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  • Lebanon’s black market in refugee organs

    Today kidneys are sold in Beirut for 1 million Lebanese Pounds; that’s around $670, a very tempting sum for desperate Syrian refugees. Three years down the line of the conflict in their own country, Syrians in neighbouring Lebanon are exploited in many ways; they are especially vulnerable to the...
  • Gaza and Hala’s story

    I have just visited the Gaza Strip. Before leaving for my solidarity visit I was well aware of the statistics of the territory, which has been under siege since 2007. More than 50 per cent of households in Gaza face food insecurity, with 38 per cent of the population...
  • Migrants take care of Israel’s elderly and in return are exploited as “infiltrators”

    Today is the second day of a three-day strike in Israel with some 30,000 African asylum seekers protesting against detention and demanding refugee status. The furore rolled up yesterday as Israel approved an amendment in its detention policy two weeks ago, which enables the authorities to detain migrants, refugees...
  • Iranian man goes 60 years without a bath [Image: IRNA]
    Videos & Photo Stories

    Iranian man goes 60 years without a bath

    An Iranian man has broken the world record for the number of years spent without bathing. He spent the last 60 years without a bath. The Iranian News Agency (IRNA) recently published pictures of the 80 year old man. In its report, the agency noted that the man, Amoo...
  • Final Words on Sharon by Miko Peled

    I never understood how people could rejoice at the news of a person’s death. I happened to be in the UK when Margaret Thatcher died so I witnessed the celebrations. The expressions of joy as the news of the Iron Lady’s death spread around the country shocked me at...
  • Flag of paradox

    All my life, the flag of Palestine has been ingrained deeply into my brain. From news reports that my father used to consume incessantly to the many protests I attended as a child, the bold colours of the flag are instantly recognisable to me. Recently, however, have I started...
  • DCI-Palestine emphasises torture of Palestinian minors in Israeli jails

    Children incarcerated in Israeli jails continue to face systematic abuse at the hands of Israel’s military. According to Defence for Children International Palestine, Israeli soldiers are responsible for violence and torture inflicted upon minors. A thorough investigation into the committed atrocities is hampered by the settler-colonial state which enshrines...
  • Israeli settler violence mirrors the large-scale aggression implicit in land grabbing

    In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the entrance of a mosque in the village of Deir Istiya, in the occupied West Bank, was set on fire. The walls were spray-painted with hate messages in Hebrew, including “Arabs out” and “revenge for blood spilled in Qusra”. The latter message...
  • Cairo Year One: Nermine Hammam at The Mosaic Rooms, London

    At first glance Nermine Hammam’s work looks like beautiful Japanese prints hung on the lower floor of The Mosaic Rooms, a renovated Victorian townhouse that is now an art gallery in West London. But if you step closer and really study the images, hidden behind the blossoming flowers and...
  • Remembering Egypt and Palestine with Reem Kelani at the Ealing Jazz Festival

    “Many people ask me, how come you like jazz and you’re an Arab? And I tell them it’s because I’m an Arab” Reem teases, laughing at her own joke. She’s referring to the make-up of her band; it’s unusual to see an Arabic singer with British jazz musicians. In...
  • Freedom of expression comes in many shapes and sizes, but who decides the boundaries of art in Tunisia?

    The protests in Tunisia in 2010 may have swept away former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and 23 years of autocratic rule, but they have replaced him with a coalition government under which several political factions battle to create their own vision for the country. In what has proved...
  • Palestinian artists invited to present their work across the bridge that both connects and separates them from Jordan

    The River has two Banks: A Curatorial Project across Ramallah, Palestine and Amman, Jordan from September to the end of October 2012 The King Hussein Bridge that links Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories may not be very long, but its political and social connotations are endless. Ironically, the...
  • Judith Butler wins Theodor Adorno Prize despite opponents

    This week the City of Frankfurt chose to award American Jewish philosopher and Berkeley Professor Judith Butler with the 2012 Theodor Adorno Prize, an award that acknowledges superb contributions to philosophy, theatre, music and film. To her supporters she is a thought leader in political theory, moral philosophy and...
  • Ramadan & Eid with Interpal

    Ramadan is a busy and important time of year for many charities focused on working in Muslim countries. Things get hectic and donors are keen to reap the rewards of giving charity in this Blessed Month. At our head office and on the ground in the field, our staff...
  • Saudi’s first female film director explores gender roles in debut at Venice Film Festival

    Waad Mohammed could be a twelve-year-old girl anywhere in the world. With long, curly brown hair and a cheeky smile, the flashes of the cameras reflect off her silver dress as she made her appearance on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival this week. But her recent...
  • Does the new Islamic wing at the Louvre make or break stereotypes?

