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You are in the 184th Witness Revolution diary, bearing witness to pro-democracy movements in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. We aim here to simply report, from as many reliable worldwide resources as possible, on the successes, challenges or failures as brave people strive against oppression for representative democracy with civil and human rights. One small bit of assurance that they do not strive in obscurity.



(h/t UnaSpenser 5/4) Video shot by two journalists posing as tourists inside Syria

(ht JustJennifer 5/5) -
The future of Syria,
From The Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page

(ht JustJennifer 5/5) - Heartbreaking visual aide about the conditions in Daraa, Daraa under siege

(ht JustJennifer 5/5) - From The Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page

More news listed country by country below the fold...

This group produces a series of diaries which provide background and analysis on the region in general and on individual countries. We hope these provide context for you as you read about current events. The published diaries in the series are:
Eyes on Egypt and the Region Background Resources
See the group stream for other diary series.

We collect suggested readings for background reference materials in support of the Eyes on Egypt and the Region group. These may be non-fiction or fiction, general to the region or specific to a country or issue. If there are resources which you believe could aid our understanding of the events and processes we are witnessing, please either a) post a comment in the Liveblog with the title "Suggested reading:" and a brief description of the reading in the body of the comment, or b) send your suggestions via the dKos internal message to angry marmot.

Libyan Doctors for Hospitals in Libya is an impressive new aide organization launched by one of our own: StepLeftStepForward.

PLS REC THIS DIARY! Will you please do the following to keep our dKos community eyes on our international friends risking their lives for self-determination?
1. Rec this diary. (click that star just under the title)
2. "Follow" " Eyes on Egypt and the Region. Scroll down the group box on the right-hand side and click "Follow".
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Thank you!

NOTE: We renamed the original "Egypt Liveblog" to "Witnessing Revolution". From Egypt the pro-democracy fire spread rapidly. It's not clear that it will be limited by geography or ethnicity. So, we wanted a name which states what is happening yet allows us to grow with the movement, wherever that will be. The number sequence will be continuous. The group name will remain the same. Only this particular diary series within the group changed names.

Excellent dairy by DK’s unspeakable How an Authoritarian Regime Operates – Why the Arab Spring Protesters are Heroes

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Bank group sees recession in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria

The economies of Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Syria are likely to fall into recession in 2011 as economic activity falls sharply following popular uprisings since January, a global bank group forecast on Tuesday

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Arab Spring sparks review of EU border-free area

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The EU was poised to reinstate border checkpoints and deploy a new corps of frontier guards as fears of a north Africa migrant deluge triggered a review Wednesday of the bloc's passport-free Schengen accord

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Algeria govt approves big hike in public spending

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria announced a sharp increase in budget spending and waived duties on staple foods on Monday in a move designed to stop public discontent spilling over into the kind of revolts rocking other Arab states

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Bahrain's medics are the targets of retribution

At about 11pm on 2 May, Bahrain's criminal investigations directorate summoned Dr Nedhal al-Khalifa, a 42-year-old dermatologist. Her father dropped her off at their headquarters at the ministry of interior at about midnight. Her family, including her four young children, didn't hear anything from her until she was released two days later. Her husband, Dr Sadiq Abdulla, a vascular surgeon, also 42, was detained in the same fashion on 14 April. His whereabouts and condition remains unknown, as does the reason for his detention.

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - UN rights chief slams Bahrain military trials

GENEVA, May 05, 2011 (AFP) - UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Thursday condemned death sentences imposed by military courts in Bahrain on protestors accused of killings as well as military trials for civilian activists

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Bahrain: Arbitrary Arrests Escalate

(Washington, DC) - Security forces arrested two former members of parliament from Bahrain's largest opposition group, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests were the first targeting elected representatives of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which won the popular vote in October 2010 elections, since the large-scale crackdown against protesters and opposition members began in mid-March

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Bahrain, Kingdom of Silence

An eerie silence and a paralyzing sense of fear currently grip Bahrain. Since mid-March, when tens of thousands of protesters last took to the streets demanding political reform, Bahraini security and military forces have engaged in an ongoing, systematic, and brutal campaign to crush the country’s pro-democracy forces. The crackdown has been sweeping and shocking. Dozens of activists have been killed. Hundreds more have been imprisoned and tortured. Bahrain’s leading independent newspaper, al-Wasat, is expected to close down on May 10

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - In Bahrain, World Press Non-Freedom Day

Today is World Press Freedom Day, a day that is being commiserated more than celebrated in many nations, including Bahrain, where journalists and bloggers are currently under siege by government.

Ironically, one of those world leaders celebrating World Press Freedom Day is King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, one of 38 heads of state who have been named “predators of press freedom” by Reporters Without Borders. He issued a statement today saying that he believes “a free, impartial and independent Press is the backbone of democratic development.”

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights lawyer Mr Mohammed Al-Tajir in Manama, Bahrain

The International Observatory for Lawyers expresses its deep concern regarding the arbitrary arrest and detention, on 15 April 2011, of Mohammed al-Tajer by the country security forces.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4 ) - Bahrain renews emergency law as repression persists

The Bahraini government must end its relentless crackdown on human rights, Amnesty International said today after the country's parliament voted to extend a repressive state of emergency amid continued arrests of dissidents.

"The Bahraini authorities must stop detaining anyone who opposes them and release protesters who have been locked up for peacefully demanding reform," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Bahrain to Put Medical Staff on Trial

Bahrain plans to try in a military court nearly 50 doctors and nurses who treated antigovernment protesters during months of unrest, broadening the ruling Al-Khalifa family's crackdown on Shiite opposition supporters.

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Bahrain: Medics blamed for protestors' deaths

Bahrain has said it will charge a number of medical workers with causing the death of two demonstrators, broadening a big crackdown on the opposition in the wake of protests that shook the Gulf island kingdom

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Death sentences in Bahrain: joint statement by EP committee chairs

The death sentences passed on four anti-government protesters in Bahrain on 28 April prompted thousands of appeals, posted by Bahrainis on the European Parliament's Facebook page, for help to get them revoked. Moved by these appeals, committee chairs Gabriele Albertini (Foreign Affairs), Heidi Hautala (Human Rights Sub-Committee) and Angelika Niebler (Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula) issued the following joint statement on Tuesday

(h/t Dibsa 5/4 ) - Burkina Faso opposition 'aiming for coup'

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's ruling party on Tuesday accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup by calling for President Blaise Compaore's ouster in a series of popular protests.

