As revolt spreads through the Arab world, Libyan President Moammar Kadafi and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh take brutal steps to retain power.
Anti-government protesters flee as government backers repel their attack during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen. (Khaled Abdullah / Reuters / February 19, 2011)
Reporting from Cairo and Sana, Yemen —
The unrest convulsing the region has swept through Libya and Yemen, where demonstrators have grown fearless against the tear gas and bullets of entrenched police states. But even if the scenario is similar to the narrative played out in the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, it is far from certain whether demonstrations can dislodge Libyan President Moammar Kadafi and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Unlike Egypt, Libya and Yemen are tribal nations, and the two leaders have skillfully manipulated clan loyalties for decades.
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With his eccentric, often inscrutable personality, Kadafi has ruled Libya, one of the world's largest oil producers, for 41 years through a mix of repression, patronage and shrewd tribal alliances. Saleh, who once described ruling Yemen as "dancing on the heads of snakes," has stayed in power for 32 years in much the same manner.
The heart of the revolt in Libya is in the eastern city of Benghazi, where dozens of people have died in recent days and tens of thousands of protesters have taken control of many neighborhoods. The army moved to crush dissent Friday, but by Saturday afternoon one witness said soldiers had abandoned two tanks in front of the courthouse and security forces had fallen back to bases.
"Kadafi is not in control of Benghazi," said the son of a former diplomat and military officer who asked not to be named. "By tomorrow, the city will belong to the people. There are no police here. But we've been isolated and shut off. The Internet is down. Cellphones are not working properly. Ten people were killed last night and we carried their coffins through town and buried them."
The tenor changed dramatically by Saturday evening, when reports emerged that security forces, including snipers, had opened fire on protesters and mourners. A doctor told the Al Jazeera network that he had glimpsed dozens of corpses at the city's hospital, which was on the brink of running out of blood for transfusions to treat the wounded.
"I have seen it on my own eyes: At least 70 bodies at the hospital," Wuwufaq al-Zuwail told the network. He said security forces had blocked ambulances from reaching the injured on the protest lines.
It was impossible to independently verify what has been unfolding in Benghazi, the country's second-largest city, which has been cut off to foreign media. The eastern region has long been marginalized by Kadafi, and anger has been growing over failed economic reforms, especially for the jobless young. There is also lingering hostility over the 1996 deaths of hundreds of inmates from the east killed in a massacre at Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.
"Libya is more like a black hole. It's very hard to see inside at all," said Joe Stork, deputy director for North Africa and the Middle East for Human Rights Watch. "Libya's police have in the past shown zero tolerance for any dissent. Especially public dissent. People have been locked up for years for organizing even small protests. What's new here is that large numbers of people are still coming out."
The Libyan protests are not the "beginning of a revolution," said Mustafa Labbad, head of Al Sharq Center for Political Studies in Cairo. "Libya is a tribal country and what happens in a certain area isn't necessarily accepted by or adopted by other tribes.... We've got all the protests in the east where the poorest of Libyans live and resent Kadafi the most. However, you need much more than just one part of a country to revolt," he said.
But U.S. diplomatic cables released recently by WikiLeaks reveal growing internal discontent with Kadafi.
"Static state salaries and inflation, particularly with respect to prices for food and key staples, have hit ordinary Libyans hard in the last two years," states a 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable. "Conspicuous consumption by regime elites, has not sat well with the silent majority.... The fact that many young men are forced by lack of means to delay marriage is another pressing economic issue in a conservative society in which marriage is a key social anchor."
In Yemen's southern coastal city of Aden, police in recent days relinquished parts of the town to protesters. It was uncertain whether security forces gained control Saturday after mobs attacked and burned police stations during the nation's ninth consecutive day of demonstrations.
Two protesters were killed and dozens injured when gunmen shot into the crowd from nearby rooftops and from a passing vehicle, according to local reports. Protesters in Aden said the gunmen were government security officers. Government officials denied the claim.
The rising violence points to years of frustration in Yemen — the Arab world's poorest country — and to Saleh's strained relations with tribal leaders. Saleh is confronting a secessionist movement in the south and a network of Al Qaeda militants on tribal lands beyond the capital, Sana. He recently attempted to buy off tribal leaders with cars and cash, according to local media.
"Politicians have always played the tribes card, and they will now that there are threats from the south and from the protesters," said Ali Saif Hassan, director of Yemen's Political Development Forum. "The tribes are a powerful force, and their loyalty will certainly be used to blackmail Saleh."
