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'The West doesn't feel safe for Palestinians': MEMO in Conversation with Layla Maghribi

With Western governments questioning every Palestinian statistic coming out of Gaza but accepting Israel's version of events even when no evidence is provided, the Palestinian diaspora has been left feeling unable to express its grief without being criminalised.

November 19, 2023 at 12:30 pm



Pro-ceasefire demonstrations are ‘hate marches’, chanting from the river to the sea is ‘terrorism’ and Palestinian death toll numbers ‘can’t be trusted’. Since 7 October 2023, Arab and Palestinian communities in Europe and the US have felt like they are under siege. Reports of Palestinians and Muslims being killed in the US, reports of Arab reporters being fired and governments throughout the world questioning the loyalty of their citizens. Additionally, horrific images showing Israel brutalising Palestinians and wiping out Gaza have left a psychological scar on many both inside and outside Palestine. The Palestinian diaspora feels helpless, afraid and worried and also like they can’t express their grief without being criminalised. Most are already dealing with intergenerational trauma with the latest Israeli war assault on Gaza adding another layer to that. Joining us to discuss this feeling of being unsafe, mental health in Arab communities and why the war on Gaza feels different this time is Layla Maghribi.

Layla Maghribi is a British Arab journalist, currently based in the UK after several years in the Middle East working for international media outlets including Reuters and CNN International. Raised in England, Layla has lived in Italy, Syria, Lebanon and the UAE, and has a special interest in social issues affecting Arabic-speaking communities, particularly in relation to culture, immigration and mental health. She is currently the host of Third Culture Therapy, a podcast that explores mental wellbeing from a cultural perspective, and is writing her first non-fiction book.

READ: UN: Disease, hunger inevitable in Gaza