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Quick Reads + Middle East & North Africa

Media archive · 9651 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Middle East & North Africa

“Blogs are the Vinyl Records of the Internet”

An article in Washington Post talks about “the decline of Iran's blogestan”.

Several bloggers tweeted the last sentence of this article:

Read more here.

MENA: Hijab and Western Discrimination

Egyptian blogger Nadia El Awady wrote a blog post in which she questions if women wearing Hijab face discrimination in western countries or not. Nadia, as an Egyptian who grew up in the US and lived prolonged periods in Europe, adds from her personal experience in regards to reactions she received in both Eastern and Western countries when it comes to wearing the Hijab or even taking it off.

She writes:

During all those years, I have been without the hijab, with the hijab, wearing a very long hijab (called a khimar), wearing a face veil (called a niqab), back to wearing a shorter hijab and finally, now, no hijab at all. I’ve done it all. I’ve seen all the reactions. The way I have dressed over the years may have been accepted by some in my inner circles and criticized by others; this is true. How a woman dresses is a highly contentious subject no matter where you are in the world. When I donned the face veil, my own father was against it. When I took off my hijab, I lost at least one good friend and was tsk tsked by many others. These are normal reactions and they are to be expected. I do not categorize these reactions as discrimination. Friends and family have definite ideas of how they expect me to live my life. They believe they know what is best for me.

Saudi Arabia: 2014 A Promising Year for Women

Saudi Arabian blogger Hala Al-Dosari shares on her blog an interesting piece from an annual publication by the Wislon’s Center on women in the MENA Region. The publication suggests that 2014 might be a potentially promising year for women status in Saudi Arabia.

Libya Vs Iraq: Who Wins in the Explosives Finale?

This bumper sticker (more of a windshield sticker) from Libya says it all. Egyptian Bassem Sabry explains:

Tor Users on the Rise in Turkey

Human rights and ethics advocate Frederic Jacobs notes that the number of people using Tor is on the rise in Turkey:

Turkey has just banned Twitter.

Saudi Arabia Controls Babies Names

You are not allowed to name your newborn daughter Eman, or Sandy, or Yara. And if it is a boy, names like Abdelnasser, Amir or Abdulmoeen are a no go. But that's only in Saudi Arabia. On Twitter, Iyad El Baghdadi shares this list of baby names banned in the absolute monarchy:

And there is a photograph of an officially stamped list to go with this notice.

Iran Censors Polish FM's Remark on Censorship

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski visted Iran past weekedend and found out even a polish news site is filtered in country.Later he found out Iran censored his remark on censorship.Green Voice of Freedom tweeted Polish diplomat slams internet censorship during a news conference with Iranian FM Javad Zarif.

Quran Desecration Sparks Trouble in Mauritania

The Mauritanian capital Nouakchott witnessed violent clashes [en] between security forces and an angry crowd. The story is that anonymous people tore up the Quran, the holy book of Islam, in one of the city's mosques. As a result of this confrontation, one person was killed [en] various people were injured and traffic was blocked in many parts of Nouakchott. The clashes happened on March 3.

Commenting the incident, blogger Abbas Braham urged his Facebook friends to be cautious and not fall in the trap of extremism (no matter what it is) [ar]:

حادثة “تدنيس”* المصاحف اليوم في العاصمة نواكشوط هي حالة تستدعي الانتباه والحذر. فلقد أصبح واضحاً أن التطرف القداسي والتطرف التدنيسي يغذيان بعضهما. وفي كل مرة نتعرض نحن في الوسط من المؤمنين باحترام المقدسات و/أو باحترام الحريات والحقوق لنيرانهما.

Today's  Koran”desecration”incident in the Capital Nouakchott is a case that raises concern and caution. It is now clear that both sacred extremism and desecration are feeding each another. And each time, it us — those are in the middle (when it comes to respecting sacredness and/or freedom and rights) — who the suffer the fires (lashes) from both parts.

Video: Distributing Food in Yarmouk Camp-Syria

FAJER PRESS posted a video of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus while receiving food parcels to feed the 18,000 remaining residents of the camp, who have been forced to eat stray animals to survive amid critical food shortages.

The video is dated December 30, 2013.

“Iran cannot block Facebook Forever”

    Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister, Ali Jannati, said “Iran can not block Facebook forever.” Several Iranian officials
    such as Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs, use Facebook and Twitter while these sites are blocked in Iran.

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