    At around five million, France has the largest population of Muslims of any country in Europe. Things haven’t always gone smoothly between its Muslim citizens and the government; incidents such as Sarkozy’s banning of the burqa last year infuriated people, leaving many wondering about the Islamic community’s place in...
  • Playing for Peace: The Rise of Classical Music in Occupied Palestine

    Playing instruments in the bathroom isn’t quite what you expect when you think of classical musicians, but this is exactly what Palestinian flute player Dalia Moukarker does to snatch a few moments of peace in her busy household. At 20, Dalia grew up in the village of Beit Jala,...
  • David Lean’s Classic ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Restored for 50th Anniversary

    Sweeping shots of the desert make the 800-mile railway line cutting through its sand look miniature. As a train braves the track and appears in the corner of the camera frame, it erupts into thick smoke and flames and the carriages topple to the ground. Thousands of men descend...
  • Britain in Palestine exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London

    Tucked into a corner of the Brunei Gallery in London are three share certificates in a display cabinet. One stands out as it is decorated with a beautiful blue border; all bear the familiar yellow-brown discolouration of age. Slightly creased in some places, perhaps from their journey from Palestine...
  • 5 Broken Cameras at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London

    The person in front of me flinches. Someone in the audience cannot even look at the screen, two people are crying. In an act of pure brutality, the camera captures a Palestinian protestor who is pulled to one side by the Israeli army and shot in the leg as...
  • ‘Unto the Breach’: Palestinian dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s play

    Interview by Mamoon Alabbasi – LONDON The UK-based Palestinian dabke theatre group Al Zaytouna will present its new production entitled Unto the Breach, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V set in modern-day Palestine. The show, directed by Ahmed Masoud and co-directed by Hadjer Nacer, will be performed in London...
  • Why Remembering the Nakba is important: A new Documentary Confronts Denial

    Amnon Neumann is wearing a blue shirt and large glasses. Despite the topic he presents his testimony slowly and gently to the spectators in front of him; he’s talking about The Nakba in 1948 when he and his fellow army commanders helped literally erase Palestinian villages from the map....
  • Syrian art flourishes in Lebanon as galleries in Damascus close

    In one of his drawings, Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat has drawn a picture of Bashar Al Assad announcing reforms, but instead of speaking, Assad is blowing bubbles through a wand. “I use satire to draw dictators who use oppressive methods,” Ferzat told the Guardian earlier this year. “I...
  • China Reaches out to Egypt, Culturally and Economically

    As much of the world focuses on China’s change of political leadership this week, across the globe the emerging superpower quietly expand into other areas. On Wednesday, deep within the ancient streets of Cairo, their Ambassador Song Aiguo opened the Egyptian branch of ‘China Radio International’. A state-run station...
  • Photographs offer a new way to look at Gaza conflict

    Beyond Abbas’s pictures of Iranian revolutionaries burning a portrait of the Shah in 1978, and past the stereotypical images of veiled women with mobile phones, a collection of photographs at the back of a new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum tell a subtle story. Sombre, grey, concrete...
  • “Despite” Exhibition by Arts Canteen: 16 Contemporary Palestinian Artists Under one Roof

    Walls and checkpoints in occupied Palestine mean that artists from Gaza and the West Bank, though from the same country, may never actually meet each other; art, therefore, can offer a different form of engagement. “There is a lot of contact, certainly digital contact, through the arts organisations, who...
  • London a growing haven for contemporary Arab art

    As the bloody uprising in Syria continues to rage, Ayyam Gallery in Damascus does more than just show artwork; it has become a safe haven for artists. The gallery owners, cousins Khaled and Hisham Samawi, are helping them escape the violence in Syria and seek refuge in studios and...
  • ‘In My Mother’s Arms,’ the story of Iraq’s orphans

    A group of young boys gather around a TV set listening to the presenter as she delivers news of bombings in the Al Sadr neighbourhood of Baghdad, Iraq. Images of children wrapped in bandages and casts fill the screen; an injured child cries for his mother. The boys assembled...
  • Film Review: Roadmap to Apartheid

    As South Africa’s apartheid system neared its end, the regime asked their long-term ally Israel for some advice. How could they boost their image in the West and sell themselves favourably to a part of the world who were becoming increasingly disenchanted with their oppressive rule? How was it...
  • 5 Broken Cameras: A Palestinian Narrative or a Propaganda Film?

    After its nomination for an Academy Award, the documentary film, “5 Broken Cameras” by Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat, has gained attention amongst Arabs, Muslims and pro-Palestine activists. It is perceived as a success story for the Palestinian movement and many hoped to see it win an Oscar. Others, however,...
  • Theatre Review: Facts

    On the back wall of a tiny room in West London, a telephone hangs patiently next to the door; to the left is a shelf on which a silver fan stands, and adjacent a two-way mirror. In the centre of the room is a table scattered with paper and...
  • Palestinian restaurant in America rejects the temptations of alcohol and dancing

    Zaki Kabob restaurant in the state of New York, the economic capital of the United States, is standing fast in the face of alienation and temptation and yet continues to be a successful venture. Owners Naim Ayyad and his wife Faiza said that they have rejected many offers to...
  • Film Review: Occupation 101

    These days there are a number of documentaries and academic books that address the Israel Palestine conflict; many of them, like Occupation 101, reveal how Israeli policy in the region is tearing families apart, killing people and destroying homes. Yet the occupation is still raging in the Middle East;...
  • Uncensored glimpses of reality and humanity in Five Broken Cameras

