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A reported blog about all things Middle East and North Africa.

Despair stalks Tunisia, the 'Arab Spring' success story

Why are so many Tunisians setting themselves on fire?
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A poster featuring Mohamed Bouazizi, the fruitseller whose self-immolation sparked the revolution that ousted a dictator in Tunisia and ignited the Arab Spring. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

Tunisia is a cosmopolitan jewel of a country in the Mediterranean, and arguably the so-called Arab Spring's greatest success story. 


Brit faces jail for 'insulting Islam' in the UAE

A British engineer faces up to one month in jail in Abu Dhabi, a local daily reports.
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An Emirati man riding a camel passes by foreigners sunbathing on a beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

"When will we finish with the damn mosques?" a British engineer living in Abu Dhabi reportedly said during a meeting with co-workers. Now he's defending himself in an Abu Dhabi court. 

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Activists of the Freedom Convoy hold a banner and chant slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a gathering on the Turkish-Syrian border. (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are preparing for a military intervention in Syria, Bloomberg's Businessweek is quoting a Russian security official as saying. 


A day without qat: Can Yemen do it?

Plucky Yemeni netizens call for a day without qat. Will it work?
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A Yemeni vendor displays qat leaves, a popular local mild narcotic plant, for sale at an outdoor market in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Qat, an ever-green plant with narcotic properties, is Yemen's pasttime. Can Yemenis go a day without it? 


Jimmy Carter says Egypt's military won't fully submit to civilian rule

Former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, is in Cairo, and he is unconvinced by Egypt's generals promises of full democratic transition.
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Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is in Cairo to observe Egyptian elections. He told the New York Times yesterday that Egypt's military government is unlikely to submit fully to an elected civilian government. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who brokered Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, says Egypt's current military rulers are unlikely to transfer full responsibility to an elected civilian government. Ouch. 


Egypt ex-minister found in prison with... an iPad?

It was unclear if it was the iPad 1 or 2.
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<> at The Mayfair Hotel on January 9, 2012 in London, England. (Gareth Cattermole/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's former agriculture minister, charged with seizing public funds, was found with an iPad while being held at one of the country's largest prisons, an Egyptian daily reports


Yemen committee: militias have 48 hours to leave capital

Yemen committee seeks to demilitarize capital after months of fighting.
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Yemeni armed tribesmen who are the bodyguards of members of the parliament stand outside the House of Representatives (parliament) in Sanaa on January 11, 2012. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

A Yemen government committee has given armed militias a deadline of 48 hours to vacate the country's capital, or else.... they are going to set another deadline.


More self-immolations as anniversary of Tunisian dictator's overthrow nears

The Tunisian uprising began when a fruit vendor set himself alight.

Four people have set themselves on fire in Tunisia over the past week, most of whom are protesting continued joblessness a year after the revolution


Jailed Moroccan rapper "prisoner of conscience": rights group

Moroccan rapper critical of monarchy on trial for assault - but will the charges stick?
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A picture taken on September 11, 2011 shows a young Moroccan holding a banner as he demonstrates in Rabat, during a protest called by the country's youth-based 'February 20' Movement to demand political and social changes and the release of Moad Al-Haqed. Rapper protester and 'February 20' Movement activist, Moad Al-Haqed, has been detained for four days, after he has been charged of the aggression of a counter demonstrator, his lawyer said. (Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

Is he guilty of assaulting a monarchist or just damning anti-monarchy lyrics?


US making nice with the Muslim Brotherhood?

In an about-face, the US holds talks with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
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U.S. deputy secretary of state, William Burns, will meet officials of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing in the highest-level meeting yet between the two sides. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

The US has long shunned Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, accusing it of links to terrorists. Looks like that is about to change.