Meanwhile, Saudi women set their eyes on the skies; and Algerians struggle with medicine shortages
A group of Tunisian teachers protested against a history and geography school exam which referred to “Israel” without adding a reference to it being an “occupation state," according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.
A spokesman for the protestors declared: “We are protesting against the inclusion of the State of Israel in the history and geography tests. As Tunisians, we are proud of our Arabism, Tunisia is authentic.”
“To whom it may concern. We declare our position that we will not accept the use of the term ‘Israel’ without adding a reference to the occupation state,” the spokesman added.
No fear of flying
After finally being allowed to drive cars, Saudi women are now seeking licenses to fly aircraft.
A Saudi woman named Asma Saad is about to obtain a license to fly sports planes. Only a few training hours remained for Saad before she can fly over the city of Jeddah, according to Asharq al-Awsat.
A Saudi woman behind the wheel of a car (AFP)
"I adored flying and I passionately watched airplanes in the air since I was a child. I dreamed of studying aviation and to become a pilot; however, I knew that would be difficult to achieve so I decided to be a sports pilot," she said.
Saad explained that the 30-hour training period is divided between 15 hours with a trainer and 15 hours of individual flying. She added that getting this licence would help her pursue her dream of studying aviation science, obtaining a commercial aviation license and joining a crew of air navigators.
Coach Mohammed al-Qarnee said that women are more passionate about sports aviation than men and are more focused and careful in following instructions. Women are also, the coach said, more punctual.
Al-Qarnee claimed that allowing women to drive cars in Saudi Arabia had spurred women into flying sports aircraft. Although woman have been able to apply for the license for years, the demand for training has only increased lately, Asharq al-Awsat reported him as saying.
Saudi and UAE 'seeking Jerusalem HQ'
Anonymous sources in Jerusalem have claimed that Saudi Arabia and UAE are looking to open offices in the city near the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
They pointed out that “the information available so far is that the house adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque, which the UAE sought to purchase, was for the opening of a UAE-Saudi headquarters there,” according to Arabi21.
One source claimed that "the objective of opening this headquarters is to carry out an activity parallel to that of the Department of Awqaf in Jerusalem, which is affiliated to the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf. The Saudi-Emirati attempt to gain a foothold in Jerusalem comes as a step forward regarding their role in al-Aqsa Mosque in the future, as the rival of the Jordanian Hashemite trusteeship over al-Aqsa Mosque and all Islamic endowments in Jerusalem.”
The sources added that “Saudi Arabia and the UAE tried to subjugate the Jordanian regime, to pass the deal of the century regarding the custody of al-Aqsa Mosque".
Saudi Arabia's decision to resume its financial aid to Jordan was a sign that Riyadh was concerned about “the rapprochement between Amman and Ankara on the one hand, and the fear of the outbreak of a new Arab Spring in Jordan on the other”.
The head of Algeria's pharmacists union revealed that there is a severe shortage in stock for about 100 medicines, treating various diseases, according to the Algerian newspaper el-Khabar.
Messaoud Belamri pointed out that this is especially related to medicines dealing with male hormones, as well as some antibiotics and drugs for chronic diseases, both imported and locally produced.
He stressed that pharmacists were experiencing verbal and physical attacks against those who refuse to sell hallucinogens or sedatives illegally.
*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye