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Arab Press Review, May 11

Headlines from Arab Newspapers

Why Tehran Has Chosen the “Houthi” as an Ally?


Al-Sharq al-Awsat, May 10, 2016



Iran’s regional political ambitions has nothing to do with its Shi‘ism, its Islamic identity, or its opposition to Israel and the West, all those are temporary slogans to serve a larger purpose. Iran has chosen Houthis in Yemen as allies not because they are from the Zaidi sect, and not because they claim affiliation to the Prophet family but for a geopolitical reason. They are indeed settled along Saudi Arabia’s border, so they fit the objectives of the regional conflict.


In Yemen there are more important historical Zaidi tribal leaders than the Houthis, with greater numbers and more well-known families than them, who also say they belong to the Prophet’s family, such as Hamid al-Din family, which ruled the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen until the sixties of the last century. But because the rebels settle the border province of Saada, Iran found in them a way to threaten Saudi Arabia. Iran prepared them culturally and organizationally since the late nineties, and persuaded their leader Hussein al-Houthi that the Imamate at the heart of his family, and the divine right belongs to them, and their rule in Yemen is a religious duty. [...]


I see many similarities between the two models invented by Iranians; Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi in Yemen. Iranians have entered the line of the Lebanese Shiite community, marginalized almost every traditional and religious leadership and substituted them with unknown leaders, such as Hassan Nasrallah, who granted the absolute loyalty. […]



Agriculture on the Roofs of Homes in Gaza Became the Haven of the Poor


Al-Jazeera, May 11, 2016



After the Palestinian Samia Abu Saud was relying on international aid to secure her needs, today she is able to rely on herself through the cultivation on the roof of her small house in Bureij refugee camp in the center of Gaza Strip, and mushroom crop became the main income for her and her family.


Al Jazeera net met these Palestinian woman known as Mrs. Um Muaz on the roof of her house, which was a small farm of fungus that need darkness to grow. For this reason she covered the roof with a dark black cover to ensure the success of the small project.


Um Muaz said that through this project she has become a working woman who can support her family of ten members in addition to her ill husband, who is not strong enough to work.[…]


[…]Experts confirmed the need to increase the support to urban agriculture in Gaza because it uses the existing and neglected urban resources, enables the community members to get a fresh and safe food, and contribute to create employment opportunities for the residents of the sector, where unemployment and poverty rate reached about 70%, according to the Federation of trade unions in the Gaza Strip.