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Stories from and

Who Benefits from Trafficking Women from Madagascar to the Middle East?

Aaron Ross reports on his investigation in the heart of the ongoing human trafficking of young women from Madagascar to Middle Eastern countries:

For some enterprising businessmen, the collapse heralded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So-called placement agencies sprang up in Antananarivo and other cities across Madagascar, promising the good life in Middle Eastern “Eldorados,” where monthly salaries usually ran around $200. The agencies would pocket upward of $2,000 for each successful transaction [..] As Madagascar’s economy spiraled downward, the number of migrants grew anyway. Some headed clandestinely to Lebanon with the collusion of government officials. Of late, however, the most popular destinations have been Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Ross also details the consequences from of economic sanctions of the coup in his report. The topic was also discussed by national observers here.

A Platform for Middle East's Indie Musicians

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes' Indigeo campaign video.

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes’ Indiego campaign video.

(more…)

Kim Kardashian Does Kuwait and Bahrain

Kim Kardashian completed a visit to Kuwait and is now visiting Bahrain. Here's Brian Whitaker's take on her visit.

Why is the GCC Quiet about Gaza?

“Gulf countries awfully quiet about Gaza,” tweets Foreign Policy editor Blake Hounshell. Lebanese journalist Antoun Issa adds:

@antissa: Amazing how eager GCC are to arm Arabs to fight each other, while disappearing completely when it comes to Palestine. #Gaza

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is made up of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Kuwait: Facebook Contest to Promote Child Safety

A mall in Kuwait is holding a Facebook contest to promote child safety in cars. Mark blogs about the initiative here.

Arabic Hashtag Trending Worldwide on Twitter

Arabic hash tags finally trending worldwide  on Twitter

Arabic hashtags finally trending worldwide on Twitter

Kuwaiti Hamad Al Sabah tweets:

@hmalsabah: Twitter is finally allowing Arabic hashtags to trend worldwide #كلام_مصري_مترجم pic.twitter.com/tb84Nkrk94

Netizens are using the hashtag, which translates to Egyptian Talk Translated, to translate Egyptian expressions and idioms.

MENA: Acclaimed Authors’ Favorites of 2012

M. Lynx Qualey, blogger, who is interested in Arab and Arabic literature, wrote a series of posts introducing acclaimed Arab poets, novelists, and short-story writers’ favorite Arab reads of 2012. She started with a list of nonfiction books, then followed by a list for poetry [En] and fiction [En].

Kuwait: Who is Dumping Garbage Outside My Home?

Empty plot of land turned into garbage dumpster

Empty plot of land turned into garbage dumpster

Mark from Kuwait complains about an empty plot of land behind his home is being turned into a garbage dump. (more…)

Kuwait: “Demonstration will be met with Force”

Anti-government protests are planned in Kuwait tomorrow. Ahmad Al Kandare tweets [ar]:

@AhmadAlkandare: Kuwaiti foreign minister: “We call upon the Syrian regime not to oppress and prevent peaceful demonstrations.” The Government of Kuwait: “Tomorrow's demonstration is prohibited and will be faced with force.”

Kuwait: Factory Fire

Blogger Mathai from Kuwait writes about a summer fires he saw in an industrial area. He shares a photograph.

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