The head of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), Roch Marc Christian Kabore, said the situation has revealed "putschist tendencies" which he thought were a thing of the past.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4 ) -
Burkina Faso unions cancel march over violence fears

OUAGADOUGOU — Trade unions and civil society groups in Burkina Faso called off a May Day march here Sunday to avoid violence amid a wave of popular anger against President Blaise Compaore's regime.
"Unfortunately comrades, the information we have is that the route is not secure. If we hold the march now we run the risk of bringing back wounded or dead people," said union spokesman El Hadj Mamadou Nama.
(h/t Dibsa 5/4 ) - Ivory Coast: Dozens die as Laurent Gbagbo's militia fight on

Dozens of people have died in Ivory Coast's commercial capital as the remnants of a militia loyal to Laurent Gbagbo fight on – three weeks after he was deposed.

The stubborn resistance in Abidjan is said to come from mainly Liberian mercenaries hired by Gbagbo as a last throw of the dice after he suffered election defeat and his army crumbled

(h/t UnaSpenser 4/14 ) -

section of article which covers pro-democracy movements throughout Africa

Whilst the world was watching Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt and Libya, Djibouti had an election on 8 April. With no opposition, a state-controlled media and no civil society movement, it was easy enough for President Omar Guelleh to change the constitution allowing him to run for a third term - thereby continuing 35 year rule by the same family. But this little dictatorship is strategically central to the US Africa Command (2,000 US troops are based here) and the NATO countries. Unlike in Libya, Djibouti's 1 million population can expect no support from the West in their small attempts to have a voice.

DailyKos Diary from someone in Egypt doing political organizing consulting:
Challenges with Democracy in Egypt by katienaranjo

Note: For the last year and a half, I have been working on-and-off with Egyptian political parties and youth activists. Below is the first blog post in a series of reports on the upcoming Egyptian elections. This series represents my views from interactions with activists, party leaders, and candidates on the ground in Egypt. I am currently in Cairo after a week of traveling around Egypt meeting with eager activists.
I am a week into my efforts to train Egyptian political activists on how Americans campaign, and it is clear the challenges facing political parties and youth activists here are daunting. In addition to high illiteracy rates, limitations on election resources, and a politically-uninitiated populace, Egypt’s troubles are mounting as its parliamentary elections draw near.

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Egypt ex-minister Habib al-Adly jailed for 12 years

Egyptian former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly has been sentenced to 12 years in jail on charges of money-laundering and profiteering.

As head of the country's security services, Adly was a key part of ex-President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Mubarak faces possible execution, Egyptian official says

Cairo (CNN) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be executed if he is convicted of ordering the killing of protesters, Egypt's justice minister said Wednesday.
"One of the charges he is facing is complicity in the killing of martyrs and issuing the orders for premeditated the killing of those people," said Justice Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz al-Juindy. "This is a charge with a harsh punishment -- the death penalty."

(h/t Dibsa 4/29) - Iranian journalist protests against sentences with hunger strike

"I will refuse food, telephone contacts, visits or furloughs until my demands are met. I protest against all the sentences issued against me. I will continue this path until I get a result and everything that happens to me will be the responsibility of those who have issued sentences against me and have a role in keeping me imprisoned in Ward 2A," Nourizad wrote in a letter addressed to Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, Tehran's Prosecutor.

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Slide Show: Iraqi Kurdistan's Democratic Challenge

The protests sweeping the Middle East have motivated thousands of Kurds from all walks of life to demonstrate in cities across Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region in northern Iraq. While their demands—an end to widespread corruption and greater civil and political rights—have been more modest than their regime-change-seeking counterparts in neighboring countries, the democratically elected Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has reacted to these protests in much the same way as despots around the regi

(h/t Dibsa 4/21 ) - Israeli leftists call for Palestinian state

TEL AVIV (AFP) – Some 300 Israeli left-wingers, including prominent cultural leaders, gathered in Tel Aviv on Thursday to call for the Jewish state to embrace the creation of a Palestinian state.
The activists met to sign a petition, which is endorsed by 17 winners of the prestigious Israel Prize, in a symbolic ceremony in front of the building where the state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948.
The ceremony was met with anger by several dozen right-wing protesters who also gathered at the site and had to be kept away by a heavy police presence, an AFP photographer at the scene said

(h/t Dibsa 4/27) - Jordan king creates panel to review constitution

AMMAN (AFP) – Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday asked a former prime minister to head a committee to review the constitution and consider amendments, in a bid to face growing demands for reforms.
The king asked Ahmad Lawzi and the 10-member committee, which includes other former premiers, to "look into constitutional amendments that would be suitable for Jordan in the present and future," said the state-run Petra news agency.

(h/t Dibsa 4/29) - Ahistorical Kuwaiti sectarianism

Sectarian violence in Bahrain has led many to nervously speculate about the potential for these events to set rapidly into motion a downward spiral of Sunni-Shia relations in the rest of the Gulf, and the catastrophe that could arise should the violence pit the regional religious rhetorical powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran against each other. One vital question is how much weight will the turmoil in Bahrain have over other Shiite communities in the Gulf, namely the large Shia population in Kuwait, perhaps the U.S.'s strongest regional ally and strategic partner in the region?

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/19 ) - Turkish envoy to Lebanon: Democracy will spread

Turkey's ambassador to Lebanon, Inan Ozyildiz, believes that despite the recent political uncertainty, all political actors in Lebanon are "engaging in dialogue," and expects democracy to take root in every country in the Arab world.

"Although every country in the region has its own characteristics and political history, the people of the Middle East have a common demand: Democracy," said Ozyildiz.
According to Ozyildiz, the Arab world's transition to democracy is late in coming. "These uprisings were kind of late, they should have started immediately after the end of the Cold War," said Ozyildiz.

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Libya: International group discusses funding for rebels

An international grouping is meeting in Rome to discuss financial aid for Libya's rebels.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Libya Contact Group would also look at ways to put pressure on Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Libyan govt forces shell port as aid ship docks

MISRATA, Libya – Moammar Gadhafi's forces shelled the port area of this besieged rebel city on Wednesday, killing a woman, a man and two children as an international aid ship was docked, a medical official said.

