How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter

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Social media has been often touted for the role it played in the popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world since December 2010. Despite the buzz, you may be surprised that only 0.26% of the Egyptian population, 0.1% of the Tunisian population and 0.04% of the Syrian population are active on Twitter.

Of all the countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter is most popular in Kuwait, where 8.6% of the population is active users, defined as those who tweet at least once per month. Facebook’s more popular throughout the region. In its most popular country, the U.A.E., some 36.18% of the population is on Facebook.

Khaled ElAhmad (who goes by the Internet alias Shusmo) created these two infographics, exploring Facebook and Twitter trends in the Arab world, using Visual.ly. His data comes from a Dubai School of Government report on Arab Social Media.

Take a look through the two infographics, which also show growth of the social networks by country and overall membership stats. Did you expect more people to be active social media users? How do you think your country’s habits compare? You can also check out infographics on how China and India do social networking.

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via How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter [INFOGRAPHICS].

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Qatar’s Stake In Britain

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Qatari investment companies own the Shard. They own the Olympic Village. And they don’t care if their Lamborghinis get clamped when they shop at Harrods.

The only time the Qataris have excited the curiosity of the British was when two of their royal family's matching turquoise supercars were clamped outside Harrods, which they own

The only time the Qataris have excited the curiosity of the British was when two of their royal family's matching turquoise supercars were clamped outside Harrods, which they own

The tiny Gulf state has snapped up a range of famous British assets, which include:

1. Harrods, the upmarket department store formerly owned by Mohamed al-Fayed.

2. The Shard, soon-to-be Europe’s tallest building.

3. No. 1 Hyde Park, the world’s most expensive apartment block.

4. The London Stock Exchange, in which they own a 20 per cent stake.

5. The famous bohemian flea market in Camden, in which they own a 20 per cent stake.

6. The 2012 Olympic Village, once the games are over.

7. Sainsbury’s home stores and supermarket food chain and Barclay’s Bank – major investors.

8. Liquefied Natural Gas: Britain’s biggest supplier, providing 95.5%, used to generate almost 25% of the UK’s electrical power.

Mail Online.

#Qatar- #Mauritania discord story outsourced by #Jordan website?

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  1. An image from AlAkhbar English. The story has been published on several websites in Arabic and English. Everyone loves a good rumor! Al Babwa stands out because it doesn’t love its own stories enough to post them to Twitter, but has been incredibly fortunate in finding others willing to do it instead.
  2. 1. The flagship website of the Jordan-owned Al Bawaba Network, albawaba.com quoting Mauritanian Siraj newspaper, but neglecting to mention the Arab Press Network (http://www.arabpressnetwork.org/) description of it as a “pro-Islamist daily edited by Ahmad Al Wadi’a, a leading spokesperson of the Islamist movement”. For an indication of the quality of “news” favored by AlBawaba.com, check out this page from June 2011 highlighting another rumor, about the Emir of Qatar’s wife Sheikha Mozah allegedly spending $2m on plastic surgery to trim her derriére. Oddly enough, there are no tweets from @AlBawaEnglish to promote their story.
    The Al Bawaba Network also operates menareport.com.
  3. 2. A more influential Twitter user, the Iranian journalist Borzou Daragahi, aka @borzou, Pulitzer-listed former Baghdad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and now Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times and based in Cairo. If you’re reading this Borzou, I hope both you and your editor find it interesting to see you included in this group. 
  4. #Mauritania moving more & more into “resistance” camp; allegedly “expels” #Qatari emir bit.ly/xCyZtr
  5. “@borzou: #Mauritania moving more & more into “resistance” camp; allegedly “expels” #Qatari emir bit.ly/xCyZtr
  6. RT @borzou: #Mauritania moving more & more into “resistance” camp; allegedly “expels” #Qatari emir bit.ly/xCyZtr
  7. 3.  @atlantisconsult & @atconsultmaroc Sister accounts for a “security & intelligence” services company, according to their Twitter bios: 

    Atlantis Consulting es una corporación de ámbito Internacional . Atlantis Consulting is an International field corporation Security & Intelligence

    Atlantis Consulting est une société espagnole de niveau international crée pour répondre aux demandes existantes dans les secteurs de la sécurité etIntelligence

    We know very well what kind of intelligence service is typically interested in spreading rumors on social media. The kind involved in cyber warfare and spreading misinformation or disinformation.

