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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

SUBVERSIVE TV
In a video clip taken from Syrian state television that is circulating with the title, "Syrian girl terrorizes 1,000 men," a woman named Zubaida calls in to a live broadcast. The banner below the presenter indicates that the next segment of the show will feature the live, televised confessions of members of "terrorist cells armed with weapons and money and taking orders from external forces to implement their experimental plans inside Syria." As Zubaida extends greetings to Daraa and Jisr al-Shughour, where she says she is from, she begins to denounce government corruption and the presenter briefly looks off camera for his own orders. "Ms. Zubaida, your voice is very weak and we can't hear you very well," he says, despite the fact that her voice is entirely too clear. She denounces the "official media's lies' as the presenter babbles incomprehensibly over her and the channel cuts to pre-recorded footage of a nighttime pro-Assad rally in Damascus.

FACEBOOK FREEDOM
The Syria Revolution Facebook group unveiled a new "I Love the Syrian Revolution" logo, under which is written "because it is the way to achieve our freedom." The group's administrator adds below: "because we want freedom and dignity… because it is our promise to the martyrs… because we are a people of dignity and pride… because we are free." One commenter from Homs, Syria writes: "This is the first time I feel able to say whatever I want, and that is the first step on the path to freedom."

TRIAL DATE
Al Jazeera reports that former Tunisian President Zein el-Abedine Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabulsi, will be tried in absentia beginning on June 20th. The Ben Alis have sought refuge in Saudi Arabia since the president resigned on January 14th. Tunisian Prime Minister Baji al-Sibsi said that Tunisian authorities have asked Saudi Arabia to extradite the Ben Alis for trial. They face charges of "drug possession, weapons and racketeering," the network reported.

FOR THE RECORD
The Jordanian government is working hard to counter the narrative presented by multiple eyewitnesses that a group of young men attacked King Abdullah's motorcade and threw rocks and empty bottles at it during a visit to the impoverished, tribal southern town of Tafila, 200 kilometers south of Amman. "What happened is a stampede," said Tafila MP Yahya al-Saud. "What happened is the result of a stampede," echoed fellow Tafila MP Abdul Rahman al-Hinaqteh, stressing that the king received "the most beautiful welcome." A Jordanian security source, meanwhile, confirmed to AFP that bottles and stones were thrown at the king.


June 14, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

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-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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