Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yemeni woman sentenced to death for killing male relative who tried to rape her

I found this little slice of life in Alarabiya.net. I suppose its an improvement that these stories are getting published nowadays. It was written by Mustapha Ajbaili

A Yemeni woman has been sentenced to death for having opened fire and killed a male relative who climbed up the wall of her house in an attempt to rape her.

Raja Hakimi was initially sentenced to two years in prison by a district court in the southern province of Ibb. The sentence was raised to death by the court of appeals, prompting the condemnation of women and human rights groups.

Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), an organization co-founded in 2005 by Tawakkol Karman, a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, condemned the death sentence against Rajaa as an “unjust ruling, which violates all legislation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

WJWC said in a statement that the woman, Hakimi, was “only defending herself” against an armed man who tried to exploit the absence of the woman’s husband and attack her with the intention to rape her.

The man reportedly carried a gun and climbed up the wall of Hakimi’s house in the middle of the night trying to enter the house from the window, Adenalghad.net and voice-yemen.com websites reported.

When she saw him, the frightened Hakimi pulled up the gun of her husband and opened fire on the assailant. He fell down to the ground and died. In the morning, neighbors saw the body of the man and informed the police, who then arrested Hakimi.

Hakimi pleaded guilty to murder but insisted that that she killed him in self-defense. However, her words were not taken into consideration by the appeals court, which ordered sending her to the gallows.

But deputy general director of legal affairs in the province of Ibb, Abdulrakeb Alhimyari, told Al Arabiya English that the act of killing was “possibly planned beforehand.”

He quoted Abdul Alim al-Hakami, a relative of both the woman and the murdered assailant, as saying that “justice was finally held.”

Abdul Alim was a previous government official in the province of Ibb, according to Alhimyari.

Alhimyari said Abdul Alim told him that the assailant was “dragged into the house” in order to be killed. But Alhimyari insisted that this story could not be verified as true.

Some local media had claimed that relatives close to family of murdered assailant have influence on local authorities in the province of Ibb, which could explain why the ruling was in their favor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arab Women in the Middle East

Arab Women in the Middle East (why is this written by a guy?)

n Pakistan, a 14-year-old girl is shot by Muslim extremists for daring to call for education for women.

In Tunisia, a young woman who was raped by three policemen is about to on trial for committing an "indecent act." Her crime: she was sitting with her fiancé in a car when the policemen surprised them and brutally raped her.

Syrian refugee girls who fled the fighting in their country are being forced into marriages by Muslim men, who are exploiting the plight of their families to fulfill sexual fantasies.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, a Muslim woman who decided to run in the local election is being ridiculed and threatened by fundamentalists who insist that she should be only staying at home cooking and looking after her husband and children.

In the Gaza Strip, women continue to suffer from severe restrictions imposed by Hamas and other fundamentalist groups.

In Saudi Arabia, women are still not allowed to drive.

In Israel, however, Muslim women are not only allowed to drive and run for elections, but can also reach high positions. Not all Arab Israelis are an "enemy from within;" Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.

While female Muslims are being abducted, raped, shot, tortured and forced into unwanted marriages in a number of Arab and Islamic countries, 33-year-old Maria Gharra has just become Israel's first Muslim woman to serve as a police officer.

Gharra, who is from a village in the Triangle area in Israel, is probably one of the most courageous Arab women in Israel.

"I'm part of the state and I even have no problem singing the 'Hatikvah' [Israel's national anthem]," she declared shortly after she assumed her new job.

Gharra represents those Arab Israelis who see Israel as their state and believe in its democratic system.

Her story also shows that Arab women often have more opportunities than in most Arab and Islamic countries.

Contrary to common belief, Gharra does not believe that her recruitment to the Israeli police is an unusual act. "I never felt different," she explained. "My working assumption is that we are all equal citizens. This is my state and that is why I want to make a contribution."

What is even more encouraging is that she has won the support of her parents, who say they are proud to see her serve in the Israeli police.

True, many Arab men already serve in the Israeli police, but this is the first time that a woman has been promoted to the rank of officer.

Amal Ayoub, 36, is one of the women making waves in biotechnology. The founder of Metallo Therapy, a startup developing gold nano-particles to enhance radiation therapy, she is the first female Arab Israeli high-tech entrepreneur.

Dr. Rania al-Khatib is the first Arab Israeli woman to become a plastic surgeon at Rambam Hospital.

These are only some of the success stories of Arab women in Israel.

The past two decades have also seen a number of Arab women elected to the Knesset a right that is denied to Muslim women in some Arab countries.

In recent years, hundreds of Arab Israeli women, ignoring calls from some leaders of the Arab community to boycott national service, have volunteered for the government's initiative.

Although of course there is much Israel could do to improve the living standards of its Arab citizens, especially in employment and infrastructure, the success stories of Arab women in Israel stand in sharp contrast to the reports about discrimination against women in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Another Swasitka on Campus

A swastika was found on the door of a freshman girl last month at Cal. It was just mentioned to me in passing- its almost as though the Jewish students have been completely desensitized to this sort of thing. There was nothing in the Daily Cal, and as far as I can tell, nothing was done. Was this even reported? Does anyone care?

