Monitor Mideast

Stop Drifting and Get a Job, Says Cleric

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A prominent Saudi writer has called on youth in the Saudi Kingdom to refrain from ‘wreckless driving’.

Due to unemployment, Saudi youth are commonly found in malls and on the streets, hanging around. In other cases, they are notorious for endangering the streets whilst driving wrecklessly.

According to Al Ahram, the Saudi unemployment has experienced a 500 thousand increase over 2011, causing Saudi youth to seek creative forms of entertainment and pleasure.

Source: MEPanorama

Posted in Weird

Saddam Batallion in Syria

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A regiment of the FSA, the Free Syrian Army fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, announced that it has set up two battalions called ‘Martyr Saddam Hussein’ in the cities of Idlib and Deir al-Zour in Syria.


Within higher and lower echelons of the FSA, Saddam is a revered figure for his battle against the Shi’a uprisings and Iran, which the fighters consider a hostile Shi’a state. Activists also claim the label is an attempt to deliberately taunt Shi’a and Alawite communities.


Naming the FSA battalions after Saddam Hussein has been met with overwhelming outrage and condemnation in the region, notably among Syria’s Kurds who, in the 1980s experienced the Halabja massacre. The massacre, which was carried out using mustard gas had historically been recalled as a genocide by the community.


Source: MEPanorama

Posted in Iraq, Levant, Weird

Iranian Monkeys in Space

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Iran has reiterated her intention for a manned space flight by 2021—an inspiring goal for a nation with a nascent space program. This goal has found its fair share of criticizers but fact remains is that between the great things which the detractors deem Iran as being unable to do and those from which Iran is hindered from achieving, the real danger for Iranians is in not doing anything. Iran independently launched her first domestically built satellite in February of 2009 and thus became the eighth nation to do so—a feat indeed for carving out an indigenous program amidst layers of sanctions.

Of course, the rung of the ladder was never meant to rest the foot upon, but to enable one to raise the other higher. Iran intends to launch three domestically-built satellites by March 21, 2012. These will be the “Rasad” (observation), “Fajr” (dawn) and lastly the “Naved Elm-o-Sanat” (hopefulness for science and technology). A “Kavoshgar-4” (explorer) rocket is to be launched around the same period housing new systems and more peculiarly a monkey passenger—a probable prelude to manned flight.

Iranian television has of late shown monkeys, implanted with electronics, housed in capsules and enduring tests. Only yesterday, the Fajr was delivered to the ISA (Iranian Space Agency), mounting a camera for resolution up to 500m for surveying and meteorological research as well as an ability to alter its elevation. On the same day the development of a camera for a 20m resolution was publicized, meant for another planned Iranian satellite, the “Tolou” (rising). Additionally, earlier this same month three indigenous remote-sensing stations for tracking satellites were inaugurated. Whereas, the latest round of advances make evident Iran’s seriousness about her space program, they equally pose new questions for detractors who have viewed it as mere words or more ambitiously, a camouflaged military program.

Posted in Iran, meg, Science, Weird | Tagged