The ferry, chartered to evacuate nearly 1,000 migrant workers, had spent three nights outside Misrata waiting to come in. Last week, Gadhafi's forces were caught mining the harbor entrance, and the Red Star One was guided into the port by tug boat Wednesday to avoid mines.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Libya's Misrata pounded as ICC eyes crimes

TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces pounded the lifeline port of Misrata with deadly fire on Wednesday, as the International Criminal Court said his regime was still carrying out crimes against humanity.

A rebel spokesman said at least five people were killed as loyalists shelled Misrata port, from which an International Organisation of Migration ship managed to evacuate about 800 people, including stranded migrants and wounded

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Car bomb explodes at rebel headquarters in Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya – The general in charge of Libya's rebel forces says a car bomb exploded in front of their headquarters in northeast Benghazi.

Gen. Abdel-Fattah Younis says no one was injured, but an APTN cameraman saw a person with an arm cut by shattered glass.


A vision of a democratic Libya an 8-point plan from the National Transitional Council
The full text of UN Resolution 1970 on Libya.
The full text of UN Resolution 1973 on Libya.
President Obama's letter to Congress regarding commencement of operations in Libya. (h/t greenbird)
Al Jazeera Libyan live blog. (h/t jnhobbs)
UK Telegraph Libyan live blog. (h/t bee tzu)
BBC Libyan live blog found here. (h/t greenbird)
The New Yorker Dispatches from Libya. (h/t suejazz)
BBC's Libyan crisis mapped. (h/t phil S 33)
revolutionology is a blog from an American in Benghazi

(h/t dibsa 4/26) - Mauritanian police use teargas to break up protest

NOUAKCHOTT, April 25 (Reuters) - Security forces using teargas and batons dispersed several hundred anti-government protesters in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott on Monday, the most serious clash in the West African state for nearly two months.

(h/t mimi 4/30 ) -
CIA Part of Investigation of 'Düsseldorf Cell'

The arrest of three suspected al-Qaida members in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Friday followed a months-long investigation that, in addition to the German authorities, also included the participation of the CIA and Moroccan secret service. The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) created its own special "Comet" investigative unit to look into the case.
The detainees are suspected of being members of the international terrorist organization al-Qaida. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, the main suspect in the so-called "Düsseldorf Cell" is Abdeladim K. of Morocco. He is believed to have been in regular contact with an allegedly high-ranking al-Qaida official in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.
Meanwhile, the report in Die Welt claimed that the three Moroccan men, who have German passports, are part of a larger group of terror suspects

(h/t Dibsa 4/27 ) - Palestinian officials: Unity agreement reached

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians have reached initial agreement on reuniting their rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza, officials from both sides said Wednesday, a step that would remove a main obstacle in the way of peace efforts with Israel.
Even before the agreement was to be signed, however, key questions about how to unify rival security forces remained unsolved. Israel immediately rejected the prospect of a Palestinian government including Hamas, and the U.S. expressed similar concerns

(h/t UnaSpenser ) - Hamas-Fatah reconciliation a Palestinian form of Arab spring

Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a historic achievement for the Palestinians, whose rivalries and divisions have weakened them and been exploited by their enemies.
Agreement to form an interim government and fix a date for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next year is also a real triumph for Egyptian mediation – and a surprise given the momentous changes in Cairo in the past few months.
But above all it is a challenge to Israel, the US and EU, which have all shunned Hamas as a terrorist organisation since its shock victory in Palestinian elections in 2006.
The agreement is, in its way, a version of the Arab spring shaking regimes from Libya to Syria and giving hope of change after years of impasse.

(h/t JustJennifer 4/23) - Protests break out in Omani city

At least 1,000 protesters have taken to the streets in Oman's southern port city of Salalah in one of the biggest pro-reform demonstrations since scattered unrest began in the Gulf Arab sultanate two months ago.

The protesters assembled in a car park across the street from the governor's office on Friday, where a preacher led mid-day prayers and led them on a march across the city.

"The Omani people are not afraid of protesting for as long as it takes for reform, [but] first and foremost is to get government officials, who have been embezzling funds for years, to stand trial," Amer Hargan, the leader, told the crowd.

(h/t Dibsa 4/21) - Oman pardons 234 arrested during protests

(CNN) -- Oman's ruler has pardoned 234 people who were arrested during anti-government protests earlier in the year, the Gulf state's news agency said.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said pardoned only those who were taken into custody for "the crimes of crowding in public streets," the Oman News Agency said Wednesday

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Saudi Arabia

May 3 (Reuters) - The world's No. 1 oil exporter faces the twin challenges of creating jobs for a young population at a time of unrest in the Arab world, and pursuing economic reforms with a royal succession looming.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Saudi Arabia keeps female voting ban

Recently, Saudi Arabia opened registration for the second municipal elections, initially scheduled for Oct. 31, 2009, but delayed on the grounds that the authorities "needed time to expand the electorate and study the possibility of allowing women to vote." The first such elections were held in 2005 when women were excluded.

(h/t Dibsa 5/5) - Syria: Raid in Damascus suburb as crackdown defied

Hundreds of Syrian troops stormed the Damascus suburb of Saqba overnight - breaking into houses and arresting about 300 people, witnesses say.
Tanks and troops are also reported to have been sent to other trouble spots, amid fresh reports of anti-government demonstrations in Homs and Hama.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Syria protesters vow to stay firm on 'revolution'

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Anti-regime protesters pledged to press ahead with their "revolution" on Wednesday despite sweeping arrests by Syrian authorities, as France called for sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad.

The vow came as around 150 students held a brief sit-in at the university in the besieged southern flashpoint town of Daraa, as activists said more than 1,000 people had been arrested across the country so far this week.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Syrian leader: Army operation in south to end soon

BEIRUT – Syria on Wednesday promised to end its military operation in the southern city of Daraa, where its forces are besieging the anti-government protesters that sparked a wave of demonstrations across the authoritarian nation.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Syrian authorities holding Al-Jazeera reporter

BEIRUT – Al-Jazeera news channel says Syrian authorities have confirmed the detention of one of its reporters missing since Friday.

Dorothy Parvaz traveled to Syria on Friday to report on the political turmoil there.
Parvaz works for the English-language arm of the news network. She holds U.S., Iranian and Canadian citizenship and was once a reporter and columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Al-Jazeera called on Syrian authorities to release Parvaz immediately.

