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May Day Marked Around the Arab World

May Day, or Labour Day, or International Workers’ Day is recognised as a public holiday in many Arab countries, and demonstrations and rallies are held by unions and political parties to pay tribute to the role of workers and to call for workers’ rights.

The National Transitional Council of Libya has declared [ar] International Workers’ Day to be a national public holiday starting this year. Hamid tweeted from Tripoli:

@2011feb17: #Libya's first #MayDay (Worker's Day) holiday since 42 years ago! HAPPY HOLIDAY EVERYONE Yup #Libya has changed ;)

Demonstration on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis. Image by Amine Ghrabi on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Demonstration on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis. Image by Amine Ghrabi on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Bahraini activist Maryam Alkhawaja remembered the migrant workers of the Gulf:

@MARYAMALKHAWAJA: On labor day we pay tribute to all the migrant workers who r treated like modern day slaves in #gulf countries

Demonstration in Barbar, Bahrain. Image by Twitter user @bahrainiac14.

Demonstration in Barbar, Bahrain. Image by Twitter user @bahrainiac14.

Demonstrations were held all over Bahrain demanding the reinstatement of the hundreds of workers who were fired last year for taking part in protests. Many of the demonstrations were attacked by riot police with tear gas. Journalist Mazen Mahdi reported from Manama's souq (market):

@MazenMahdi: Despite tear-gasing #Manama souq labor day protest still on-going #Bahrain

Demonstration in Khouribga, Morocco. Image by Twitter user @__Hisham.

Demonstration in Khouribga, Morocco. Image by Twitter user @__Hisham.

Imad Bazzi tweeted about the hacking of the Lebanese Ministry of Labour's website:

@TrellaLB: special delivery for the Ministry of Labor in #Lebanon on Labor day, a total makeover :D loooool http://www.labor.gov.lb/ thanks to #RYV

The website was changed to say the following:

We are RYV, short for Raise Your Voice, and we are simply a group of people who could not bare sitting in silence, watching all the crimes and injustice going on in Lebanon. We will not be silenced and brainwashed by your media. We will not stop until the Lebanese people mobilize, demand their rights, and earn them. We will not stop until the standards of living are raised to where they should be in Lebanon. We will not stop until this government's self-made problems are solved, like the power shortage, water shortage, rise in gas prices and rise in food product prices. We are RYV, expect us to break the silence, whether in the streets or on the Internet.
Silence is a crime

Demonstration in Cairo. Image by Hossam el-Hamalawy on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Demonstration in Cairo. Image by Hossam el-Hamalawy on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

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