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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


12-MM TALKING
*A man in the northern Syrian city of Idlib found a creative way to describe recent protests in the city. "The city of Idlib, June 26th 2011," he begins the narrative, while filming bullets placed on two pieces of white paper spelling out the word "freedom" in Arabic. Security forces fired tear gas on protesters and in crowded residential neighborhoods, the man says, and then used rubber bullets. As he is talking, he picks up a shell casing that forms part of the last letter of "freedom" and holds it close to the camera. "Twelve milliters – written on it ‘Made in Damascus,"" he said. Then he picks up a rubber bullet, neatly placed next to a second to form the dots under one of the Arabic letters. "Bashar and his thugs only understand the language of bullets," the narrator says.

LANGUAGE OF REFORM
*Demonstrators both for and against reforms proposed by King Mohammed VI took place in cities across Morocco. The proposed changes require a referendum vote before being implemented. They include transforming Morocco into a constitutional monarchy and making Tamazight, the Berber language, one of the country's official languages.

HEALTH BULLETIN
*Yemeni news website Maarib Press reports that "hundreds of thousands' of Yemenis took to the streets demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime and denouncing American and Saudi intervention in the country. Protesters also demanded that Saudi Arabia disclose details about the health of Saleh, who has been in a Saudi hospital since a rocket attack on his presidential palace in Sanaa earlier this month. Saleh's health has been the subject of wildly varying rumors and speculation

RED SHIRT
*The Bahrain Revolution February 14 Facebook group posted a video said to be of a government "torturer named Yousef al-Manaee wearing a red shirt in the video and attacking a woman who tried to stop them from arresting the young man." The man in question is Mohammed Reza al-Shaikh, and the administrator states that he was arrested in a-Daye village on Friday, June 25th. A small nighttime protest of men and women appears at the beginning of the clip, with shouts of "the people want the regime to fall." At 4 minutes 30 seconds in, security forces arrive to the scene. At 7:12, the man in the red shirt pushes an older woman before getting into a police car.

June 27, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

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