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THE OBSERVERS

A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2011-12-07

Iran conservatives try to separate classrooms by gender, shopping gets violent in the US, and more...

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

STORY 1: In Iran, religious conservatives are all right with women attending university – but only so long as they don’t get too close to the men. That’s why they’re gradually trying to separate male and female students.

However they’re running into some resistance – our Observer Amra tells us how students are fighting to keep their classrooms co-educational. Very few of our Observers in Iran take the risk of speaking to us by webcam – but Amra wanted to share her story in her own voice.

Iran’s religious conservatives aren’t just worried about men and women attending the same classes – they’re now turning their attention to ski resorts, too. Amra explains that they’re concerned men and women might engage in some flirting on the slopes.

STORY 2: WORLD

And now, a look at some of the images sent in this week by our Observers.

First stop, the village of Aali, in Bahrain, with a young man who goes by the pseudonym Mahmoud.

He alerted us to a video in which we see women who are stuck in a room during a funeral wake. The police tried to get the women to leave the room by using tear gas on them. So several men, including Mahmoud, tried to help them.

Mahmoud told us why, according to him, the police tried to put an end to the funeral wake. He says the authorities are scared of such wakes because they often turn into anti-government protests.

Protesters may stopped flooding Pearl Square, in Bahrain’s capital, but the unrest continues - and the methods used by police to quash it are quite brutal.

Next up, India. We head to the city of Bangalore with our Observer Sunil Mohan.

Sunil tells us that the gay community there held a Gay Pride parade, hoping to educate others on the difficulties encountered by gay people in India. Sunil tells us that in his country, homosexuality was only legalized in 2009 – and only in the region of the capital, Dehli.

He tells us the gay community is still very much discriminated against – he himself was recently beat up in the street, just for looking different.

We end today in Kinston, in the state of North Carolina, with Mercedes Diane.

Mecedes filmed a video in a supermarket on Black Friday. That’s what the first day of pre-Christmas sales is called in the United States. Mercedes says shoppers were in a real frenzy as they tried to snag the best deals.

The police soon intervened – they didn’t hesitate to spray everyone with tear gas, and use even stronger methods on the most unruly shoppers.

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