The grassroots campaign to break Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers isn’t set to start until Oct. 26. But a lot of women aren’t willing to wait that long. They’ve already recorded themselves getting behind the wheel in major Saudi cities. And although a few were stopped by police, many more have been inspired to take to the streets. Support has poured in from all over the world, and they now have an official song for their campaign.
Almost every major political figure has a social-media presence today. Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov is an Instagram addict, as is Syria’s first family. Hugo Chavez was a prolific tweeter, and Fidel Castro blogs occasionally. Iowa senator Chuck Grassley live-tweets University of Northern Iowa Panthers women’s volleyball matches. Yet nobody’s quite as strange as Iran’s Supreme Tweeter, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"I belong to the Syrian people," Syrian president Bashar al-Assad told the French journalist George Malbrunot, of the newspaper Le Figaro, earlier this week. "I defend their interests and independence and will not succumb to external pressure." Yes. That's what he said. There are many, many caveats to that little assertion, obviously, but one of the most noteworthy is this: The message wasn't just sent from President Assad to George Malbrunot. It was also sent from President #Assad to George #Malbrunot.
The United States on Wednesday denounced as "repulsive" an Instagram site by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it did not reflect the reality of the civil war. The embattled Syrian leader's office took to the social media site to post pictures that include Assad greeting supporters and his wife Asma comforting the injured.
Bar Refaeli's appearance in a new pro-Israel campaign has prompted an official letter from the Israeli Defense Forces to the Foreign Ministry complaining about Refaeli's lack of military service. Israeli law requires all citizens over 18 to enlist — women must serve for two years, men for three — but Refaeli managed to avoid conscription in 2007 by briefly marrying a family friend so that she could continue her modeling career.