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Middle East Near You

All Stories Archive

  • 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...
  • Photographing Gaza: Paul Hansen and the World Press Photo Award

    In the winning image, a group of men carry the bodies of two young Palestinian children wrapped in funeral shrouds down an alley in Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip. Behind them their father’s body is on a stretcher. They were killed in November 2012...
  • The Jameel Prize at the V&A where Islamic tradition meets contemporary art

    In the updated version of his book Covering Islam, originally published in 1981, renowned Palestinian writer and intellectual Edward Said voiced concern that “the mere use of the label ‘Islam,’ either to explain or to indiscriminately condemn ‘Islam,’ actually ends up becoming a form of attack, which in turn...
  • New exhibition features Palestinian artwork created out of Israel's tools of oppression

    Although Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation and apartheid for over six decades, Western narratives usually paint them as hateful and violent, as if they were born with hatred rather than shaped by a life of displacement, discrimination, military rule, poverty and oppression. And to deepen the injustice of...
  • News

    UNESCO postpones Jewish exhibit fearing it will endanger current peace talks

    The UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO has decided to postpone opening a Jewish exhibition at its headquarters in Paris after Arab states protested. UNESCO’s director general Irina Bokova, who previously signed an agreement with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to fund the exhibition ‘Jews and the Holy Land,’...
  • News

    Russia steps up milirary aid to Syria, Reuters

    Russia has stepped up its military assistance to Syria, including armored vehicles and drones and precision-guided bombs, informed sources told Reuters news agency. A number of sources told Reuters that Assad forces received since December arms and military supplies including drones, which Russia arranged to deliver to Syria whether...
  • News

    ICRC: Half a million wounded in Syria but Al-Assad's forces preventing access to aid (Copy)

    The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) says that the Syrian authorities are preventing aid from reaching rebel-held areas besieged by government forces, despite having made a request for more humanitarian assistance for the victims of the conflict. According to the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria,...
  • News

    US outraged by Israel's sale of military equipment to China (Copy)

    The sale of Israeli military equipment to China has sparked outrage in the United States, leading to the resignation of an Israeli Defence Ministry official. The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Sunday that Meir Shalit, the department head for defence exports at the ministry, resigned last week in the...
  • News

    Hamas calls on Arab League to protect Palestinians in Syria (Copy)

    The Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine has called on the Arab League and human rights organisations to intervene to protect the Palestinians in Syria. Hamas said that such protection should apply equally to those living in refugee camps and those who are trapped in the conflict-ridden country. “We condemn...
  • News

    Egyptian activists accuse current government of undermining justice (Copy)

    One of Egypt’s leading youth activist movements announced on Monday the death of the transitional roadmap that was proposed in the wake of the military coup against the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. The 6th April movement, which took part in putting together the roadmap, said...
  • News

    Palestinian Authority denies time limit extension for talks (Copy)

    The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator has denied media claims that the nine-month time limit for negotiations with the Israelis has been extended. Sa’eb Erekat used his Facebook page to insist that the talks will end, as scheduled, in April next year. He added that the PA negotiators are seeking...
  • Article

    Enough conspiracy theories about Yasser Arafat's assassination (Copy)

    Palestinians have long suspected their leader Yasser Arafat was assassinated by Israel. Thanks to Clayton Swisher and his team at the Al Jazeera Investigations Unit, we have new evidence they were right all along. His 2004 death, in then-unclear circumstances, was almost certainly caused by a manufactured radioactive poison...
  • Article

    The Middle East and North Africa suffer the world's highest depression rates, according to new research (Copy)

    The study, recently published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Journal of Medicine, found that globally, the prevalence of depression was 4.4 per cent, while Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories were amongst the most depressed states. According to the research, depressive orders are second only to lower respiratory...
  • Article

    On the shifting of positions in the region (Copy)

    When you find a report titled “The story of the secret meeting in Beirut: Lines of communication restored between Damascus and Washington” in the pro-resistance newspaper Al-Akhbar, it means that the resistance party no longer views a relationship with Washington forbidden or wrong. When the “resistance and opposition” circles...
  • Article

    On the shifting of positions in the region

    When you find a report titled “The story of the secret meeting in Beirut: Lines of communication restored between Damascus and Washington” in the pro-resistance newspaper Al-Akhbar, it means that the resistance party no longer views a relationship with Washington forbidden or wrong. When the “resistance and opposition” circles...
  • Article

    The Middle East and North Africa suffer the world's highest depression rates, according to new research

    The study, recently published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Journal of Medicine, found that globally, the prevalence of depression was 4.4 per cent, while Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories were amongst the most depressed states. According to the research, depressive orders are second only to lower respiratory...
  • Article

