In the lead up to International Women’s Day, Arab and Muslim women took to Twitter to combat misogynistic attributes of their communities in a hashtag #DearSister, started by Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy. Many of the girls and women used the hashtag as an opportunity to bring light to their personal stories. Others took a more structural approach, reflecting on their observations of those around them. “To be honest, when I first tweeted it out, I did it almost as a joke,” Eltahawy told the BBC. “For me the most important thing is that #DearSister is a platform for Muslim women and girls – somewhere they get the space to speak, and everyone must listen.” Thank you fellow Muslim women who’ve shared their experience. +18,000 tweets […]

Suspected US drones hit Al-Qaeda targets in Yemen

Suspected US drones fired missiles at Al-Qaeda targets in two separate attacks in Yemen earlier today, residents said, extending several days of US strikes against the militant group. US airstrikes have targeted Al-Qaeda bases in Yemen for five consecutive days Residents said an airstrike hit the home of an Al-Qaeda suspect in the village of Noufan in central Al-Bayda province, and another struck a mountainous area believed to house a training camp in Al-Saeed in southern Shabwa province. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the raids, which took place in areas controlled by Al-Qaeda fighters; however civilians have not been left unaffected. Read more: US soldiers shoot and kill eight year old girl in Yemen Yesterday in Abyan, […]

‘Egyptian army did not intervene in South Sudan’

South Sudanese Army Chief of Staff, General Paul Malong has dismissed as “baseless rumours”, reports of an Egyptian army intervention in the fighting in his country. Malong told the Middle East News Agency that the Egyptian contribution in South Sudan aims to bring peace and promote stability. He has stressed on the depth of relations between his country and Egypt pointing out that these relations will be channelled to the benefit of future generations. Malong thanked the Egyptian government and people for sending a plane carrying aid to the people of South Sudan adding that he hoped Egypt had participated with the regional protection forces to support stability in South Sudan. Malong also praised Egypt’s role in the region, saying […]

Only the Israeli dead matter: Israel’s failure at investigating its bloody wars

At a glance, Israel appears a true democracy. Take a closer look and that facade of democracy will soon dissipate, turning into something else entirely. Tuesday 28 February was one of those moments. The chain of events was as follows: An official Israeli State Comptroller issued another report on the Israeli government’s handling of the July 2014 war on Gaza; it chastised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon –  among others – for the lack of preparedness and for their mishandling of the subsequent 51-day conflict; Netanyahu reacted angrily; Ya’alon took to Facebook to defend his record; the opposition in the Israeli Knesset went on the offensive; politicians lined up, taking sides; a media frenzy followed; […]

More than 53% of Arab construction companies are cash-strapped

More than 53 per cent of Arab construction companies are facing challenges related to liquidity, the head of Union of Arab Contractors, Fahd Mohammed Al-Hammadi, said. A reduction of government spending on infrastructure projects has exacerbated the situation, Al-Hammadi added. He said the union, in cooperation with other organisations, has issued the results of many studies concerning the development of financing systems for contractors in the Arab world, compared with international experiences with the support of international banking institutions. Based on the reports, the Arab construction sector is witnessing challenges and complexities without direct support from the government, while the construction sector faces the financial and economic burden of Arab states forcing in many construction companies to exit the market. […]

Opposition in Israel plans for post-Netanyahu era

Police are expected to question Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a fourth time today in a corruption investigation that has prompted political rivals to start looking to a “post-Bibi” Israel. Israeli TV and newspapers, citing unnamed sources, said Netanyahu would be questioned later in the day. A police spokeswoman declined to confirm the reports, saying only that if Netanyahu were interviewed, a statement would be released. A spokesman for the prime minister, who has denied wrongdoing, did not respond to a request for comment. Netanyahu, 67, is a suspect in two cases, one involving the receipt of gifts from businessmen and the other related to conversations he held with an Israeli newspaper publisher about limiting competition in the news sector […]

Iraqi police arrest man who sold his 6-year-old daughter

Police in Iraq have arrested a man who sold his six-year-old daughter in Baghdad for nearly $10,000, an officer told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. “Following interrogation, the police reached the buyers who run a human trafficking network,” the office said, adding that the girl was moved to a children’s shelter. According to the officer this is the third incident of its kind in nearly a year. Read: 25 children starve to death in Iraq near Mosul Several stories have emerged of Iraqi people selling their children or committing suicide with them, especially in Baghdad and cities south of the country, according to local reports due to aggravate hunger and destitution. Some 35 per cent of Iraqis live in abject poverty, according to […]

This Gaza business is rubbish

With unemployment rates rising in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, many are turning to collecting plastic items from rubbish sites and selling them to recycling centres. Eyad Al-Shurfa, owner of the Friends of the Environment factory, said, “It is nice to use plastic and recycle it, as it does not decompose. That is why we established our factory.” 1kg of plastic produces 10 metres of hose There are five such factories in the Strip, Eyad told MEMO, adding that electricity cuts have severely hindered the other plants making his the most efficient. “We collect over 20 types of plastic and plastic bags, and employ more than 25 employees. We grind the plastic and recycle it to make black hoses used to […]

Report: Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians in February

Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians during the month of February, including 70 minors and 22 females, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies. The centre said in its monthly report that 12 people were detained from the besieged Gaza Strip, including five fishermen whose boats were destroyed by Israeli forces before their detention, two who were detained at the Beit Hanoun crossing, and five who were detained after Israel alleged they attempted to cross the border fence between the besieged enclave and Israel. Read: Israeli forces detain Palestinian women and children A journalist was also among the detainees, identified by the centre as Humam Muhammad Hantash from the southern occupied West Bank district […]

Egypt to spend nearly $2m to boost its image in the US

Officials from Egypt’s infamous mukhabarat have hired two US public relations firms to lobby on behalf of the country and boost Egypt’s image in the US, the Associated Press has revealed. Weber Shandwick and Cassidy & Associates Inc. will help Egypt promote a “strategic partnership with the United States” and highlight its economic development, leading role in managing and settling regional turmoil and – perhaps most controversially – showcasing its civil society. Read: Amnesty: Human rights crisis in Egypt continues The Egyptian government has gone to great lengths – including passing legislation to curb protests and imprisoning and torturing tens of thousands of members of the opposition – to ensure civil society cannot operate in the country. The Weber Shandwick […]