MAHMOUD ABBAS, ISMAIL HANIYEH MEET IN ALGERIA
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, in Algeria on July 6. Algiers said its President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, had succeeded in bringing them together for the first time in years. The post included a video clip showing Abbas, Haniyeh and the Algerian president shaking hands, with other Palestinian officials present. Also, videos showed the Algerian capital during an unprecedented military parade organised to mark the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. The parade is the first of its kind in 33 years. The video clip showed Algerian forces raising the Palestinian flag and chanting “Gaza is strength, long live Palestine”. The parade was attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, as well as Algerian President Abdel Majid Tebboune.
BOSNIA SENDS OFF 50 MORE GENOCIDE VICTIMS TO FINAL REST
The remains of 50 more victims of the Srebrenica genocide were sent on July 8 for burial in the village of Potocari three days later on the 27th anniversary of the 1995 genocide. Hundreds of people have arrived in the capital Sarajevo and the nearby town of Visoko to bid a final farewell to the recently identified victims. Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari in the eastern part of the country. After passing by Vogosca, a Sarajevo suburb, a truck carrying the coffins draped with a large flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina stopped in front of the presidency near a memorial for children killed in the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995. Around 1,500 children were massacred during the brutal 1995 siege of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces. State officials and Sarajevo residents laid flowers on the vehicles carrying the bodies and held prayers. Husein Kavazovic, the grand mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, led people in prayers for the departed.
SEVERE CHILD MALNUTRITION UP 300% AMID SOMALIA DROUGHT
The number of children in Somalia who needed treatment for the most dangerous form of malnutrition surged 300 per cent in the first six months of 2022, according to humanitarian agency Save the Children. “As Somalia grapples with the worst drought spell in recent history, more than 200 children under the age of five have died of severe acute malnutrition since January,” Adan Farah, the group’s Humanitarian Adviser for Somalia, said. Estimates suggest around half of Somalia’s population of some 16 million have been directly or indirectly affected by what is one of the most extreme droughts in the country in four decades. More than 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and nearly 1 million – a majority of them children and women – have been displaced. An unprecedented fourth consecutive failed rainy season in eight regions of Somalia has pushed affected families to the brink of famine, according to the UN agency.
BAHRAIN DISBURSES FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO 127,945 FAMILIES
An additional month of financial support will be credited to the bank accounts of all those entitled to the cost of living allowance, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reports. According to the report, the move follows the directives of His Majesty, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to disburse an additional month of financial support to low-income families to mitigate the effects of rising global prices of goods. The Social Development Minister, Osama bin Ahmed Khalaf Al-Asfoor, asserted that the Ministry had taken all necessary procedures to disburse the amounts to the eligible citizens, noting that all the regular government subsidies will be disbursed to the beneficiaries in one payment, according to schedule.
ENNAHDA CALLS FOR REFERENDUM BOYCOTT
The Tunisian Ennahda Movement, whose leaders, especially its Head, Rached Ghannouchi, have been subjected to a campaign of systematic targeting for days, announced, on July 7, its rejection of the constitution document proposed by President Kais Saied, and called for a boycott of the referendum, which will take place on July 25. This came during a press conference by the Movement’s spokesman, Imad Khamiri, in the capital, Tunis. Khamiri said that the Movement rejects the draft constitution because it “violates the civil feature of the state, violates the law, builds for an individual rule and paves the way for absolute power.” He added: “Ennahda calls for a boycott of the referendum on the constitution and considers it illegitimate, illegal and issued by a coup.”
Image with caption: The Inclusive Attire Act allows student athletes to wear their traditional head coverings while playing sport
INCLUSIVE ATHLETIC ATTIRE ACT BECOMES LAW IN MARYLAND
The US state of Maryland has passed a law that will protect the rights of hijab-wearing female athletes and others with faith-related head coverings to play sports, without concerns of exclusion. The bill, called the Inclusive Attire Act, which took about two months to go through the political process, allows student athletes to wear their traditional head coverings while playing sport. The move has been warmly welcomed by Muslim activists. “Our take is very simple. Students should be able to compete,” Zainab Chaudry, director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Maryland, said. Chaudry says the bill, which took effect on July 1, was inspired by a case that CAIR handled in Maryland wherein they represented a high school basketball player who was benched for wanting to wear her hijab. “It’s an important milestone for faith communities and also for all those who value religious freedom.”
TUNISIA’S ONS JABEUR REACHES WIMBLEDON SINGLES FINAL
The success of Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in reaching July 9 Wimbledon singles final has prompted immense excitement in her home country for a woman nicknamed the “Minister of Happiness”. On the streets of the capital Tunis, people said her achievements had given them a new love of tennis, while Sports Minister Kamel Deguich said there would be a huge official reception for her when she came back home. “Tunisians have forgotten their problems, all are proud of Ons… She is really the Minister of Happiness,” Deguich said of the first Arab to reach a Grand Slam final, adding he would travel to London to watch Saturday’s match. The 27-year-old third seed also became the first African woman to reach the showpiece match at the All England Club after her 6-2 3-6 6-1 victory over close friend Tatjana Maria on July 7.