The danger the president faces was evident Saturday afternoon when a small band of pro-government supporters dressed in traditional clothing fired Kalashnikov rifles into a crowd of more than a thousand protesters gathered in front of Sana University. Protesters said the gunmen were security officers acting on orders from the government. Government officials denied any involvement in the shootings.
"I ask you, if my government is democratic, why am I afraid to go out on the street? Why am I afraid my government will put bullets in me?" said Kamal Daifalah, a doctor and an anti-government protester in Sana, who gave his great-grandfather's name for fear of reprisals from police. "This is not democracy. This is state terrorism."
Another anti-government protester, Farooq Abdulmalik, said he was willing to die for his freedom. "To live without freedom is another form of death," the 22-year-old student said. "We are not afraid."
MANAMA, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq rejected an offer of dialogue floated by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa with all parties to end unrest and protests that swept the tiny Gulf nation and left six people dead, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Dubai- based Al-Arabiya TV report Saturday.
The King has issued a royal decree in which he tasked Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa to lead the dialogue with all parties.
Al-Wefaq, which holds 18 seats in the 40-member parliament, conditioned military tanks to be withdrawn from the capital Manama's Pearl Square.
In a knee jerk to the use of force by police to end protests, Al-Wefaq has suspended its participation in Bahrain's parliament.
Bahrain, home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family where the majority Shiite population says they are facing discrimination in jobs and other services.
The kingdom denies such claims.
Bahrain with a population of some 738,000, is the only Gulf nation along with Kuwait with an elected parliament, but laws must be approved by the king-appointed Shura Council, the upper chamber of Bahrain's parliament.
Labels: Protests in Bahrain
Published: February 15, 2011
MANAMA, Bahrain — Thousands of protesters poured into this nation’s symbolic center, Pearl Square, late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.
In a matter of hours, this small, strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a “Day of Rage” progressed within 24 hours to an exuberant group of demonstrators, cheering, waving flags, setting up tents and taking over the grassy traffic circle beneath the towering monument of a pearl in the heart of Manama, the capital.
The crowd grew bolder as it grew larger, and as in Tunisia and Egypt, modest concessions from the government only raised expectations among the protesters, who by day’s end were talking about tearing the whole system down, monarchy and all.
Then as momentum built up behind the protests on Tuesday, the 18 members of Parliament from the Islamic National Accord Association, the traditional opposition, announced that they were suspending participation in the legislature.
The mood of exhilaration stood in marked contrast to a day that began in sorrow and violence, when mourners who had gathered to bury a young man killed the night before by the police clashed again with the security forces.
In that melee, a second young man was killed, also by the police.
“We are going to get our demands,” said Hussein Ramadan, 32, a political activist and organizer who helped lead the crowds from the burial site to Pearl Square. “The people are angry, but we will control our anger, we will not burn a single tire or throw a single rock. We will not go home until we succeed. They want us to be violent. We will not.”
Bahrain is best known as a Persian Gulf base for the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet and as a playground for residents of Saudi Arabia who can drive over a causeway to enjoy the nightclubs and bars of the far more permissive kingdom. Its ruler, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, is an important ally of the United States in fighting terrorism and countering Iranian influence in the region.
It is far too soon to tell where Bahrain’s popular political uprising will go. The demands are economic — people want jobs — as well as political, in that most would like to see the nation transformed from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional one. But the events here, inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, have altered the dynamics in a nation where political expression has long been tamed by harsh police tactics and prison terms.
In a rare speech to the nation, the king expressed his regret on national television over the two young men killed by the police and called for an investigation into the deaths. But in an unparalleled move he also instructed his police force to allow more than 10,000 demonstrators to claim Pearl Square as their own.
As night fell Tuesday and a cold wind blew off the Persian Gulf, thousands of demonstrators occupied the square or watched from a highway overpass, cheering. Where a day earlier the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at any gatherings that tried to protest, no matter how small, or peaceful, people now waved the red and white flag of Bahrain, gave speeches, chanted slogans and shared food.
The police massed on the other side of a bridge leading to the square. A police helicopter never stopped circling, but took no action, to the protesters’ surprise.
By 10 p.m., many of the people headed home from the square, with many saying they had plans to return the next day. A core group planned to spend the night there in tents.
“Now the people are the real players, not the government, not the opposition,” said Matar Ibrahim Matar, 34, an opposition member of Parliament who joined the crowd gathered beneath the mammoth statue. “I don’t think anyone expected this, not the government, not us.”