It seems, at UC Berkeley, the answer is still "No"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let them eat i Phones



No Food. No Water. No hospital beds. But Gaza has Apple I Phone 5's.

The funniest part is that the phone isn't even available yet in Israel (It won't be released until December), but its already saturating Gaza.

"Apple's new iPhone 5 is selling well in the Gaza Strip despite inflated prices, reaching the Palestinian enclave via smuggling tunnels even before high-tech hub Israel next door.
The cutting edge smart phone is being snapped up for almost double what it costs in the United States, its price jacked up by middlemen on its circuitous delivery route from Dubai via tunnels linking the blockaded territory with Egypt.
But the phones have been available for a couple of weeks in Gaza and they were on display on Monday in three independent mobile stores in a one-block radius in downtown Gaza City."

Its all in the Business Times



Photos from Palestine Today

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maybe its not all lsrael's fault.

This article is exclusive to Arab News. I dont really know what that means, but its worth giving it wider exposure. Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, the original can be found here



Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 6, 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars, in 1948 and 1967.

The 1967 War lasted only six days. But, these three wars were not the only Arab-Israel confrontations. From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.

The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.

These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people.

In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imaginations? And, isn’t the Iraqis are the ones who are destroying their own country? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor Tunisians? And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile land in the world? Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes 110 billion dollars from oil export? Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world? And what made the Arab states start sinking into chaos?

On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel was declared. And just one day after that, on May 15, 1948 the Arabs declared war on Israel to get back Palestine. The war ended on March 10, 1949. It lasted for nine months, three weeks and two days. The Arabs lost the war and called this war Nakbah (catastrophic war). The Arabs gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.

And on 1967, the Arabs led by Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser, went in war with Israel and lost more Palestinian land and made more Palestinian refugees who are now on the mercy of the countries that host them. The Arabs called this war Naksah (upset). The Arabs never admitted defeat in both wars and the Palestinian cause got more complicated. And now, with the never ending Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinians refugees or Palestinian cause, because many Arabs are refugees themselves and under constant attacks from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country, not because of the Israeli planes dropping bombs on them. It is the Syrian Air Force which is dropping the bombs. And now, Iraqi Arab Muslims, most intelligent brains, are leaving Iraq for the est. In Yemen, the world’s saddest human tragedy play is being written by the Yemenis. In Egypt, the people in Sinai are forgotten.

Finally, if many of the Arab states are in such disarray, then what happened to the Arabs’ sworn enemy (Israel)? Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and advanced infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian?

The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finally. A Middle Eastern Flotilla that I Can Support!

Taken from the AP wire


If Code Pink provided this service to Gaza and North Africa, I might just join them!


Moroccan police Thursday escorted from its waters a small yacht carrying women's rights activists claiming to be able to perform abortions on board, after anti-abortion protesters jeered them on land.

The Dutch group Women on Waves sailed the boat around the northern Moroccan harbor with banners advertising an information hotline about abortion, which is illegal in most cases in this North African country.

A day earlier, the group had said that a ship that can provide "safe, legal, medical abortions" up until 6.5 weeks of pregnancy was on its way from the Netherlands. Medical professionals have traveled before to European nations to raise awareness; the group's founder said that abortions had been performed aboard ship in international waters off of Poland.

The trip in the harbor of the Mediterranean coastal town of Smir was the abortion rights group's first event in a Muslim country.

Abortion in Morocco is illegal, except in rare cases where the mother's life is threatened and it is also illegal to give out information about it. Moroccan officials had said the boat would not be allowed in to the harbor and police sealed the port for what they called "military maneuvers," denying journalists access.

But in the afternoon, activists from Women on Waves said they already had stationed a sailboat in the harbor several days ago, fearing the port would be shut down. That boat took off around the harbor, about an hour after the group's founder approached crowds of protesters on the ground, trying to hand out fliers on abortion in Arabic and French to crowds of protesters.

Police later boarded the Dutch-flagged yacht and escorted it out of the marina. No one was charged.

"We launched a hotline that gives information to women here in Morocco, because the ship can never solve the problem here for everyone," said Rebecca Gomperts, the organization's founder. The hotline contains a recorded message explaining which easily available medication in Morocco can be used to perform an abortion.

Some 200 protesters in Smir targeted the activists outside the sealed gates of the marina. The protesters, some in conservative Muslim robes and headscarves, carried pictures of bloody embryos and shouted "Terrorist!" and "Assassin!" at Gomperts.

"We are here because we cannot accept these values, the values of massacre," said protester Abdessamad Zilali, 23. "It is not part of our tradition to kill the unborn."

Police pushed back shouting protesters who tried to get closer to Gomperts, and said she was escorted away for her own protection.

The Women on Waves boat was invited to Morocco by a local women's rights organization seeking the legalization of abortion in this North African kingdom.

Founded in 1999, Women on Waves aims to spread information about safe medical abortions induced by medication and has previously angered authorities in conservative Catholic countries.

The group traveled to Ireland in 2001, Poland in 2003 and Spain, and was banned from entering Portugal's waters in 2004.

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