Tag: Middle East

BEIRUT – Over the past two decades, peace agreements have increasingly prescribed the integration of former rebels into the national armed forces they once fought as a strategy to promote reconciliation. (More…)

The Assad government’s rapid advance through southwest Syria since June 19 displaced 330,000 Syrians in one of the largest and fastest displacements since the beginning of the seven-and-a-half-year war. Among them was Logain Almelehan, a 32-year-old Syrian activist and journalist for Horriya Press, a pro-revolution news platform founded in 2015. (More…)

If the world’s cameras were to move a little deeper into Gaza, into the streets and behind the doors of people’s homes, they would see the desperation in almost every home. After 10 years of siege, the 2 million people of Gaza, living packed on a tiny strip, find themselves without work, their economy killed off, without the bare essentials for decent life. The siege is fracturing minds, pushing the most vulnerable to suicide in numbers never seen before. (More…)

At first glance, the Germans clambering over the Berlin Wall were a welcome sight. Finally, the DDR had imploded, and the countdown to reunification had begun.  But, the Cold War wasn’t over just yet, and my distrust of the coverage made me wonder about the darkness that might yet follow the protestors West. (More…)

These days, I hear everyone talk desperately about leaving Gaza (except they say “damned Gaza”). The people of Gaza have lived through three brutal wars and we have had enough. Life in Gaza is a vicious circle and we are getting dizzy from the endless cycle of violence and boredom. (More…)

Over the past 10 years, the three wars waged on the Gaza Strip have had devastating effects on the population of 2 million in both large and small ways. Since the first war in 2008/09, says Hedaya Abu Lehia, a technician’s assistant at the El-Amal Audiology Clinic, Gaza has seen a 30 per cent increase in hearing impairment. (More…)

Last week, the UN Refugee Agency said in its annual Global Trends report that the world’s displaced population numbered nearly 69 million people at the end of 2017, including roughly 25 million refugees. It was the fifth consecutive year in which global displacement has hit a new high. (More…)

An engraved poem in Hebrew near the entrance of the drab government building in Jaffa, Israel, is the only clue as to what goes on inside. It reads:

“We are the generation
Of lonely people
Thirsty for touch
For a bit of compassion
We are the generation that snorts
Pills, searching to get
A clue to feel ­– what is love?” (More…)

When Italy’s hard-line new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, declared Italy’s ports closed to migrant rescue boats – effectively stranding 629 people at sea – the city of Palermo rebelled. Mayor Leoluca Orlando said he was ready to accept the MS Aquarius at the Sicilian capital’s port, but without the help of the Italian coast guard it was impossible for him to do so. (More…)

At a time when European Union budgets are threatened by Brexit, Italian political instability and an unfinished economic crisis, the European Commission’s proposal for triple funding for borders, migration and asylum suggests an unusual consensus in favour of border security. (More…)

Two-thirds of the way through Freelancer on the Front Lines, Jesse Rosenfeld is filmed packing his flack jacket, as he prepares to return home to Beirut. (More…)

I thought they were Arabs. “Where are you guys from?” I asked in Hebrew, as we waited to get off the plane. “Non parla Ebraico,” the oldest of the group replied in Italian. Switching to English, I apologised and carefully said, “You’d easily pass for Israeli.” (More…)