  8. Other accounts that repeated the rumor as fact include @Arabic_News “Independent news & views from the streets of the Arab world” – http://www.roadstoiraq.com and @GLobalLinkInc – with a logo-style avatar that reads “Consulting International” but no url in their bio.
  9. Report: #Mauritania “expels” #Qatar|i emir h3r0.ca/wWpn42
  10. “@Arabic_News: Report: #Mauritania “expels” #Qatar|i emir h3r0.ca/wWpn42
  11. Here’s the rest of the happy band of tweeters, included here as a courtesy because I wouldn’t want to miss anyone out.
  12. Report: Mauritania “expels” Qatari emir | Al Bawaba bit.ly/xIL9ug @Albawaba
  13. #Mauritania expels #Qatar emir bit.ly/yrP5xz Quote: “These are not revolts, these are conspiracies” #arab Spring
  14. RT @larkidesi: #Mauritania expels #Qatar emir bit.ly/yrP5xz Quote: “These are not revolts, these are conspiracies” #arab Spring
  15. DTN Syria: Report: Mauritania “expels” Qatari emir: Media sources in Mauritania reported on Monday that the rece… bit.ly/An3MDM
  16. “@Arabic_News: Report: #Mauritania “expels” #Qatar|i emir h3r0.ca/wWpn42
  17. Report: Mauritania “expels” Qatari emir dlvr.it/14H3Sg
  18. Here’s the ‘@Happy_Arab’, Rashad alDabbah, of Orange County & Jeddah, generously giving Arabic language Twitter account @AlBabwa a mention in his tweet of their English news version of the story. What a fascinating bio Rashad has: “Saudi-American of Palestinian & Armenian descent. I organize the community in @LittleArabia and beyond. Communications Director, Syrian American Council. http://happyarabnewsservice.blogspot.com “
  19. Report: Mauritania “expels” Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad | Al Bawaba bit.ly/xqLITH @Albawaba #Qatar #Mauritania
  20. Last word goes to Ahmed Alfi.
  21. How will this play out??? Report: Mauritania “expels” Qatari emir albawaba.com/news/report-m…

Propaganda Update: #Mauritania and #Qatar fail to patch relationship

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UPDATE:  Maghrebia is forever engraved in my memory as the site which claims to encourage “discussion on all subjects, including sensitive ones” yet has consistently failed to publish even my most innocuous remarks; and also is the site which recently posted about the so-called Arab Bloggers Conference in Nouakchott with Lina Ben Mhenni’s name as a star speaker, even though she had very publicly declared her intention to boycott the event after discovering it was a political ruse on the part of Aziz and his cronies to usurp the Maghreb youth movements in the same way as he has tried to do in Mauritania. Anyway, this site publishes the note below, which I assume is the official version of events as they were supposed to unfold. How much of it, if any, is true remains unclear.

Mauritania, Qatar accords include job plan

2012-01-06

 Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and the visiting Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, signed several bilateral agreements on Thursday (January 5th). Plans for joint projects include jobs in Qatar for Mauritanian workers.

The accords signed during Al-Thani’s one-day visit to Nouakchott also cover finance, agriculture, sustainable development, justice, and other sectors.

The National Bank of Qatar recently opened a branch in Mauritania and the emir’s wife has financed a social development foundation in the country to fight illiteracy and rehabilitate youths.

My opinions remain unchanged and unchallenged.

The poor relationship between Qatar and Mauritania meant I was not expecting much to result from the Emir’s 5 January visit. In particular, I felt that the Emir visiting in person, rather than extending an invitation for Aziz to visit him, was not so much of an honor, but perhaps a lack of trust, reflecting earlier reports that Qatar had refused to issue visas to Aziz’ wife, for example. All this points to the visit being intended to deliver some kind of warning to Aziz, rather than an olive branch or the hand of friendship.

However, after Aziz has invested so much time and energy strengthening the diplomatic and economic relationship with Algeria, and making a visit to Tunisia several weeks ago, around the same time as the Qatari Emir, I entertained a faint expectation that this might be a move towards bridging their differences. Other insider gossip has included complaints from Qatar about the level of corruption in Mauritania, in relation to the mismanagement of funds for development projects funded by Qatar, and @weddady’s status update indicates that this is still a point of contention.

Many people have also commented on the lapse in protocol in allowing the Emir to leave Nouakchott without a farewell party to accompany his entourage to the airport. Even if Aziz has been disappointed not to enjoy the patronage of one of the Arab world’s wealthiest leaders, good manners cost nothing.


weddady (weddady) t looks like the Emir of #Qatar‘s visit to #Mauritania turned sour, a shouting match ensued after the emir spoke democracy to General Aziz. The Emir of Qatar’s remarks to General Aziz struck a nerve: unconstitutional parliament,rising discontent with corruption, famine..
6-Jan 04:19AM

newsbase (NewsBase Ltd) Total has signed up two #exploration licences in #Mauritania, one in the #deepwater, the other in the #Taoudeni basin.
6-Jan 01:36AM

mejdmr (محمد مجدي أحمد) جمعة مباركة #Mauritania #Egypt #Syria #Yemen #Bahrain #Maroc #Libya #Saudi #Qatar #Sudan #Iraq
6-Jan 12:13AM

ahmedj85 (ahmedjedou) #Qatar‏ نهاية زيارة الامير القطري لموريتانيا: مشادة كلامية بينه وبين الرئيس الموريتاني bit.ly/wMwQfe ‎#Mauritania
5-Jan 10:02PM

#Syria & #Libya regime supporters attacking #Qatar Emir…

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#Syria & #Libya regime supporters attacking #Qatar Emir means activists welcome him in #Mauritania

كنت غير مبال بزيارة أمير قطر، ولكني غيرت رأيي بعد قراءة هذا البيان: أهلا بك في موريتانيا شيخ حمد  http://t.co/xEqTksnw
from @tahabib  January 04, 2012 at 05:15PM