Egyptian, Yemeni workers fight on

This video is called Striking Egyptian Workers Fuel the Uprising After 10 Years of Labor Organizing.

Strikes and protests by workers across Egypt continued this week, with many calling for improved wages and working conditions while others attempted to block moves that would reduce their income or restrict their prospects: here.

University on the Square: Documenting Egypt’s 21st Century Revolution: here.

Shortly after the end of World War I, Australian troops bloodily suppressed a popular independence revolution in Egypt: here.

Yemen witnessed massive protests April 13, some of the largest yet in the wave of anti-government demonstrations that began in mid-January. Hundreds of thousands took part in rallies Wednesday in this nation of 24 million people, the poorest in the Arab world: here.

An Essex man who died in police custody in Dubai earlier this month suffocated on his own vomit, according to the state’s public prosecutor: here.

Bahrain: Is a U.S. Ally Torturing Its People? Here.

Laura Kasinof, The New York Times News Service: “Opposition leaders from Yemen said they planned to travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council on a timetable for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave office… The draft agreement also gives the president and his family immunity from prosecution, presumably to head off a situation similar to that in Egypt, where the military has detained former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons”: here.

7 thoughts on “Egyptian, Yemeni workers fight on

  1. Saudi unemployed graduates protest over jobs

    Dozens of unemployed university graduates and teachers staged protests in Riyadh and Jedda April 10 to demand jobs and better wages.

    Over 20 protesters gathered outside the education ministry office in Jeddah, while around 20 collected outside the ministry in the capital Riyadh, witnesses and participants said.

    Reuters quoted Omar Alharbi, a 34-year-old father of six and Arabic language teacher in a private school making only 1,800 riyals ($480) a month, below the country’s unemployment handout of 2,000 riyals:

    “God willing, I’ll be here until Friday if I have to. We don’t care anymore after seven years of unemployment. We have no other choice… I plan to stay here until we find a solution,” he said.

    Some of the protesters said they had been unemployed since 2003. They estimated the number of unemployed Saudi Arabic language teachers to exceed 10,000.

    In an attempt t o prevent the public discontent gripping much of the Middle East and north Africa from igniting Saudi society, King Abdullah recently ordered social handouts exceeding $100 billion to be spent on housing, infrastructure, health care and security. It also included a 2,000 riyal unemployment benefit.

    Saudi Arabia has not yet seen the kind of mass uprisings that have rocked large parts of the region this year, but a number of protests have taken place in the Eastern Province where most of the kingdom’s crucial oilfields are located.

    Earlier this year, around 250 unemployed graduates gathered at the education ministry in Riyadh to demand employment and vowed to continue demonstrating until the government produces jobs.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and a key US regional ally. The absolute monarchy does not tolerate public dissent. There is no elected parliament or political parties, and newspapers carry the official line of the ruling House of Saud.

    Among the 15 to 24 age group, unemployment in Saudi Arabia is reported to be almost 40 percent.


  2. Unemployed Omanis gather at capital roundabout

    Over 1,000 job seekers gathered at Muscat’s Bait Al Barka roundabout demanding employment, April 11 and 12.

    Traffic on this main artery linking the Omani capital with the country’s north became congested due to the protests. Eyewitnesses said people started coming to the roundabout late on Monday night and their numbers grew to more than 1,000.

    Through an announcement on a local Arabic FM radio station, the Royal Oman Police advised people travelling from Muscat to the Batinah region in the north, or vice versa, to take the new Muscat Expressway to bypass the Bait Al Barka roundabout, which involves the main highway that runs through the northern region and connects with neighbouring UAE as well as leading to the residential palace of Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed.

    The police advice did not mention the protest.

    The security forces later converged at the roundabout in large numbers.

    Protests in Oman started in January with a “Green March” in Muscat and by the end of February spread to other cities in the country such as Salalah, Sur, Ibri and Sohar. In Sohar protesters had taken over the important Globe Roundabout for almost a month, blocking traffic movement. The army later took control of the roundabout and dispersed protesters, which triggered protests. One protester was killed in subsequent police action.

    On April 9, the chief prosecutor announced that an Omani activist who “instigated riots” in the industrial city of Sohar will face trial with 25 others for violent conduct. He did not say when the accused would go to court or the exact charges.

    Demonstrations in Oman, inspired by a wave of protests that have spread across the Middle East, have focused on demands for better wages, jobs and an end to corruption.

    Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has ruled Oman for 40 years, has already embarked on a series of reforms in an effort to hold onto power, including sacking 12 ministers, introducing a monthly allowance for the jobless and pay rises for civil servants.


  3. Auto workers in Cairo protest

    On April 14, tens of workers at the Al-Nasr Automotive company in Cairo held a protest to demand the government make good on its promise to pay the remainder of their early retirement incentives. Workers say that officials at the Ministry of Investment and the holding company for Engineering Industries are refusing to pay them.

    More than 3,100 workers at the company were forced to accept early retirement schemes between 2005 and 2010. The company stopped production altogether three years ago. Workers say that they received just two thirds of their entitlement but that the company’s land was sold for considerable profit, so there was enough cash to cover their payments.


    Egyptian university professors rally in front of Armed Forces HQ

    Hundreds of university professors rallied in front of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) headquarters in Cairo April 16, calling for a reshuffle of university boards of directors and deans.

    According to eyewitnesses, some professors called for the dismissal of the minister of higher education, Amr Ezzat Salama, accusing him of being part of the regime of the toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

    Observers say that during Mubarak’s reign, university presidents and deans were appointed according to State Security Investigative Services reports and recommendations, which were based on loyalty to the former regime, not experience.


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