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Stories from and

Photo of Peshmerga Combatant Breastfeeding Her Child Captivates Kurdish Media

Shared widely online. Photograph by Veronique de Viguerie, September 6, 2014. Veroniquedeviguerie.com.

Kurdish media outlets are abuzz with a photograph of a Peshmerga woman, sitting beside an automatic weapon, breastfeeding her child. The picture has been widely distributed on social networking sites, highlighting the strength of Kurdish women and the resilience of female combatants in the ongoing fight against ISIS.

In contrast to the contentiousness of breastfeeding in many Western countries (most recently in the United Kingdom), Kurdish media outlets have largely welcomed this Peshmerga woman breastfeeding her child, celebrating how the photograph captures her dual roles as a “warrior” and a “nurturer”.

Kurdish Internet users have also praised the Peshmerga woman, whose identity remains unknown. Kemal Taher from Erbil remarked, “I don’t know what to say about this lioness of Kurdistan, wishing them success on the battlefield, May God protect you all”. Shakar Sndy from Sulaymaniyah said, “An example that we’re proud of”.

Internet users have circulated photographer Veronique de Viguerie's image widely online, typically without attribution. Using Google's reverse image search, Global Voices learned that the photo is de Viguerie's work. (Note added by Kevin Rothrock.)

UAE's First Teacher Naama Al Qassimi Honoured

Commentator and blogger Sultan Al Qassemi today received an award from the state on behalf of his mother, Naama Bint Majid Al Qassimi, for being “first teacher” in the United Arab Emirates. The avid Twitter user, who has 309k followers, shares those old and rare photographs featuring his mother as a student and then a teacher, some 50 years ago.

He tweets:

Mr Al Qassimi received the award on behalf of his mother today.

Iranian Facebook User Sentenced to Death

Soheil Arabi was sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet Mohammad on the Facebook.The Revolutionary Guards arrested Soheil Arabi on November 2013. Iranian Twitter user Velgard tweeted below about this, explaining that Arabi is only a 30 year old Iranian who is not a political activist, but merely “one of us.” Several bloggers and Facebook users were arrested in last twelve months.

Poetry Project Bridges Language and Cultural Barriers between Arabic and Hebrew Speakers in Israel

The Two Project promotes Arabic and Hebrew arts and culture through the language of poetry.

The Two Project promotes Arabic and Hebrew arts and culture through the language of poetry.

The Two Project has just launched, a collaboration between Israeli Jews and Arabs to connect their cultures through the language of poetry. Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages of Israel. Six years in the making, the project is an offshoot of a recently published book, Two: A Bilingual Anthology (link is in Hebrew).

On their website, the Two Project's creators Almog Behar, Tamer Massalha, and Tamar Weiss write [Heb/Ar]:

This site is a part of the Two Project: a bilingual cultural project focusing on the literature and poetry of youth. Its aim is to create a convergence of dialogue between the two vibrant cultures of Israel, in Arabic and Hebrew. [The project presents] a new generation of writers and readers, who because of language barriers, culture, politics, and physical boundaries are not familiar with what goes on in the modern literary scene of their neighbors.

Anat Niv, editor-in-chief of Keter Publishing, who is responsible for the anthology, remarks:

The very fact that you are holding a book and reading it in Hebrew, with a text in Arabic script on the facing page, or vice versa, is a very powerful experience. Even if you don’t read Arabic, when reading this book you can no longer remain oblivious to the fact that this is a place where people live and create in two languages.

Follow the project on their website or on Facebook in Hebrew and Arabic. Two new authors, an Israeli Arab and an Israeli Jew, will be featured monthly.

5 Muslim Countries Where Gays Are Not Prosecuted by the Law

The LGBT Muslims blog identified 5 Muslim nations where the legal system does not outlaw homosexuality. The 5 countries are : Mali, Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey and Albania. While the law in these countries does not criminalize gay lifestyles, the LGBT Muslims blog points out that LGBT communities still suffer from discrimination and non-negligible pressure to remain discreet regarding their lifestyles. Still, the main take away lesson is that gay rights may be more advanced than most would believe in the aforementioned countries. 

UAE Honours Naama Al Qassimi as Country's “First Teacher”

Blogger and commentator Sultan Al Qassemi today received an award from the state on behalf of his mother, Naama Bint Majid Al Qassimi, for being “first teacher” in the United Arab Emirates. The avid Twitter user, who has 309k followers, shares those old and rare photographs featuring his mother as a student and then a teacher, some 50 years ago.

He tweets:

Mrs Al Qassimi graduated from a university in Kuwait in 1964 before returning to the UAE to teach. She shares the award with Amina Al Suwaidi.

The Difference Between ISIS and Al Nusra Front

Satirist Karl Sharro draws a stark comparison between two Al Qaeda offshoots fighting each other in Syria: the notorious ISIS and the Nusra front. He tweets:

Both terrorist organisations use the Islamic prayer “There is no God other than Allah and Muhammad is Allah's prophet” in a different font on their flags.

Hossein Derakhshan Released from Prison

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, on Thursday pardoned the jailed blogger Hossein Derakhshan after his six years.Derakhshan thanked God, Khamenei and his family on his Google Plus page.

Druze Leader Walid Joumbulatt Takes to Twitter

Lebanese politician and Druze leader Walid Joumblatt is on Twitter – and had a hard time proving it really was him.

The account set up on October 27 has attracted about 17,000 followers so far — and a confirmation from the man himself.

Lebanese blogger Mustapha Hamoui quips:

After a three day hiatus after starting the account, the man went on a Twitter storm. To date, he has amassed 666 tweets, all in English, discussing Lebanese and regional politics and other tidbits.

Join Us for a #GVMeetup in Tunis on November 1

gvMeetupTunis
We are pleased to announce that a Global Voices meetup is set to take place in Tunis on November 1, 2014 from 9am to 1pm, at 404 Lab an open innovation lab hosted by the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI).

Global Voices Meetups are local and small gatherings designed to help facilitate meaningful connections with our readers, potential authors or translators, and others that have shown an active interest in our work.

During the same period, other Global Voices meetups will also take place in Accra, Beirut, Dar Es Salaam, and Belgrade.

The Tunis gathering is an opportunity for us to introduce the mission and projects of Global Voices to our readers in Tunisia. In the meetup agenda also, a panel on the subject of alternative media in Tunisia and a keynote speech on personal data protection by Chawki Gaddas from the Faculty of Judicial, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis.

You can find the meetup's full agenda here.

If you are interested in taking part, please complete the following registration form. The event is open to all but seats are limited.

Here is a map to the event venue.

For more information, please contact: abrouafef [at] riseup [dot] net

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