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Saudi to set up underwater cultural centre

The Kingdom is to establish a new marine center to preserve underwater cultural heritage in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. The center is a natural development from Saudi Arabia’s awareness of its responsibility to protect all forms of heritage, Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan told a …

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Yemen pioneers female catering in Arab world

When Um Feras realised there were no leisure spaces for women in her city in Yemen, she founded her own cafe and hopes to change attitudes about women-led businesses. “There were no places for women to gather comfortably, no places belonging to the female community: where the team from administration …

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Saudi matchmaking turns high-tech

The traditional skills of the Kingdom’s matchmakers have survived many changes, and they are confident that amid rapid social changes among the younger generation and a technological revolution they can continue to ply their trade. As men and women enjoy opportunities to mingle and meet and attitudes across the country …

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Egypt joins condemnation of Islamophobic cartoons

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday freedom of expression should stop if it offends more than 1.5 billion people, following the display of images in France of the Prophet Mohammad that Muslims see as blasphemous. Sisi also said he firmly rejects any form of violence or terrorism from anyone …

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France launches cartoon campaign against Erdogan

Top Turkish officials condemned a caricature scorning President Tayyip Erdogan in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, calling it a “disgusting effort” to “spread its cultural racism and hatred”. Turkish anger at the caricature added fuel to a row between Turkey and France about cartoons of the Prophet …

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Erdogan backs growing calls for French boycott

Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan asked his compatriots to stop buying French goods on Monday in the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over images being displayed in France of the Prophet Mohammad, which some Muslims consider blasphemous. In Bangladesh on Monday, protesters held placards with a caricature of …

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Pakistan escalates row with France by ambassador recall

Pakistan summoned the French ambassador in Islamabad on Monday in the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over France displaying images of the Prophet Mohammad that Muslims consider blasphemous. In Bangladesh on Monday, protesters unfurled placards with a caricature of French President Emmanuel Macron and the words: “Macron …

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Iraqi human rights activists flee at gunpoint

Hasanain Alminshid had received death threats for his human rights activism for years, but ignored most of them. After his mentor was gunned down outside a police station, he finally made the difficult choice to flee Iraq. “It’s too dangerous now. There have been killings in the open in front …

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Alan Moore charges superheroes with Brexit amd Trump

“Watchmen” creator Alan Moore shared his belief in 2017 that superhero movies’ impact on popular culture was “tremendously embarrassing,” and the comic book icon remains just as critical of Marvel and DC films three years later. In a new interview with Deadline to tout his feature film “The Show,” Moore says he remains retired from writing comic …

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Uzbekistan becomes a country of tourists

Tourism in Uzbekistan has always drawn people from far and wide. For anyone who knows about the country, this is easy to understand – bright colours, intricate patterns, rich flavours, and friendly people await every visitor. Traces remain of great empires that have long since been blown away by the …

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Columbia College refuses to acknowledge student vote to divest Israel

Two days ago Columbia College undergraduates voted overwhelmingly to divest from companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts towards Palestinians under “apartheid” law. The university’s president Lee Bollinger promptly repudiated the vote saying it was a “complex” issue on which no campus consensus exists. Speaking to the …

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Women scaling new hights in Afghani mountains

Eighteen-year old Fatima Sultani gazes at the peak of a mountain near Afghanistan’s capital Kabul after completing a morning climbing session, considering her next challenge. She and her team of nine young Afghan mountaineers, including three women, are hoping to climb Afghanistan’s Mir Samir mountain and after that travel to …

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Feminists, Lesbians face up to Transgender lobby as J.K. Rowling controversy cascades

Author JK Rowling, who has come under fire for statements about trans activism that many have called transphobic, promoted an online store that sells items with offensive, anti-trans phrases. The website, called Wild Womyn Workshop, advertises pins with quotes including the phrases “Transwomen are men,” “Transmen are my sisters,” “Transition = conversion therapy,” …

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#MeToo movement nucleus of Egyptian feminism

In just two months, Egypt’s burgeoning #MeToo movement has exposed sexual assaults, spurred legal reform and emboldened hundreds of abuse victims including celebrities to speak out, sparking a long-overdue debate about gender inequality. Now, rights activists in the conservative country say keeping the social media campaign’s momentum going hinges on …

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Turkish musicians commit suicide in mass over COVID

Around 100 musicians in Turkey have committed suicide since the country introduced preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to statistics released by the Turkish Musicians and Performers Union (Muzik-Sen) early this month. There are roughly 1 million registered musicians in Turkey, many of whom work without insurance …

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EU trying to force Poland to adopt gay, transexual rights

The European Union’s chief executive said on Wednesday there was no place in the bloc for so-called “LGBT-free zones”, a pointed criticism of Poland’s nationalist government pushing to curb the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in …

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