Blog archive: All

  • 27th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The king of Saudi Arab has "waived" a sentence of 60 lashes imposed on TV journalist Rozanna al-Yami, a government official  announced yesterday. Ms Yami, 22, was thought to have been the first Saudi journalist sentenced to flogging in connection with her work. The case arose out of...
  • 26th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last year's "Facebook strike" in Egypt caused a good deal of excitement about the potential of online activism, though the strike itself was generally acknowledged as a failure. In the latest issue of Arab Media and Society, David Faris takes along and detailed look at this attempt to...
  • 26th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Five Yemeni soldiers were killed and three wounded yesterday in an ambush in the southern province of ad-Dhali'. They were escorting an abulance that carried the body of another soldier who had been killed in the Houthi conflict in northern Yemen.  Reports: Yemen Post and Xinhua...
  • 25th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Plainclothes thugs attacked Ayman Nour, Egypt’s much-harassed opposition politician, and his contingent at a fish restaurant in Hurghada last night, Bikya Masr reports. Ahmed Abdul Gawad, Nour’s media assistant, was severely beaten and wounded, Nour told Bikya Masr on Saturday...
  • 25th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There are fresh claims from Yemen that the Yemenia Airbus which crashed into the sea off the Comoros islands last June was accidentally shot down by a French missile.  Speculation that this was the cause first surfaced in Yemen and the Comoros a few days after the crash, but now...
  • 25th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tunisians are voting for a new parliament today and also re-electing Zine el Abidine Ben Ali for yet another presidential term. Ben Ali, who is 73, has been in power for almost 22 years. Three other candidates are contesting the presidency but it’s scarcely worth mentioning them....
  • 24th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Tunisian 
  • 24th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Tunisian authorities are taking their usual efficient measures to ensure that uppity journalists do nothing to cast a shadow over President Ben Ali's re-election tomorrow. On Tuesday, Le Monde correspondent Florence Beaugé was refused entry and, after a night at Tunis airport, bundled back...
  • 24th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A senior Yemeni army commander died in an ambush yesterday (presumably at the hands of Houthi rebels), according to an Associated Press report which cites unnamed official sources: "The officials say Brig Gen Omar Ali al-Issa, who headed an infantry division engaged in the fighting in...
  • 23rd October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The UN conference on climate change is only a few weeks away, and what are the Arab countries doing about it? Next to nothing, or even worse. “Most Arab countries do not even have a position on climate change, and many of the delegates [who have attended international talks] do not...
  • 23rd October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yemen's Houthi rebels have reportedly clashed with Saudi forces involved in the construction of a border fence. Reutersand the BBC have the story. Reuters quotes a statement on a rebel website which says: "Residents of the area reject any fence which would have a negative economic...
  • 23rd October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "If asked where change is likely to come from in the Arab countries, I would not put much faith in 'reformist' politicians and opposition parties – they're mostly no-hopers – but I would definitely put feminists, gay men, lesbians and bloggers very high on my list." Read my full article...

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