Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Women's News June 24, 2011 - UPDATE

The American Muslim woman weightlifter who wanted to compete in hijab has won her appeal.  The International Weighlifting Federation decided than she can compete in hijab and full unitard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Gaza Flotilla!

A flotilla has been preparing in Greece for a trip to Gaza.  Israel, of course, is trying to stop it.  The latest news is that some of the ships have been sabotaged.

Check out this quote:

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said yesterday the flotilla was reinforcing the fiction that there was hunger in the Strip, while in fact this was not the case. "The flotilla we're supposed to meet is creating a story that doesn't exist to maintain an actual story," Gantz said. "Anyone reading the papers will see that, at the end of the day, the situation reflected in Gaza is that of water parks and the beach, and the distance between that and a humanitarian problem is so great there isn't any connection."

Apparently the UK disagrees with that, although they don't recommend a flotilla.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top Stories June 27, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Intl court orders arrest of Qaddafi, son, key aide - The ICC is finally after Qaddafi.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Dissidents openly call for democracy at Damascus meeting - Syrian dissidents held a public meeting for democracy.

Haaretz (Israel):  Israel detains Palestinian terror cell suspected of planning attacks in Jerusalem - A group belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was arrested.  They were planning some attacks in Jerusalem and were going to kidnap a soldier.

Turkish Daily News:  International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Gadhafi - More info on the ICC's decision.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Women's News June 24, 2011

I've posted before about the plight of Asian workers in the Middle East (and elsewhere) who are mistreated.  You may remember that Saudi Arabia has really had some problems with mistreating house maids.  Well, now they've executed a house maid from Indonesia, who killed her abusive employer.  Indonesia is livid and recalled their ambassador, because they were not informed, and have decided not to allow any more workers to go to Saudi Arabia.  The suspension starts August 1st.  There are currently 28 Indonesians on death row in Saudi Arabia.

The Women2Drive campaign is under way in Saudi Arabia.  Women are driving and posting photos of it online.  You can support them at their Facebook page.

The first woman priest in the Middle East was ordained in Bahrain this month.  She's an Anglican who used to work in Yemen, but is currently posted in Dubai.  Apparently Bahrain is the "cathedral of the Gulf," which is why the ceremony was there.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Top Stories June 20, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Syrian president blames crisis on 'saboteurs' - President Assad gave a speech warning about "no reform through vandalism."

Lebanon Daily Star:  Assad outlines roadmap to Syria reform - There may be elections in August.

Haaretz (Israel):  Assad promises elections, complete reform package in Syria within months - Yes, more on the Assad speech.

Turkish Daily News:  Assad announces 'national dialogue' in Syria - And it's officially an all-Assad news day!  Protesters are using "illegal means" for their demands.  Assad offered condolences for the deaths that have occurred.  I guess these deaths were spontaneous and not caused by his army.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Women's News June 14, 2011

Quite a bit has been happening lately.

Bahraini woman Ayat al-Qurmezi has been sentenced to jail time for writing and reading poetry that "incited hatred against the regime."

A Kuwaiti woman who burned down her husband's wedding tent when he tried to marry a second wife, which killed 57 women and children, has been sentenced to death.  

A Pakistani-American who became a weight-lifter is trying to get permission to compete in the hijab.  Weight-lifters usually wear form-fitting clothing, but she can't, for religious reasons.

In a previous post I discussed how Muslim women are trying to compete in beauty pageants and I mentioned Miss Turkey and a woman who hopes to be Miss UK.  I just wanted to point out that the current Miss USA is a Muslim woman originally from Lebanon.

Women's News May 23, 2011 - UPDATE

One of the articles I linked to was about a lesbian woman from Syria and her blog, called A Gay Girl in Damascus.  As is often the way of the Internet, it's a fake.  The real blogger is 40, American, male, and lives in Scotland.  Personally, I'm really let down by this.  The man claims he was trying to raise awareness for the Middle East, but in the process he's hurt the LGBT community.  Now the next homosexual Middle East blogger will be treated with much more suspicion and people will wonder if it's really that bad over there.

Top Stories June 13, 2011

Arab News (Saudi Arabia): As Libya burns, Qaddafi plays chess - with the head of the World Chess Federation, who is Russian.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Mikati forms 30-member Lebanon Cabinet -  The majority is held by the March 8 coalition, fronted by Hizbollah.

Haaretz (Israel):  Father of alleged Israeli spy in Egypt says son entered country legally - The 28-year-old man is a student at Emory University in the US, studying law.

Turkish Daily News:  Turkish PM Erdogan rolls up sleeves for new term - In elections yesterday, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) won a majority of votes.

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain):  Dialogue Roadmap - A "multi-party national dialogue" is supposed to start on July 1st.  Very little news on the protest that took place over the weekend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Top Stories June 6, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  We are laboratory of knowledge, not gas station of world: Alireza - The Commerce and Industry Minister doesn't want the Kingdom to simply be a gas station.  He was at a meeting of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Israeli Carnage in Golan Heights - Pro-Palestinian protesters from Syria tried to cross the border and were stopped by Israel.  Israel blames Syria, while Syria says it was not responsible.

Haaretz (Israel):  IDF: Only a few live bullets fired during Naksa Day protest on Syria border - Syria says 23 protesters were killed.  The IDF says Molotov cocktails from the protesters set off a mine.

Turkish Daily News:  Bootlegged alcohol claims fourth victim - A fourth Russian tourist has died after drinking bootlegged alcohol.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saleh in Saudi

President Saleh of Yemen was injured yesterday, and is now in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) for treatment.  Some of his relatives went with him, which is causing rumors that maybe he won't be going back.

The Yemen Post website appears to be suspended, and many of the other news sites haven't updated in a few days.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yemen Fighting Still

Yemen is really disintegrating.  Things were a bit on edge before the "Arab Spring" started, and now it seems to be civil war between Saleh's tribe/clan and the Al-Ahmer clan (Hashid confederation).  There's fighting in Sana'a (which briefly shut down the airport) and in Ta'iz.  Apparently the military is using tanks and cannon in Sana'a, trying to take back government offices taken by the Al-Ahmer group.

And, of course, all the "infighting" helps AQAP.  They just took the seaport of Maqateen, in Shoqra city, Abyan province.  Parts of Abyan have been taken over by Islamists, and a city in Shabwa province was declared an "Islamic emirate."