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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
By Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا


DRIVING DEBAUCHERY
*The campaign against women driving in Saudi Arabia continues to grow, as a "Saudi religious figure named Mohammed al-Manjad said he considers a woman driving a car sexually immoral because if she gets behind the wheel of a car, she is surely practicing other forms of licentiousness." The word used to describe women who drive is "فاسقة" which is defined in Al-Mawrd dictionary as: "debauched, wanton, licentious, lecherous, immoral, libertine, lascivious." He stressed that women like this and those supporting them are "hateful, malicious and hypocritical." Although the Prophet Mohammed did not mention driving specifically in the seventh-century Quran, "he did state that it is hypocritical for a women to drive a camel or a donkey, and that same sentiment therefore applies to women driving a car."

*Saudi news website Sabq.org reports that Manal al-Sharif was released from jail after nine days, following reports that she signed a pledge while imprisoned to drop her "I will drive my car" campaign that has caused the government international embarrassment.

AIR STRIKES AND AL QAEDA
*The Arab-language media appears less than impressed by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh airstrikes on the small southern city of Zinjibar, which was reportedly taken over by an estimated 300 Al Qaeda militants. For months, Saleh has been claiming that his resignation would create a vacuum in which Al Qaeda could take over the country. Moheet.com opines that Saleh "is exhausting all means available to him to stay in his position, especially the option of civil war and the scarecrow Al Qaeda."

THE OTHER TAHRIR SQUARE
*Coverage instead focused on the reported 20 people shot dead by security forces while protesting in the city of Taiz. "Republican Guard units and gunmen loyal to the president stormed Tahrir Square in Taiz," BBC News reported. "Security forces, accompanied by gunmen from the ruling party's supporters, burned all the tents erected in the square and used bulldozers to remove the tents after the looting and burning of all its contents," the network reported.

May 30, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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