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Red Cross Presses for Access to Syria Victims

The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging Syria to lift restrictions on access to people injured in violence between police and anti-government protesters.

Representatives for the relief group said Tuesday that the violence has resulted in a large number of casualties and if the situation worsens, more lives could be lost.

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Iran presses Syria over missing journalist

Iran's foreign minister wants the Syrian government to look into the case of an Al Jazeera journalist who has been missing in Syria since Friday afternoon.

Dorothy Parvaz left the Qatari capital, Doha, for Syria to cover events in the country, but there has been no contact with the 39-year-old since she disembarked from a Qatar Airways flight in Damascus

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) - Activist says 1,000 arrested in Syria sweep

A prominent rights activist has said Syrian authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people in their latest security sweep.

Ammar Qurabi, the head of the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, said on Tuesday that his group had documented about 1,000 names of people who were detained across Syrian provinces in door-to-door raids since Saturday.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Tunisia hands ousted dictator additional charges

TUNIS, Tunisia – The official TAP news agency says Tunisia's toppled president and his wife are facing additional charges of wrongdoing in a bloody crackdown that followed his January ouster.
Wednesday's report cites a Justice Ministry statement as saying Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and former first lady Leila Trabelsi are facing charges including "inciting disorder, murder or pillaging on Tunisian soil."

(h/t Dibsa 5/5 ) - FACTBOX-Political risks to watch in the United Arab Emirates

(Reuters) - As political upheaval sweeps through the Arab world, the federation of seven emirates remains one of two unaffected Gulf Arab states, in addition to Qatar.

The per capita incomes of the UAE and Qatar remain among the highest in the world -- eighth and third, respectively -- thanks to their relatively small populations and oil and gas wealth.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4 ) - UAE: Human rights officials condemn government crackdown

Human rights advocates decried what they called a “crackdown on civil society” in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday after authorities replaced the leadership of the country's teachers association, a well-established group that had called for democratic reforms, with government officials sympathetic to the administration.

“This attack on civil society is further proof that those in power in the UAE see anyone calling for reform as fair game,” Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director of the New York-based nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch, said in a Tuesday statement. “UAE authorities should immediately stop their hostile takeover of civil society and free the peaceful democracy activists.”

(h/t Dibsa 5/3) -
UN extends peacekeepers in Western Sahara

The Security Council has approved a resolution that mentions human rights in the contested north African territory of Western Sahara for the first time.
But human rights groups and the organization backing independence for the territory's Sahwari people say the resolution doesn't go far enough. They say an independent rights monitoring body is still needed.

(h/t dibsa 5/4) - Yemen in Danger of Collapse If Pact Not Signed, Eryani Says

Yemen is in danger of collapse if a Gulf-brokered agreement that calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down within a month is not signed soon, said Abdul-Karim al-Eryani, Saleh’s political adviser.

(h/t Dibsa 5/4) - Blast kills 9 in Yemen, including 5 soldiers

SANAA, Yemen – An explosion on Wednesday ripped through a Yemeni military vehicle in the south, killing five soldiers, while another four civilians died in the ensuing firefight.

The blast hit the vehicle close to a busy market selling qat, the mildly stimulating leaf that Yemenis addictively chew in a province known as a stronghold for the local branch of the al-Qaida militant group

It bears repeating - Please Rec this diary.

Our Egyptian brethren articulated what people around the region are fighting for, though variations to the theme may exist from country to country. banner held by protesters and translated to English:

1 The departure of Mubarak
2 An end to the current Parliament
3 An end of the state of emergency
4 The creation of a national united government
5 A parliament elected by the people to modify the constitution and run the presidential elections
6 Put those responsible for the killings on trial
7 Put those responsible for stealing the country's money and other acts of corruption on trial

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Note: The old Mothership Diary has good list of resources.

Al Jazeera English - Watch Live (the Youtube link below should work for Mac users unable to load this.)

Al Jazeera live also available on: Dish Network channel 9410 OR DirecTV Channel 375 Link

Al Jazeera on Facebook: - http: //

Al Jazeera Live on YouTube
English Stream
Arabic Stream

BBC Middle East reporting
BBC Middle East and Arab Unrest

WorldWideTahrir{NEW} : Worldwide protests being organized to coincide with the upcoming ones in Egypt.
bicycle Hussein paladin - Why Iran 1979 Went to the Islamists and This One Won't

People to follow on twitter: - please suggest people for specific countries. Thank you!

@ArabRevolution - Region
@Dima_Khatib - Region

@March15Syria - Syria

@JNovak_Yemen - Yemen
@WomanfromYemen - Yemen

@Gheblawi - Libya
@ShababLibya - Libya
@feb17voices - Libya
@DrsForLibya - Libya
@libyanexpat - Libya

@lissnp - Iran
@prsianbanoo - Iran

@sandmonkey - Egypt
@JRamyRaoof - Egypt
@Elazul - Egypt
@Ssirgany - Egypt
@speaktotweet: Egyptian Voice Tweets on Twitter

Previous Child Diaries:

Egypt and the Region Liveblog Archive by unaspenser

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you, JustJennifer (10+ / 0-)

    and the entire team of this series.  I'm hotlisting for a long day's read.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 10:07:36 AM PDT

  •  Syria: EU 'close' on Syrian sanctions- Reuters (7+ / 0-)

    EU governments may agree Syria sanctions on Friday
    BRUSSELS | Thu May 5, 2011 12:27pm EDT

    The European Union may reach preliminary agreement on imposing sanctions on Syria's leadership on Friday, but have yet to decide whether President Bashar al-Assad should be included, diplomats said.

    EU member states agreed in principle last week to impose an arms embargo on Syria following the government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, but discussions are still going on over whether to target specific individuals with asset freezes, travel bans or other similar steps.

    Ambassadors from EU member states will meet again on Friday to discuss the list of individuals who could be targeted. Any sanctions have to be approved unanimously.

    "There is broad agreement for individual sanctions, only Estonia doesn't agree," one EU diplomat said. "The second big discussion is whether Assad should be included."

    ( .. )

    Asked about Estonia's opposition, an Estonian government spokeswoman said only that discussions were ongoing.

