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The Art of Drone War: Drone Art and Lit from the Middle East

Shadow of droneSince 2002, when the first targeted drone strike against Al Qaeda was ordered in Afghanistan, US armed drones have resulted in thousands of deaths (of both suspected terrorists and civilians) in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. As drones are remotely controlled by operators far from the killing fields, and thus operate more invisibly, it is argued they produce less accountability from the US in its "shadow war". By being a subject of US political debate, the function of drones and the ethics of drone strikes have come to take on a life of their own in art and literature. However, drone art and literature from the Middle East remains woefully underrepresented.


The students juggling drugs, books and resistance in Gaza

Palestinian students at graduation ceremony, University in Birzeit, West Bank

No matter how pessimistic the prospects may seem to Palestinians, parents in Palestine refuse to give up on educating their children. Education is valued as a step to resisting Israel's brutal occupation, in addition to being an important tradition for generations. In Gaza, 93% of children are in primary education. The average enrolment rate drops to 67% at secondary level, with around a 75% enrolment rate for girls and a 59% enrolment rate for boys (many are sent to work earlier to support their families). Even after the last attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, over half a million children bravely returned to their schools which were scarred with the marks of war.


Happy Tears: Human connection leading to human development

Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir

We may know - perhaps even at first hand - of a gap in society whose presence causes pain for countless individuals. Here in Morocco, such a void - that of unrelenting poverty - exists, particularly in rural places (where poverty is typically most concentrated worldwide) and most of all in mountainous areas of the Kingdom.


A Middle Eastern Christmas

Christians may hold a minority status in the Middle East, but as the birthplace of Christianity the regions still contains a significant Christian population estimated at around 12 million people. Despite recent headlines pointing to the persecution of Christians under tyrannical regimes such as that currently pursued by the terrorist group ISIS, Christmas still remains an important religious festival in the region, and is widely celebrated by Christians and Muslims alike.


Catastrophe looms in Gaza's hospitals as cleaners strike


The scenes in Gaza's Shifa Hospital today are not much different from during the recent Israeli offensive – bloodied bandages and linen overflowing onto floors, bathrooms becoming filthier by the minute, medical disposables littering the treatment rooms. About the only difference is the operating theatres, which are mostly empty – all elective surgery has been cancelled due to the cleaners strike.


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