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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 : 2013-05-07

Bookworms in Libya, Shiite jihadists in Syria, 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: Syria

We begin today, once again, in Syria. The rebellion against Bashar al Assad is becomingly increasingly sectarian. Sunni Muslim fighters from abroad - often affiliated with al Qaeda - have long been fighting on the rebel side. Now, increasingly, Shiite Muslims are coming to help defend the regime. The Shiite fighters are coming from across the border in Lebanon and Iraq. Our Observer Mazen al-Shami is an opposition activist in the capital Damascus.

 

Story 2: Libya

Now to Libya. Nearly two years after the fall of Moammer Gaddhafi, the country is struggling to find its way. There's still no constitution, armed militias are patrolling the streets, and oil production is still lagging. But there is still hope. Here's a report that has nothing to do with politics or war.

Abdullah was part of a recent France 24 project bringing together young Libyan bloggers. You can find their posts - in Arabic and French - at libyablog.org.

 

Story 3: World

Now for our weekly roundup of other stories and images sent in by our Observers.

First, we head to the Central African Republic, in the capital Bangui. It was recently taken over by rebel fighters, and the unrest has had an impact on the city's most vulnerable population. Our Observer Ange says there are thousands of homeless children in Bangui now, many of them sleeping rough. Many have had no choice but to join the rebels or the armed militias that neighbourhoods have set up for self-defense. The UN estimates there are now more than 2,000 child soldiers in the country.

Next stop, Thailand, and a new measure to crack down on drunk driving - using public humiliation. Police there are have started publishing photos on Facebook of people arrested for driving over the limit. The unlucky motorists are asked to pose with their ID papers, and the ticket. Internet users are asking whether the public shaming is legal.

Our last stop today is in Egypt, courtesy of 'Women on Walls.' That's the name of a colective of female artists who are taking their message to the streets. They paint portraits of famous Egyptian women to remind people of the problems facing women today: widespread sexual harassment, and social codes that deem it unseemly for women to do things in public like... paint murals on walls. The group goes from city to city, the women painting, while their male comrades protect them from would-be harassers.

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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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