    One issue that may be making Tallin reluctant is concern over the fate of seven Estonian tourists kidnapped in March near a Lebanese village where a pro-Syrian Palestinian militant group has a base. Syria retains considerable influence in Lebanon.

  •  Great job, Una. Powerful vids up top. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Libya: NYT editorial calls for more intervention (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, jnhobbs, JustJennifer
    Stalled Mission in Libya

    Unless NATO, including the United States, get more serious, Libya’s liberation war could turn into a prolonged, bloody stalemate. Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is ruthless, and rebel forces are weak and disorganized. NATO still has the military means to help tip the balance if it can summon the unity and the will.

    In their latest horror, Qaddafi forces rained shells this week on the rebel-held port area of Misurata, trying to keep international relief vessels from unloading humanitarian supplies. The civilian death toll from the war is already estimated in the thousands, while streams of desperate refugees keep pouring into Tunisia, Egypt and Europe. The alliance needs to get its act together.

    President Obama was right to hand over this mission to Canadian and European command once the initial American strikes had shattered Libyan air defenses. But crucial momentum was lost in the transition. Coordination with rebel fighters was initially poor, leading to friendly fire disasters. The string of defections from the Qaddafi inner circle came to an end, as government forces dug in.

    NATO allies, particularly Britain and France, have the high performance fighters that can carry the main burden of the air campaign. But the Pentagon needs to send America’s specialized low-flying attack planes, the A-10 and the AC-130, back into action against Libyan Army tanks. These are far more effective at destroying enemy vehicles and avoiding friendly ones.

  •  Libya: TNC official to come to Wash. DC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, jnhobbs, JustJennifer

    From Foreign Policy magazine

    Libyan opposition leader coming to Washington next week

    Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril is coming to Washington on May 12, about a month after he postponed his previously planned visit due to a cancelled flight.

    The opposition's official representative in Washington, former Libyan Ambassador Ali Aujali, announced the visit on Thursday, and said Jibril will meet with administration officials, lawmakers, and give a speech at the Brookings Institution. During his previously scheduled trip, he had planned to speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    "We are deeply grateful to the US for its diplomatic leadership, military support, and humanitarian assistance in the fight against the Qaddafi regime," said Ajuli in a statement. "During his visit, Dr. Jibril will help to fill out the picture and the plans of the opposition and its leadership in its efforts to establish a free and democratic Libya."

  •  Libya: Why many who opposed invading Iraq (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, jnhobbs, JustJennifer

    support military intervention in Libya

    The Guardian

    ... why, exactly, is Libya different? (then the situation in Iraq)

    There were certainly some who made a case for "liberal interventionism" in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it was muddied by numerous other factors and for that reason never became very convincing. With Iraq, there was a long build-up as American neoconservatives and the Israel lobby beat their war drums, plus some very transparent attempts to cook up evidence that Saddam Hussein posed an immediate threat to international security – the "dodgy dossier", and so on.

    Intervention in Iraq was also widely opposed by the Arab public (as well as some of their leaders) and there were serious legal questions as to whether the UN security council had actually authorised war.

    In Libya, the humanitarian aspect was more clear-cut and less complicated by other factors. The Gaddafi regime had made explict threats against its population and there were reasonable grounds for believing a bloodbath would ensue.

    Also, between the outbreak of the conflicts in Iraq and Libya, the UN had adopted the principle of "responsibility to protect" (supported by various humanitarian organisations) and, in effect, Libya was the major first test of its effectiveness.

  •  Libya: Govt-called meeting of Tribal leaders (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, jnhobbs, JustJennifer

    accused of being a sham


    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Several hundred tribal elders gathered Thursday in the Libyan capital in what a government official said was a show of widespread support for Moammar Gadhafi. Rebels dismissed the claim as bogus.


    A rebel spokesman dismissed claims that those attending the Tripoli conference represented all Libyan tribes.

    "Libya doesn't have 850 tribes," said the head of the political committee of the rebel's Transitional National Council, Fathi Baja, in the eastern city of Benghazi. "Gadhafi is just a big liar. ... He never had any legitimacy. The Libyan people did not choose him."

    Na'eem Jeenah, director of the Afro-Middle East Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, has said Libya has about 140 tribes and clans. He has said Gadhafi has manipulated tribal rivalries and made regular payouts to tribal leaders to juggle his long tenure in power.

  •  Syria: rights group accuses gov't of massacre (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    from Wael El Ebrashy:

    A Syrian human rights group has accused the government of carrying out "10 days of massacres" against protesters in the southern city of Deraa.
    The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) says snipers and anti-aircraft machine guns are being used to fire on unarmed civilians.
    Recent amateur video appears to show dozens of unarmed protesters being shot and bleeding to death on the streets.
  •  Bahrain: protester sentenced to 5 years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    from Wael El Brashy:

    A Bahraini military court has sentenced a man to at least five years in jail for the attempted murder of policemen during recent anti-government protests.
    Abdulla Mohammed Habib was also given two years in detention for damaging public property, state media say.
    The Bahraini authorities deny any human rights abuses.
    They accuse Iran of being behind the unrest - a charge denied by Tehran
  •  Yemen: poet's tongue cut out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    from Yemen Rights Monitor:

    The poet Waleed that his tongue was cutt of by unknown people- Regime is blaming JMP and JMP is blaming regime.

    there is a video of him in a hospital bed:

  •  Iran: Ahmadinejad allies accused of sorcery (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, killjoy, JustJennifer, jnhobbs, bee tzu

    I post this here because what is happening here suggests that there is less than zero movement toward reform in Iran:
    from The Guardian

    Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).
    Khamenei's supporters believe that the top-level confrontation stems from the increasing influence of Mashaei, an opponent of greater involvement of clerics in politics, who is being groomed by Ahmadinejad as a possible successor.

    okay, after laughing at the idea that an official government in the 21st century thinks it's plausible to accuse people of sorcery, the saddest part of this story is that Ahmadinejad is actually being shut out because he is more liberal than the Khomeini/the clerics can put up with. When Ahmadinejad is too liberal, one wonders how the Iranian people will ever get out from under these religiously fanatic tyrants.

    •  A few weeks ago I remember seeing an overview (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of countries in the N. Africa/ME region which made a pretty convincing case that the Iranian govt has been pretty effective in repressing those seeking more freedom (I have read so much in the last few months I unfortunately cannot remember the particular article).

