Tuesday, July 07 2015

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'The Iraqis have always defended the Palestinians': A conversation with Yousif Naser


Exile and war have long been dominant themes in the work of Iraqi artist Yousif Naser; pain and death rendered in large, black strokes, a chaotic jumble of eerie shadows and figures. The paintings from one of the artist's most recent and better known series Black Rain, for example, showcase the violence and horror of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, the canvases depicting the inky silhouettes of aeroplanes and bombs, of fire and destruction, and of open-mouthed screams.


Talking to terrorists

Richard JacksonRichard Jackson speaks to MEMO: "Once you listen to what their grievances are and try and address them terrorism subsides."

One week ago, Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgai opened fire on tourists near Sousse, Tunisia, killing 38 people. On the same day, a man was beheaded in France and a bomb detonated in a Shia mosque in Kuwait killing 27. ISIS claimed responsibility for all three.


Hamas 'not required to recognise Israel to join unity government,' insists Erekat

Saeb ErekatThe chief negotiator of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee has said that Hamas and the other factions are not required to recognise the principles of the Middle East Quartet. Nor, insisted Saeb Erekat, does it need to change its political position statements in order to join the national unity government that the PLO is looking to form.


‘We are not made of ink’

Elias Khoury


Lebanese author Elias Khoury speaks to MEMO: "It's more interesting to read books than it is to live in them."

Elias Khoury has lived through Black September, the Six Day War, the Israeli invasion of 1982 and the Lebanese civil war. More recently a conflict in Syria has been raging across the border from his home in Beirut; it has threatened his country's stability. He says witnessing so many battles can be like living in a history book, though in reality this isn't as glamourous as it sounds. "It's very tough actually. It's more interesting to read books than it is to live in them. You feel you are living inside a book, dealing with the adversity of blood and death, but we are not made of ink, we are made from real material. It's very, very tough but it shows us many things. One of them is the stupidity of human history," he says, pausing for a moment to think.


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