In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Youth take to the streets in protest of King Abdullah's rule

Signs of dissent becoming more visible among Saudi Arabian youths

March 13 2011 It is 9 p.m. on a Monday, and the Jasur bookstore cafe in Jeddah’s chic Hamra district is hopping. Upstairs, Saudi men and women pack a poetry reading, while downstairs a book club discusses Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, “Blink.” Nearby, a team of young comic writers is hashing out the latest in a series of YouTube episodes that satirize Saudi politics and society. “Don’t get me wrong,” Hasan Eid, the editor of a poetry anthology, reads from a new collection. “I love my country to death. But what I see every day makes me sigh under my breath.” With some Saudi men in jeans, others in traditional thobes, and women in black...

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Saudi forces quick off the mark

Saudi Arabian security forces subdue ‘day of rage’ protests

March 12 2011 Saudi security forces came out in strength in Riyadh on a “day of rage” organised by pro-democracy campaigners who managed only small demonstrations in the eastern provinces. Expectations that the unrest sweeping the Arab world in the last few weeks would spread to its most conservative kingdom appeared to have been dashed by pre-emptive security measures and stern official warnings against any protests. Far larger demonstrations rocked Yemen, where tens of thousands of pro and anti-government protesters took to the streets as President Ali Abdullah Saleh struggled to maintain his grip. Clashes broke out in the nearby island state of Bahrain, where Shia protesters...

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Libyan Rebels take on Gaddafi

Libyan forces, rebels engage in fierce clashes

March 10 2011 As Russian-made jets dropped more bombs on the city of Ras Lanouf, rebel leaders in their stronghold to the east of Benghazi were not panicking. “Air attacks are just symbolic,” said Idris Laga, the military coordinator for the rebel movement. While true that the airstrikes were not causing major damage to the city or rebel positions, they have seemingly halted the advance of the young and disorganized anti-government forces to the stronghold of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli. “Gadhafi doesn’t have enough people,” said Mustafa Gheriani, a media coordinator for the rebel movement. He said Gadhafi can only strike and then retreat without...

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