      It's kind of heartbreaking, as a film buff, I have a particular interest in Iran due to a spate of great Iranian filmmakers in the 90's and 00's.

  •  Syria: Friday protests under way- Al Jazeera (4+ / 0-)

    Syrians turn out for 'day of defiance'

    Protesters have taken to the streets across Syria for another day of anti-government protests, dubbed a "day of defiance".

    There were reports that five people were killed in Homs and one in Hama. Al Jazeera could not immediately verify the reports.

    Ahead of the protests, the military deployed troops and tanks in politically sensitive areas, and there were reports of live ammunition being fired in the Damascus suburb of Tel, wounding several protesters.

    Demonstrations began after Friday prayers in many cities, including suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

    In the Damascus district of Midan, protesters marched chanting "To heaven we go, one million martyrs". The daughter of Riad Seif, a prominent opposition leader, said her father had been arrested during the demonstration along with several others.

    Huge crowds were rallying in the coastal city of Baniyas.

    In the mainly Kurdish town of Amuda in the northeast, people were chanting "The Syrian people are one" and "Freedom, freedom, peaceful, peaceful".

    A doctor who planned to take part in the demonstrations said "indiscriminate killings and inhumane arrests have generated total disgust among the average Syrian".

  •  Syria: Videos from Syrian cities - (5+ / 0-)

    Al Jazeera ~ Syrian liveblog
    All times given are local (GMT+3)

    Protesters march in the town of Talkalakh, 30km west of Homs. YouTube

    Video from the northern city of Raqqa, protesters chanting slogans against the government and in support of the "martyrs" in Deraa.   YouTube

    This video is from a moped rally in the village Jarjanaz, north of the city of Hama.   You Tube


  •  Yemen: massive protests in Sanaa (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    AFP via Al-Ahram, Yemenis stage new mass protest to oust president

    Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have flooded a boulevard on the western edge of the capital to press their demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

    The crowd released tens of thousands of red, black and white balloons with the message to the president, "Leave, Ali," painted on them.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri May 06, 2011 at 06:14:01 AM PDT

  •  Bahrain: video from Bahraini at The Hague (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, bee tzu

    he expresses his hopes of what they might accomplish there:

  •  Bahrain: Live feed from ICC press conference (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, JustJennifer, bee tzu
  •  sorry i missed your coverage yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, JustJennifer

    real life .

    so appreciate.

  •  Bahrain: breaking news at The Hague (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, petral, JustJennifer, bee tzu, liz, ferg

    Breaking News: The ICC to look at the case IMMEDIATELY

    Around one hour ago (2.30pm GMT) our lawyers left the International Court with very good news.

    The ICC have agreed to look into the case, immediately, so as to avoid any further bloodshed in Bahrain.

    In addition they agreed with our premise that Bahrain is indeed breaking international law and were very positive about our campaign.

  •  Stephen Shalom & Michael Albert on Libya (0+ / 0-)

    Stephen Shalom & Michael Albert Answer Questions on Libya

    This is an excellent discussion of the revolution occurring in Libya.

    Note about The Independent:

    For ten years, The Indypendent has printed truth in the face of power. With political and economic systems faltering, there is an opportunity for real change from the bottom up. But this means having a vibrant independent media.
    •  ^ Let's be clear - it is NOT the UK "Independent" (0+ / 0-)

      It is a completely different publication - spelled the IndYpendent.

      I'm sure your misspelling above the quote was a complete accident.

      •  Of course it's NOT. That's why I included (0+ / 0-)

        the footnote at the bottom.

        For ten years, The Indypendent has printed truth in the face of power....But this means having a vibrant independent media.

        The Independent, The Guardian. The Washington Post and the WSJ are not known for their unbiased reporting. Their bias is especially noticeable when reporting on Bahrain and Yemen as we all know.

        BTW, did you take the trouble to read the report? I thought it was well balanced. Maybe a bit too nuanced for your liking though....

  •  Syria: who do you believe? (28 sec video embed) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    government says "only a handful" of people protested today.

    Here's a video from one town:

    you decide....

  •  Syria: Thousands protest; deaths reported- AJE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, JustJennifer, bee tzu

    Deaths reported as thousands protest in Syria

    Sixteen protesters reportedly killed in the cities of Homs and Hama, as people across the country take to the streets.

    Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Syria for another day of anti-government rallies, dubbed a "day of defiance".

    Ammar Qurabi, who heads the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, said ten people were killed on Friday in Homs and six others in Hama.

    Activist Najati Tayara said security forces opened fire to disperse protests that broke out after noon prayers in Homs.

    Al Jazeera could not independently verify the reports.

    "We were chanting 'The people and the army are one' and 'The people want to topple the regime'," a witness told Al Jazeera over the phone. "Then security and thugs opened fire."

    The sound of continuous gunfire was audible over the phone, as well as people shouting "There are snipers on the rooftops".

    There were also reports that one person had been killed in Hama, and that live ammunition had been fired in the Damascus suburb of Tel, wounding several protesters.

    Reem Haddad, a spokeswoman for the Syrian information ministry, denied in a phone interview with Al Jazeera that she had any knowledge that Syrian protesters had been killed on Friday.

    •  Syria: AJE liveblog ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UnaSpenser, JustJennifer, bee tzu, petral
      Syrian security forces shot dead six demonstrators in Hama when they fired on pro-democracy demonstration on Friday, a human rights campaigner in the city told Reuters.

      "They killed one protester when the demonstration began at the Orontes Square. Demonstrators re-assembled in al-Hader [the old quarters] and another five fell there," said the campaigner, who asked not to be identified.

      During the rule of President Hafez al-Assad, father of current president, Syrian forces razed the old quarter of Hama in an attack in 1982 to crush an uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood. Up to 30,000 people were killed.

      Army units and security forces have clashed in Homs, two eyewitnesses have told Al Jazeera.

      After security forces opened fire earlier today on tens of thousands of protesters the crowd ran for cover, some seeking shelter behind army vehicles, one eyewitness said.

      "Then the security started shooting at the vehicles - at both the army and the protesters, and the army shot back," he said.

      Both eyewitnesses confirm that the shooting is ongoing and taking place in Bab Draib and Bab Amer.

      Residents of Homs have formed a human shield around the main hospital in Bab al-Sebah where many wounded protesters have been taken, said one eyewitness.

