The BBC reports that “at least 48 hostages are now thought to have died in a four-day siege at an Algerian gas plant, as reports say that 25 bodies found at the complex on Sunday were all those of captives.”
Tattooing, both permanent and temporary, emerged as a topic in a few recent Pulitzer Center stories. Student fellow Yasmin Bendaas traced the tattoos for her reporting project in Algeria, where the origins of the marks are not clear. Photo by Yasmin Bendaas. Algeria, 2012. Some believe the…
Robert Fisk offers this scathing assessment in a new piece for The Independent that also accuses Algeria of supplying Qadhafi’s forces with armored vehicles and mentions Turkish plans to possibly send several battalions of troops into Syria “to carve out a ‘safe area’ for Syrian refugees.” He writes:
“While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America’s new role in the region. It was pathetic. ‘What is this “role” thing?’ an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. ‘Do they still believe we care about what they think?’”
The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola explains in an important piece today:
“With youth unemployment at 30 percent and millions of workers laboring in a precarious black market, Algeria could still explode, observers say. But for millions of Algerians — ruled since 1999 by the authoritarian Bouteflika, who fronts a hidden power structure of intelligence officers and military generals — the uprisings pose a particularly tough choice.
An Arab spring of sorts budded here in 1988, with a revolt against a one-party system that led to a much-heralded political opening. But within four years, the nation descended into civil war with Islamist extremists, ushering in more than a decade of terror that claimed upwards of 160,000 lives. That came only three decades after the end of a war for independence from France in which the death toll topped 1 million.
Fear of another cycle of violence is holding back Algerian society now. Standing near a faded belle epoque building in Bab el-Oued — a teeming slum where riots over food prices, poor housing and the lack of jobs broke out in January — Medhi Fadlane, 25, is one of the angry Algerians restless for change. But even he, like many others in the neighborhood, sounds a note of caution about pressing for it too fast.”
Ever since a man in Tunisia burnt himself to death in December 2010 in protest at his treatment by police, pro-democracy rebellions have erupted across the Arab world. Our interactive timeline traces key events
Higher education and internet connectivity across North Africa and the Middle East. See more of these lovely pencil drawn maps of the Middle East by Philippe Rekacewicz at Le Monde Diplo.
Hundreds of thousands of people staged protests in countries across the Arab world Friday, some trying to shake off autocratic rulers and others pressuring embattled leaders to carry out sweeping reforms.