Labels: Protests in Bahrain
|Pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square have vowed to take the protests to a 'last and final stage' [AFP]|
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.
Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address that the president was "waiving" his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the armed forces.
Suleiman's short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as well by pro-democracy campaigners who attended protests across the country on Friday.
The crowd in Tahrir chanted "We have brought down the regime", while many were seen crying, cheering and embracing one another.
Mohamed ElBaradei, an opposition leader, hailed the moment as being the "greatest day of my life", in comments to the Associated Press news agency.
"The country has been liberated after decades of repression,'' he said.
"Tonight, after all of these weeks of frustration, of violence, of intimidation ... today the people of Egypt undoubtedly [feel they] have been heard, not only by the president, but by people all around the world," our correspondent at Tahrir Square reported, following the announcement.
"The sense of euphoria is simply indescribable," our correspondent at Mubarak's Heliopolis presidential palace, where at least ten thousand pro-democracy activists had gathered, said.
"I have waited, I have worked all my adult life to see the power of the people come to the fore and show itself. I am speechless." Dina Magdi, a pro-democracy campaigner in Tahrir Square told Al Jazeera.
"The moment is not only about Mubarak stepping down, it is also about people's power to bring about the change that no-one ... thought possible."
In Alexandria, Egypt's second city, our correspondent described an "explosion of emotion". He said that hundreds of thousands were celebrating in the streets.
Pro-democracy activists in the Egyptian capital and elsewhere had earlier marched on presidential palaces, state television buildings and other government installations on Friday, the 18th consecutive day of protests.
Anger at state television
At the state television building earlier in the day, thousands had blocked people from entering or leaving, accusing the broadcaster of supporting the current government and of not truthfully reporting on the protests.
"The military has stood aside and people are flooding through [a gap where barbed wire has been moved aside]," Al Jazeera's correspondent at the state television building reported.
He said that "a lot of anger [was] generated" after Mubarak's speech last night, where he repeated his vow to complete his term as president.
Outside the palace in Heliopolis, where at least ten thousand protesters had gathered in Cairo, another Al Jazeera correspondent reported that there was a strong military presence, but that there was "no indication that the military want[ed] to crack down on protesters".
|Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage|
She said that army officers had engaged in dialogue with protesters, and that remarks had been largely "friendly".
Tanks and military personnel had been deployed to bolster barricades around the palace.
Our correspondent said the crowd in Heliopolis was "gaining momentum by the moment", and that the crowd had gone into a frenzy when two helicopters were seen in the air around the palace grounds.
"By all accounts this is a highly civilised gathering. people are separated from the palace by merely a barbed wire ... but nobody has even attempted to cross that wire," she said.
As crowds grew outside the palace, Mubarak left Cairo on Friday for the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh, according to sources who spoke to Al Jazeera.
In Tahrir Square, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered, chanting slogans against Mubarak and calling for the military to join them in their demands.
Our correspondent at the square said the "masses" of pro-democracy campaigners there appeared to have "clear resolution" and "bigger resolve" to achieve their goals than ever before.
However, he also said that protesters were "confused by mixed messages" coming from the army, which has at times told them that their demands will be met, yet in communiques and other statements supported Mubarak's staying in power until at least September.
The military said it would also guarantee changes to the constitution as well as a free and fair election, and it called for normal business activity to resume.
Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tahrir Square said people there were hugely disappointed with that army statement, and had vowed to take the protests to "a last and final stage".
"They're frustrated, they're angry, and they say protests need to go beyond Liberation [Tahrir] Square, to the doorstep of political institutions," she said.
Protest organisers have called for 20 million people to come out on "Farewell Friday" in a final attempt to force Mubarak to step down.
Hossam El Hamalawy, a pro-democracy organiser and member of the Socialist Studies Centre, said protesters were heading towards the presidential palace from multiple directions, calling on the army to side with them and remove Mubarak.
"People are extremely angry after yesterday's speech," he told Al Jazeera. "Anything can happen at the moment. There is self-restraint all over but at the same time I honestly can't tell you what the next step will be ... At this time, we don't trust them [the army commanders] at all."
An Al Jazeera reporter overlooking Tahrir said the side streets leading into the square were filling up with crowds.
"It's an incredible scene. From what I can judge, there are more people here today than yesterday night," she said.
|Hundreds of thousands of protesters havehered |
in the port city of Alexandria [AFP]
"The military has not gone into the square except some top commanders, one asking people to go home ... I don't see any kind of tensions between the people and the army but all of this might change very soon if the army is seen as not being on the side of the people."