      Al Jazeera has no means of verifying the claims.

  •  Syria: 22 killed protesters say - Reuters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JustJennifer, UnaSpenser, bee tzu

    Syrian forces kill 22 protesters: activists
    AMMAN | Fri May 6, 2011 1:02pm EDT

    Syrian security forces killed 22 protesters on Friday demanding an end to President Bashar al-Assad's rule, rights campaigners said, and the European Union agreed to impose sanctions in response to his crackdown.

    Activists and witnesses said demonstrations broke out after the main Friday prayers in cities across the country of 20 million people, from Banias on the Mediterranean coast to Qamishly in the Kurdish east.

    The bloodiest confrontation took place in the central city of Homs where 15 protesters were killed, activist Ammar Qurabi said. Syrian state television said an army officer and four police were killed in Homs by a "criminal gang."

    ( .. )

    European Union governments agreed on Friday to impose asset freezes and travel restrictions against Syrian officials responsible for the violent repression, which rights campaigners say has killed more than 560 people.

    Officials give a lower death toll and say half the fatalities have been soldiers and police, blaming "armed terrorist groups" for the violence. They say demonstrators are few in number and do not represent the majority of Syrians.

    ( .. )

    The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a protester was killed in Latakia and three others wounded.

    There were also protests in the Damascus district of Midan, the suburb of Daraya and towns of Zabadani and Tel Kelekh near the Lebanon border. Activist Wissam Tarif said live ammunition was fired in at least at four demonstrations.

    •  AJE - Syrian liveblog (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JustJennifer, UnaSpenser, bee tzu, petral
      Syrian secret police have arrested Mouaz al-Khatib, a prominent Damascene preacher and major figure in Syria's pro-democracy uprising, human rights campaigners said on Friday.

      "Political Security called Sheikh Mouaz at 11pm on Thursday. They politely asked him to come in for five minutes. He told them he was ill but they insisted. He went and we did not hear from him since," a colleague of Khatib told Reuters.

      Khatib, head of the independent Islamic Civilization Society, is seen as an enlightened religious figure. He had assured Syria's minorities that the diversity of the country would be respected if President Bashar al-Assad falls.

      "We call for freedom for every person. For every Sunni, Alawite, Ismaili and Christian, whether Arab or a member of the great Kurdish nation," Khatib told protesters last month, with opposition figures Aref Dalila, an Alawite, and Michel Kilo, a Christian, at his side.

  •  Yemen: Thousands rally - Al Jazeera (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, bee tzu

    Saleh defiant as thousands rally in Yemen

    GCC-brokered exit deal on hold as Saleh resists calls to quit and pro- and anti-government crowds return to the streets.

    Yemeni opposition leaders have dismissed the country's president's stance on a revised Gulf-backed plan to ease him out of power, as massive demonstrations keep up pressure on Ali Abullah Saleh to resign.

    The rejection on Friday came a day after Saleh refused to sign the deal until representatives of both the ruling party and the opposition sign it, postponing the signing ceremony indefinitely.

    Sultan Atwani, an opposition leader, told reporters his bloc would not accept the plan proposed by the Gulf Co-operation Council that envisages Saleh stepping down in 30 days in the hope that would end three months of political crisis.

    There were also large anti-government protests in Taiz, Yemen's second city. "Do not leave the places of protest until the fall of the tyrant," a religious leader told crowds.

    But Saleh hit back, telling a mass rally of supporters after Friday prayers that he would resist calls to quit, describing as "outlaws" the tens of thousands of protesters gathered a few kilometres away.

    "I can assure you that I will resist," Saleh told pro-government crowds in Sabbine Square in Sanaa, the capital.

    Ahmed Khalifa al-Kaabi, a media official for Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), the six Gulf Arab nations sponsoring the agreement, said their foreign ministers would meet in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sunday to try to find a way to salvage a deal.

    Al-Kaabi's citing of Saleh's refusal to personally sign the deal indicated the GCC blamed him for the deadlock.

    Government officials said Saleh had told GCC secretary-general Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani on Saturday that he intended to ratify the deal after sending a close aide and a senior ruling party official to sign it.

    The standoff between Saleh and the hundreds of thousands of street protesters demanding his immediate departure after 32 years in office threatens to pull the impoverished and fragile nation into greater disorder.

  •  It was a big day of protests in Yemen & Syria (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's inspiring to see the people in these nations have not given up and continue to push back despite brutal repression.

  •  Syria: women/children tortured in makeshift camps (0+ / 0-)

    From The Telegraph

    Photographic evidence collected by Western and local rights agencies indicate that children as young as 12 have faced heavy beatings at the hands of Mr Assad's feared secret police, the Mukhabarat. Men and women were said to suffer even more extreme punishment, ranging from electric shocks to the extraction of fingernails.

    As Syria braces for an eighth consecutive weekly showdown between the security forces and demonstrators after midday prayers on Friday, graphic testimony is slowly emerging of the price paid for challenging Mr Assad's 11 year-rule.

    Unable to quell the unrest through force alone, despite having killed hundreds of civilians, Syria's security forces have instead resorted to mass intimidation. Over the past week, the number of detentions has soared to more than 500 a day, bringing the total to more than 8,000.

    With prisons filled to capacity, many of those detained are being transported by bus into schools that have been transformed into makeshift "concentration camps", according to the National Initiative for Change, a newly-formed Syrian opposition coalition.

  •  Bahrain: timeline of student activity/repression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    < ahref="">Events of University of Bahrain and attacks on the university students

    On Feb 14th  pro-democracy people in Bahrain protest peacefully in their areas asking for more rights and better living. Police brutally cracked down on them and killed 1 protester and injured many.

    On feb15th police attacked the funeral and killed a second protester. Bahrain king came on Tv and showed sympathy with the families and asked for investigations. Pro-democracy took the lulu roundabout as a tahrir square in Egypt. They felt they were safe after the king speech. On feb 17th around 3am while people were sleeping in lulu police attacked them again. At least 4 were killed and many wounded. Among the deaths was Ali Almomen an engineering student in University of Bahrain. This was his last semester.

    Ali is a smart, helpful and active student in the society. In the video below (ARABIC) he talks how people can manage their differences? And how can countries evolves?