    Sympathy, apathy and the human urge to live are among the emotions experienced when watching the Academy Award-nominated Palestinian documentary Five Broken Cameras. The film adopts such unadorned realism that viewers are left not with fervent enthusiasm normally associated with matters related to Palestine but with more than a...
  • Film Review: When I Saw You

    It’s hard to recreate the 1960s with only a quarter of the budget you intended to shoot on. But that’s exactly what Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir did to film When I Saw You, a story set in 1967 when Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza were uprooted by...
  • Film Review: Gaza Calling

    The Tedious Occupation of Bureaucracy Six years ago Palestinian director Nahed Awwad, her husband and their four-week-old daughter were on the way to Germany from their home in the West Bank. Because he is not Palestinian the couple took separate lanes across the bridge leading out of the Occupied...
  • Theatre Review: The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution

    The most disturbing part of Caryl Churchill’s The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution is the relevance its main themes have today. Set in a psychiatric hospital at the time of the Algerian war of liberation from colonialism, it explores the cognitive aftermath of torture on both victims...
  • Palestinians’ right to memory should prevail over Israeli “independence” celebrations

    A brief article on Forbes emphasising Israel’s significant increase in tourism has been linked to the forthcoming 65th anniversary of “the birth of the nation”. For Palestinians, the commemoration of the Nakba (Catastrophe) will mark their 65th year under colonial occupation, a period wallowing in bloodshed and apartheid. While...
  • Film Review: Apples of the Golan

    One villager cuts open an apple and presents to the camera the fruit before him. Inside, in a neat circle, are five pips – one for each point of the star on the Syrian flag. He explains that the apples growing in the Israeli settlements have six pips, one...
  • Film Review: Infiltrators

    The cameraman passes a microphone through a gap in the separation wall and a hand from the other side finds just enough space to take it; for one mother and daughter, talking through this crack is the only way they can communicate. When the wall was built, the family...
  • Film Review: Though I Know the River is Dry

    Qalandia, “I hate the word,” says the protagonist as he walks through the familiar metal grille that protects the crossing between the West Bank and Jerusalem in the occupied territories. The oppressive space and the dull colour are menacing. This scene is one of many in ‘Though I Know...
  • Film Review: When the Boys Return

    Nadar Khallaf lays out colourful cards in the centre of the circle and asks each of the 12 young men surrounding him to pick two of them. A member of the group chooses one depicting a figure wearing a white blindfold, set against a red background. “This picture reminds...
  • In Egypt, socially conscious music festivals flourish

    “It’s kind of strange, but okay. You can’t help but dance- in an awkward fashion- but it was well worth it,” music lover Yahya Karali commented on a recent concert he attended by Amr 7a7a Figo and Sadat in London. Twenty-six year old musician Sadat (Al-Sadat Mohamed Ahmed) not...
  • Bringing a taste of Egypt to London: Koshari Street, a street food experience

    In 2011, it was handed out to keep protestors in Tahrir Square going as they demonstrated against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year rule; since 1950 Abou Tarek’s downtown restaurant, which serves up huge bowlfuls of the dish to four floors of customers in Cairo, has been one...
  • Who will be the next (televised) president of Palestine?

    Considering the Palestinians have only had two presidents in over 20 years, it’s no wonder they are taking it upon themselves to elect their own leader – or a televised version at least. In the West Bank’s answer to the Apprentice, Ma’an Network has launched The President, a reality...
  • Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem opposes ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ production at the Khan Theatre in Jerusalem

    Over the past few weeks, Jerusalem’s deputy Mayor David Hadari has been busy writing letters. First he outlined a proposal to market 900 new housing units in an illegal settlement in East Jerusalem and sent it to the City Finance Committee. Then he wrote to the Hadari Appropriation Committee...
  • Bringing contemporary Moroccan art to London

    Finding a riad-style warehouse teeming with beautiful Moroccan furniture isn’t quite what you expect when stepping off the tube at Greenford in west London. But it is in a showroom at the heart of this Ealing suburb, at the top end of the central line, that husband and wife...
  • #withoutwords: emerging Syrian artists at the P21 Gallery, London

    There is something unnerving about Fadi Al Jabour’s doll. Painted using oils in the abstract realistic style, from a distance she is a cute with round cheeks and blond hair secured into pigtails with red ribbons. On closer inspection just one of her eyes is baby blue. The other...
  • UK hip hop producer to take recording studio to Gaza

    Dai Dream may be a British hip hop producer from Liverpool, but he has a huge fan base in the occupied territories. “I love Palestine and I love the country” he tells me. Recently, Dai worked on an album with MC Gaza, who is based in the Strip, and...
  • The untold story of an inspired Gaza youth leader

    “The world used to think that Gaza knows nothing about life except the mass killings and destruction that it witnesses, but I wanted to show the opposite ,” Maysara Al-Arabeed explained. In an interview with local Gaza media (Safa Press) on Friday evening, Arabeed thanked all his friends and...