    Enough conspiracy theories about Yasser Arafat's assassination

    Palestinians have long suspected their leader Yasser Arafat was assassinated by Israel. Thanks to Clayton Swisher and his team at the Al Jazeera Investigations Unit, we have new evidence they were right all along. His 2004 death, in then-unclear circumstances, was almost certainly caused by a manufactured radioactive poison...
  • News

    Palestinian Authority denies time limit extension for talks

    The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator has denied media claims that the nine-month time limit for negotiations with the Israelis has been extended. Sa’eb Erekat used his Facebook page to insist that the talks will end, as scheduled, in April next year. He added that the PA negotiators are seeking...
  • News

    Egyptian activists accuse current government of undermining justice

    One of Egypt’s leading youth activist movements announced on Monday the death of the transitional roadmap that was proposed in the wake of the military coup against the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. The 6th April movement, which took part in putting together the roadmap, said...
  • News

    Hamas calls on Arab League to protect Palestinians in Syria

    The Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine has called on the Arab League and human rights organisations to intervene to protect the Palestinians in Syria. Hamas said that such protection should apply equally to those living in refugee camps and those who are trapped in the conflict-ridden country. “We condemn...
  • News

    US outraged by Israel's sale of military equipment to China

    The sale of Israeli military equipment to China has sparked outrage in the United States, leading to the resignation of an Israeli Defence Ministry official. The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Sunday that Meir Shalit, the department head for defence exports at the ministry, resigned last week in the...
  • News

    ICRC: Half a million wounded in Syria but Al-Assad's forces preventing access to aid

    The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) says that the Syrian authorities are preventing aid from reaching rebel-held areas besieged by government forces, despite having made a request for more humanitarian assistance for the victims of the conflict. According to the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria,...
  • News

    Abbas says no to meeting with Netanyahu until talks progress

    A member of Fatah’s Central Committee has denied rumours that Mahmoud Abbas has caved in to US pressure and agreed to a meeting with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Jamal Muheisen told Alresala.net on Sunday that there are no three-party summit meetings with the United States planned in the immediate future....
  • Publications

    Jordan and Jerusalem's Islamic sanctuaries

    The issue of Jerusalem is at the core of the Palestinian cause, which in turn is at the core of the conflict with Zionism. In other words, the issue of Jerusalem cannot be viewed in isolation from the Palestine-Israel conflict. Thus, when examining the dimensions of Jordan’s relationship to...
  • A femail student takes part in an Anti-Coup protest in Egypt by displaying the 'Rabaa' sign. [file photo]

    MEMO exclusive analyses of hoax videos receive worldwide attention

    Exclusive detailed analyses of two video films of the same alleged incident in Alexandria were published by MEMO on 8 and 9 July. The first analysis of the incident alleged to have taken place on 5 July noted that “the film looks more like an amateur production which, without...
  • Video showing MB throwing child off building is a hoax

    A video entitled “MB tortures kids and throws them off buildings” has gripped the attention of Egyptians and others following the unfolding events in Egypt. It has been widely shared on social networks and shown on Egyptian and international TV channels. We look more closely at the 5-minute video...
  • News

    'Enough, we have stolen the country'

    The daughter of the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has described the moment when her father was arrested by the Egyptian police following the coup last Wednesday. Zahraa Al-Shater said that when the police entered her home to arrest her father Khairat they broke into her mother’s bedroom...
  • News

    I saw an intelligence officer shoot and kill an unarmed protester at close range

    LIVE REPORT by Press Photographer I am a press photographer. At exactly 1.30 yesterday afternoon, I arrived outside the Republican Palace in Cairo. It was protected by Republican Guards and intelligence service officers. They were equipped with light automatic machine-guns and tear gas canisters; support was provided by armoured...
  • Lord David Steel
    Interviews

    Lord David Steel speaks to MEMO

    Lord David Steel spent four years of his childhood in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising in the fifties and sixties, when thousands were killed rebelling against British colonial rule; now he is one of the longest serving leaders of the Liberal Party. This early experience...
  • Palestine Book Awards 2016 [Middle East Monitor]

    MEMO celebrates achievements of Iraqi scholar

    The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) has held a function to honour and celebrate the life achievements of the distinguished Iraqi-born scholar Dr Jafar Hadi Hassan. Well known for his pioneering studies of Jewish sects, Dr Hasan is also an accomplished linguist, specialising in Semitic languages. The event was held...
  • Publications

    Increasing psychological and neurological illness among Palestinian prisoners

    The phenomenon of prisoners of war is one of the most significant consequences of conflict between nation states or in countries subject to occupation. There is no doubting the fact that the experiences of these individuals are brutal and constitute severe trauma psychologically, socially or economically. Moreover, their return...