    Unfortunately he couldn't achieve his dreams as they murder him on February 17th.

    tracks event up to Mar 13th, when the University was closed.

  •  Algeria: cautious protest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Algeria watches Arab spring play out

    Anxious to avoid a repeat of January's violent riots, Algerians have been slow to take to the streets. Eileen Byrne reports from the Algerian border on simmering unrest and cautious protest as government concessions fail to satisfy the opposition.  
  •  Yemen: FIRST-RATE video report from Sann'a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is VERY professionally done AND has english subtitles, please, please watch it. It was uploaded today, but am not entirely sure if its from today or not

    The description on youtube

    Yemen: One day in the heart of the revolution.

    Meet the People in Change Square in Sann'a-Yemen, after early morning attack on the square led by the special forces.

  •  Yemen: No Exit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yemen's Existential Crisis

    A venal dictatorship three decades old, mutinous army officers, dissident tribal sheikhs, a parliamentary opposition coalition, youthful pro-democracy activists, gray-haired Socialists, gun-toting cowboys, veiled women protesters, northern carpetbaggers, Shi‘i insurgents, tear gas canisters, leaked State Department cables, foreign-born jihadis -- Yemen’s demi-revolutionary spring has it all. The mass uprising in southern Arabia blends features of the peaceful popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia with elements of the state repression in Libya and Syria in a gaudy, fast-paced, multi-layered theater of revolt verging on the absurd.

    Whether the drama will end in glory or tragedy remains to be seen.
    The Central Players
    At center stage in the Yemeni potboiler is President ‘Ali ‘Abdallah Salih, barricaded in a fortified palace compound in the capital behind Revolutionary Guards and US-armed Special Forces commanded by his son and one-time heir apparent Ahmad. Peeping over the parapets, Salih delivers nearly nonsensical speeches in his trademark not-quite-literate Arabic
    The Plotters
    When Salih accuses his opponents of sedition, he is referring explicitly to defectors from his inner circle. Two were tagged by US Embassy officials who detected dissension within Salih’s original “triumvirate” at least as early as 2005 and again in 2009. This fact alone makes them worth noting.
    In blogs, interviews and Facebook postings, pro-democracy spokespersons made it clear that they were not fooled by cynical turncoats jockeying for power but hardly interested in liberal democracy.
    50,000 Pairs of Clasped Hands

    State-run Sanaa television runs continuous tape of people jumping up and down, yelling “the people want ‘Ali ‘Abdallah Salih,” and file footage of marches celebrating his leadership. Yet neither he nor the dissident counter-elites can contain the unprecedented, sustained, spontaneous grassroots uprising of the past three months. The crowds clamoring for change (taghyir) are diverse, and dispersed among at least a dozen cities and towns. At the core are the youth, the demographic plurality between the ages of 15 and 30 who have never known another government leadership

    This is a great read and imparts so much information. I highly recommend it!

  •  Libya: the courage of foreign medics (Al J) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, ferg

    Foreign medics face siege in Libya's Nalut

    Communities in the western Nafusa Mountain range of Libya are under siege by Muammar Gadaffi's forces.

    The town of Nalut was reportedly bombarded with grad rockets on Thursday.

    A team of medical professionals from all over the world had the chance to leave before the siege, but they chose to stay.

    In solidarity with the Libyan people, they are treating both civilians and soldiers.

    Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports from their hospital.

  •  Libya: searching for bodies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, ferg

    Men search shattered Libyan city for unburied dead

    Flies flickered through flashlight beams and a foul odor filled the air as the men tromped down the stairs to a basement. Their rubber boots splashed in ankle-deep putrid water as they scanned the darkness for the bodies they'd come to retrieve.

    "Here's one," someone said. Then another. And another. And another.

    Theirs is a particularly morbid volunteer project: Combing the war-shattered streets for the unburied dead from two months of urban combat.

  •  Libya: missiles hit oil tanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SupportForLibya    8:22pm via Twitter for iPhone

    RT @LibyaAlHurraTV: 7-8 GRAD missiles in #Misrata have struck large oil tanks that stored the fuel supply for months. Large fires. #Libya.

  •  Libya: 70% of Gaddafi’s armoury blasted ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from The Sun:

    COLONEL Gaddafi was DOOMED last night after it emerged 70 per cent of his land armoury has been destroyed by air strikes.

    RAF planes alone have wiped out A THIRD of the tyrant's military capability, a top government source revealed.

    Sixty days of bombing has wrecked his command and control as well as 1,300 of his 1,914 battle tanks. More than 550 of 800 armoured carriers and 1,750 of 2,421 field guns have also been blasted.

    Read more:

    It seems less than professional to write about Gaddafi's "puny" army. (later in the piece) So, I don't know what to make of the veracity of these figures.

  •  Syria: video evidence (0+ / 0-)

    from the facebook page We Are All Khaled Said

    To Syrian propaganda machine & all hyprocits. Who is firing at protesters here?

  •  Beyond the Media Radar, Egypt’s Arab Spring (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pushes Forth
    By Michelle Chen

    As the weather warms, the Western media lens has drifted onto hotter and bloodier clashes in the Middle East and North Africa. But the May Day protests in Cairo revealed that the coalescence of labor and human rights are at the crux of the unfolding revolution and continues to serve as a barometer for monitoring the progress, or precariousness, of the transition to democracy.

    It was the first free May Day celebration in Egypt in generations. As such, it embodied the postcolonial struggle for dignity and freedom more than any of the battles raging today in Muslim countries.

    A few weeks ago, Egypt’s transitional authorities struck a blow against the labor movement and all activists, with legislation that would make it a crime, punishable by fine or imprisonment, “for anyone who organizes a protest or an activity which may result in preventing or slowing down the work of a state institution, a general authority or a public or private workplace.”

    •  I may be able to gain some insight into this (0+ / 0-)

      which I hope to be able to flesh out and share with the group soon.  I  have been given the contact info for a labor organizer in Egypt who is also a member of the International Socialist Organization.  I went to one of their meetings this week to find out how I can join and was talking about our witnessing mission here.   They have been in contact with this gentleman and I am hoping he will agree to be a resource for this series.  

      I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

      by JustJennifer on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:02:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, we need to keep an eye on this (0+ / 0-)

      thank you.

  •  New diary posted (0+ / 0-)

    I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

    by JustJennifer on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:28:37 AM PDT

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