We’ve had tens of thousands of stories on the Middle East in the ten years since MEMO launched, so for our 10th birthday, we’ve compiled a list of those you’ve read the most:
In the summer of 2014, during the bombardment of the Gaza Strip an Israeli soldier offered a drink to a 74-year-old Palestinian woman, Ghalya Abu-Rida. After posing for a photo with her, he then shot her in the head and watched her bleed to death.
In 2014, Norwegian Doctor Mads Gilbert wrote a letter recounting the horrors of the ground invasion of Gaza, and praising the brave medical staff who worked day in and day out to treat the wounded. Israel has since banned Gilbert from entering the Gaza Strip.
As I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flow, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear.
In 2014, this 80-year-old Iranian man broke a world record by going 60 years with having a bath. To keep warm he lights a number of cigarettes at the same time and smokes animal dung through his pipe!
Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal came out in 2016 during the US presidential election campaign and claimed he had bailed out serving President Donald Trump from bankruptcy – twice! What did Trump do when Bin Talal was held captive in the gilded prison that was the Ritz Calton a few years later?
In 2017, US soldiers murdered an 8-year-old girl in Yemen during a raid ordered by President Donald Trump. Although the operation was hailed a ‘success’ by the US, reports from Yemen indicated that Yemeni civilians paid the highest price.
Don’t cry mama, I’m fine
Just months before it detained its wealthiest businessmen in the five-star hotel the Ritz-Calton in 2017 and forced them to give up to 60% of their wealth, Saudi applied for a $10 billion IMF loan. After years of overspending by the royal family and bad investments in military campaigns including in Yemen, the economy was in trouble and the oil-rich state needed cash.
In 2014, top Arsenal player Mesut Ozil donated all his World Cup earnings to the children of Gaza who were living through an Israeli assault which lasted 51 days and killed over 2,200 people, the majority civilians. The Turkish player also refused to shake the hand of a FIFA official because of his support for Israel.
In a move that shocked many, in 2014 Swedish authorities refused former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ plane access to its airspace, making him very late to his official reception in neighbouring Norway.
In 2016, under pressure from an anti-Palestinian blogger, 15-year-old Palestinian-British Leanne Mohamad, who wowed the internet with her compelling speech to win the Jack Petchey youth speaking award, was kicked out of the competition. Mohamed beautifully read out her speech ‘Birds not Bombs’, in which she described the historical and contemporary reality for Palestinians under Israeli settler colonialism.
Amidst the controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt’s siege on Qatar in 2017, Somalia turned down $80 million to cut ties with Doha in spite of Riyadh’s threats that it would withdraw its financial assistance from the African state.
While the following stories were not in our top 10 most read, we thought we should still mention them:
Israeli Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian revealed yesterday that the Israeli occupation authorities issues permits to large pharmaceutical firms to carry out tests on Palestinian and Arab prisoners.
Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian congresswoman, made a change to the map of her congressional office in Washington, DC, replacing Israel with Palestine.
Hollywood celebrities raised a record breaking $60 million for the Israeli military at the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) annual gala.
Ahed Tamimi’s mother said that the media attention and worldwide solidarity that her daughter received following her arrest by Israeli occupation forces was rooted in racism.
“Frankly it is probably Ahed’s looks that prompted this worldwide solidarity and that’s racist by the way, because many Palestinian children are in Ahed’s position but weren’t treated in this way,” said Nariman Tamimi
MEMO’s pick of Top 10 has been compiled using Google Analytics