Last updated: 19 August 2015

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In Gaza, the sea holds the allure of escape from this  maximum-security prison. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

In Gaza, the sea holds the allure of escape from this maximum-security prison.
Photo: ©Khaled Diab

From Gaza’s sinking boat to the Tahini Sea

August 2015 – Gazans Amer and Saleh felt “condemned to failure”, so they decided to escape to Europe. Sadly, their aborted endeavour ended in narrowly averted death.

Bostjan refugeesEurope’s collective refugee shame: How can it be?

August 2015 – How can it be that we Europeans greet the biggest refugee crisis in living memory with indifference, xenophobia and hostility?

Taxing questions about democracy in the Middle East

August 2015 – In the Middle East, there appears to be a link between autocracy and low taxes. Would higher taxation lead to greater representation or repression?

Image via Ahmed Namatalla

Image via Ahmed Namatalla

Sisi’s Suez moment

August 2015 – Suez Canal II is not about economics. It is a symbol of how President Sisi is supposedly navigating Egypt through narrow straits towards modernity.

One year on: The curing power of solar energy in Gaza

August 2015 – Gaza’s devastated infrastructure and fuel shortages cause avoidable deaths. A crowd-funded initiative will save lives with solar power in hospitals.

Photo: Jure Erzen/DELO

Photo: Jure Erzen/DELO

The long march from Syria to Europe

August 2015 – Joining Syrian refugees on their long trek to the EU, Boštjan Videmšek discovers how easy it is to lose faith in humanity and how hard to restore it.

Photo: ©Khaled Diab

Photo: ©Khaled Diab

The liberation of dance

August 2015 – “Dance is resistance. It’s the most refined way for us, the Palestinian people, to express our cause… Dance is a form of liberation.”

Pride and prejudice in the Holy Land

August 2015 – The rise in violent Jewish extremism shows how safeguarding justice only for a minority is leading to a situation of injustice for the majority.

عن تجربة اليونان المؤلمة ودروسها لمصر

يوليو 2015 – يوجد الكثير من الدروس المستفادة لمصر من أزمة اليونان الحادة

Starving the body to feed the cause

July 2015 – Hunger striking in prison taught Sulaiman Khatib a lot about his body, his mind and the importance of peaceful, non-violent activism.

The road to hell is paved with pious intentions

July 2015 – The ban on eating and drinking in public in some Muslim countries is wrong. Piety cannot and must not be imposed by law.

Sharif-HamamaOmar Sharif: Actor without borders

July 2015 – The late Omar Sharif was living, breathing, walking proof that there is nothing inherently irreconcilable between the Middle East and the West.

Photo: ©Khaled Diab

Photo: ©Khaled Diab

One year on: Gazans feel the pain of being abandoned by Egypt

July 2015 – Although the Israeli siege of Gaza hurts more materially, the Egyptian blockade is more painful emotionally. It is also counterproductive.

IMG_4429The poverty epidemic in Greece

July 2015 – “They may have the money, but we have each other,” insists the cook who feeds Athens’ poor. “This is not philanthropy, this is the natural human state.”

Ramadan with a handicap

July 2015 – As a disabled person, there is no shame in admitting that you can’t fast. I will not lie or hide it to satisfy people’s prejudices.

One year on: Gaza, life with hard labour

Young Gazans dream of escape across the sea to Europe. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

Young Gazans dream of escape across the sea to Europe. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

July 2015 – With rubble Gaza’s only growth industry, people are unable to pick up the pieces of their broken lives, face psychological ruin and dream of escape.

Haret al-yahoudEgyptian Jews and love triangles

July 2015 – Despite outlandish conspiracy theories, a Ramadan TV drama about Egypt’s lost Jewish community is not a missive to Israel but an ode to pluralism.

Gaza is on the verge of psychological ruin. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

Gaza is on the verge of psychological ruin. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

One year on: Gaza’s hidden psychological ruins

July 2015 – It is not just the landscape that is scarred and devastated, Gaza is an emotional and mental wreck teetering on the verge of psychological ruin.

Defusing the social media timebomb

July 2015 – Countering the “weaponisation of the internet” with top-down initiatives are unlikely to succeed. What we need are true grassroots efforts.

Circassian ladyCircassian beauties and the ugly face of race

July 2015 – The curious cases of Rachel Dolezal and the Circassian ladies show just how meaningless race is, while Dylann Roof underlines the dangers of racism.

Zaatar chicken: ©Joudie Kalla

Zaatar chicken: ©Joudie Kalla

Putting Palestine on the culinary map

June 2015 – The most delicious way to a society’s soul is through its stomach, believes the creator of Palestine on a Plate.

Photo: ©Boštjan Videmšek

Photo: ©Boštjan Videmšek

Greek islands: No holiday in the sun for Syrian refugees

June 2015 – Kos is straining under the influx of Syrian refugees.  Though locals are hospitable, the refugees are desperate to move on but where or how eludes them.

The Hagia Sophia when it was a mosque.

The Hagia Sophia when it was a mosque.

Hagia Sophia: A symbolic bridge or wedge?

June 2015 – The Hagia Sophia must not become a mosque. If its status must change, it should become a space of tolerance, where both Christian and Muslim worship.

The empire must not strike back

June 2015 – Nostalgia for empire in the Middle East misses two points: we’re not witnessing the “final end of imperialism” and imperialism did not bring order.