A R A B I C A ارابيكا
*The fallout from the arrest of a Saudi woman, Manal al-Sharif, continues. Last week, al-Sharif posted a video of her driving in east Saudi Arabia on YouTube. She was arrested and remains in custody for violating the public order. The Facebook reaction was swift. The "I will drive my car" group has set June 17th as the day that women in Saudi Arabia will get into their cars and drive. The administrator notes his/her views as "very conservative," and maintains that a woman should be "wearing a full head/face covering with the eyes showing while driving or else face punishment" and that women should be allowed to drive "in cities only," among other conditions.
*Khalid Hajri writes, "We are all with Manal, and for women driving freely in Saudi Arabia."
*Esmahan Ghourabi adds, "This is your right and we are with you in Arab countries."
*The "We are all Manal al-Sharif" group has more than 16,000 members, hundreds of whom have already pledged to drive on Friday, June 17th at 9:00am.
*The "Campaign against ‘I will drive my car" group" was recently founded to counter the pro-driving movement. It includes a poster of Manal al-Sharif with her face crossed out. The administrator urges Saudi men to do "all they can to stop women from driving." That includes using the thick wire bound in cotton that is wrapped twice around the head to hold a male's checkered headdress in place. The administrator initially posted a picture of a man beating a woman using the igal headdress, but that has since been removed.
*This YouTube video features a young Saudi man in a mask mocking women as barely capable of functioning, much less driving. If allowed to drive, the unnamed speaker says, they would confuse the gender roles, threatening the masculine supremacy of society.
Despite rumors in the Egyptian media that former President Hosni Mubarak could receive a pardon, he was referred to the Attorney General today for prosecution in the deaths of protesters during the January 25th revolution. An estimated 846 people were killed during the uprising. Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal and others face criminal charges of conspiring to kill civilians. Moheet newspaper reported that "the Attorney General issued a decree forming a committee of medical experts to re-examine Mubarak's health and assess the possibility of his transfer to a prison hospital."
May 24, 2011
photo credit: illustir