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ARABICA - A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

ARABICA - A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

The Syrian New Media group has posted a primer to explain to Syrians the meaning of the term "civil disobedience." The first of multiple installments, the two-and-a-half minute clip explains that any country is comprised of a regime, the people and the land. "The most important thing in any country is the people. Why? Because the people can take care of themselves. But a regime is useless unless it has a people to rule over," the youth narrating the video in Syrian dialect says. "When the regime abuses its people, the people must be awake and not give in," the narrator says, adding that "the people know what's right and wrong because the country belongs to them."

SYRIA: NAME THE PROTESTThe Syrian Revolution Facebook group is polling its 322,000 members on what to name the upcoming Friday of protests on December 9th. Among the most popular choices being considered: "Friday of a strike for dignity" and the "Friday of Russian criminal colloboration." Other options include the "Friday of Syrians against sectarianism" and the "Friday of freeing ourselves."

In the leading Arabic media, the Syrian regime has managed to distract and redirect the lead story to its ongoing ambivalence about signing a minor Arab League proposal that would allow observers into the country. An all-out Syrian government PR effort has successfully reframed the story as one about Syria considering allowing the observers. But anti-Syrian Lebanese paper An-Nahar notes the bait-and-switch in its lead headline: Damascus conditionally accepts terms for observers; escalates sectarian killings in Homs."

The Kuwaiti emir dissolved the parliament for "stalling the march of progress and threatening the higher interests of the country," Al Hayat reported. The dissolution is considered an opposition victory, coming after the royal-led government resigned last week following months of official interrogations in parliament and popular protests directed primarily against Prime Minister Nasser al-Sabah, a nephew of the emir. The constitution stipulates that new elections be held within 60 days.

The Libyan government announced it is giving armed militias two weeks to leave Tripoli. The City Council met with the interim Prime Minister Abdulrahim Al-Kib and promised to "end the presence of weapons in the capital before the end of the year."

Dec. 7, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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Iran's War On Abortion Rights, A Toxic Mix Of Theocracy And Demographic Panic

Ending a pregnancy has become a major complication, and a crime, for Iranian women who cannot or will not have children in a country wracked by socio-economic woes and a leadership.

photo of a young child surrounded by women in chadors

Iran's government wants to boost the birth rate at all costs

Office of Supreme Leader/ZUMA
Firoozeh Nordstrom

Keen to boost the population, Iran's Islamic regime has reversed its half-hearted family planning policies of earlier years and is curbing birth control with measures that include banning abortion.

Its (2021) Law to Support the Family and Rejuvenate the Population (Qanun-e hemayat az khanevadeh va javani-e jam'iyat) threatens to fine the women who want to abort, and fine, imprison, and dismiss the performing physician, if the pregnancy is not deemed to be life-threatening. The law also bans contraceptives.

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The measures are in line with the dictates of Iran's Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. He was already denouncing birth control policies by 2018-19, though conservative elements among Iran's rulers have always dismissed birth control as a piece of Western corruption.

Today, measures to boost families include land and credit incentives for young couples, but it is difficult to say how far they will counter a marked reluctance among Iranians to marry and procreate. Kayhan-London had an online conversation with individuals affected by the new rules in Iran.

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