARMACIST
*Saad Wefae is a pharmacist from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo who was arrested last month after requesting a permit from the authorities to hold a protest. A new Facebook group is demanding his freedom. Commenters ask the administrator to add more information about Wefae, though little is known and no details have been made since his arrest. One person wrote, "A man asks for a permit for a peaceful demonstration and is arrested – why?"
FOR SYRIAN NAVIGATORS
*@RevolutionSyria tweeted a link to a video saluting the brave Syrians who are risking not only their lives to film, photograph and document state-sponsored violence, but to post it online in a country where the Internet is heavily monitored in the best of times.
*The video features a voiceover by an activist who tells viewers: "People now have to play a bigger role." Facebook and Twitter are bringing the reality on the ground to the outside world. "Syrians with access to Facebook and Twitter – you have a responsibility. There are people paying with their blood. Take an hour every day and spread the word." The activist, speaking over a montage of tweets and Facebook pages, reminds Syrians that "if we fail, we will be held to account for those who have been killed."
NO ISRAELIS WELCOME
*In Egypt, the Sheikh (leader) of Al Azhar University confirmed he would not meet with any Israeli, a big topic in the Egyptian media as it remains unclear how relations will proceed between the two countries. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb also condemned Israeli interference in Egyptian affairs.
May 23, 2011
photo credit: illustir