Hundreds of thousands were participating in Friday prayers outside a mosque in downtown Alexandria, Egypt's second biggest city.
Thousands of pro-democracy campaigners also gathered outside a presidential palace in Alexandria.
Egyptian television reported that large angry crowds were heading from Giza, adjacent to Cairo, towards Tahrir Square and some would march on the presidential palace.
Protests are also being held in the cities of Mansoura, Mahala, Tanta, Ismailia, and Suez, with thousands in attendance.
Violence was reported in the north Sinai town of el-Arish, where protesters attempted to storm a police station. At least one person was killed, and 20 wounded in that attack, our correspondent said.
Dismay at earlier statement
In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Mubarak said he was handing "the functions of the president" to Vice-President Omar Suleiman. But the move means he retains his title of president.
Halfway through his much-awaited speech late at night, anticipation turned into anger among protesters camped in Tahrir Square who began taking off their shoes and waving them in the air.
Immediately after Mubarak's speech, Suleiman called on the protesters to "go home" and asked Egyptians to "unite and look to the future."
Union workers have joined the protests over the past few days, effectively crippling transportation and several industries, and dealing a sharper blow to Mubarak’s embattled regime.
By Lyn J Rayner
Most people will consider their wealth as monetary, but truly there is wealth to be found in our other possessions, and motivation wealth could be considered as one. Anyone that is truly knowledgeable in a subject, then possesses a wealth of knowledge. This can be a most valuable tool.
This type of asset can be easily turned into a financial asset if one so chooses. Many of the famous successful entrepreneurs of today put themselves into a very lucrative financial position because they utilized motivation wealth assets that they had built up first.
So really how did they accomplish this? They did it step by step, and by the way if you are going to give this motivational thing a try be prepared for a few failures along the way. If you are smart though you can make those failures work for you to make you all the more determined to go after your motivation wealth.
What is motivation wealth?
Is the accumulation of all the knowledge you can possible gather about motivation. The more you have to work with the more successful you are going to be at motivating yourself.
Motivating yourself is going to lead you to your success in other areas. We often talk about money as being the number one thing and desire in everyone's life but it really isn't in many cases. There are some that would love to have a good strong personal relationship. Others want that big promotion at work.
Whatever it is that you truly want in life amounts up to your personal wealth. The truth of the matter is, if you have not built your motivation wealth account up, chances are you aren't going to get it.
Motivation is one of those rare things in life that is free yet we don't take advantage of it. We all have it within us we just don't know how get it to grow. It is like anything in life, if you want it to grow you have to feed it. How do you feed it? With knowledge!
In order to do this you need to build up your knowledge in motivation. Then you will have yourself a motivational arsenal that you can put into full action and get what you want out of life.
Often the problem that many of us are guilty of is biting off more than we can chew so to speak. We dive into new adventures and then as soon as the novelty wears off we are back to square one. Changing the approach and the way of thinking though when it comes to motivation wealth, is like building your arsenal up slowly and methodically. In fact you need to concentrate on holding yourself back so you don't burn out with over enthusiasm.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lyn_J_Rayner
Labels: Motivation Wealth
Anak lelaki presiden itu, Gamal, 47, dikatakan bertolak dengan pesawat peribadi bersama keluarganya dan 97 beg besar.
Keluarga itu dikatakan menginap di rumah agam enam tingkat milik mereka bernilai £8.5 juta (RM41 juta) berdekatan pusat beli-belah terkemuka Harrods di Knightsbridge, barat London.
Pengendali bagasi penerbangan Mesir di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Heathrow berkata Wanita Pertama negara itu, turut dilihat tiba di London.
Mubarak dikatakan mempunyai aset £25 bilion (RM120 bilion) sejak berkuasa pada 1981.
Suzanne, Gamal dan anak sulung Mubarak, Alaa, 49, menjadi simbol kekayaan dan rasuah di Mesir. Suzanne turut digelar Marie Antoinette kerana bersikap umpama ratu yang dipancung di zaman revolusi Perancis.
Wanita Pertama Mesir itu turut memegang pasport Britain kerana ibunya, Lily May Palmer adalah wanita Inggeris dan bapanya berasal dari Mesir.
Lily bekerja sebagai jururawat bertemu jodoh dengan pelajar perubatan dari Mesir, Saleh Thabet di utara London pada 1934. Mereka kemudian berpindah ke Mesir dan Suzanne dilahirkan pada 1941. – Agensi