As Palestine’s Friends Fall Away, Iran is the Last Man Standing

For generations, one issue has united countries across the Muslim world: Palestinian Liberation. But as Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US find a shared priority in battling Iran, the Gulf is losing interest – and Palestinians are left out the in the cold, with nowhere to turn but Tehran.

Read the full report on Inside Over >

Inside Southeast Asia’s Illegal Wildlife Trade

Southeast Asia accounts for less than 3% of the world’s land mass but 25% of the global trade in wildlife. It’s a supplier, consumer and transit hub for the booming black market, where endangered animals are illegally caught, sold, eaten and shipped to customers around the world.  So how do we bring this destructive trade to an end? Read the full report on Inside Over >

Could the COVID-19 Outbreak Finally Lay the Wildlife Trafficking Trade to Rest?

As the coronavirus crisis spreads further afield and claims casualties all over the world, many are asking what lessons we can learn from yet another case of deadly zoonotic disease. This could be exactly the conversation that conservationists working to stop wildlife trafficking need.

Read the full story on Foreign Policy >

Peaks

That was the night we drove to the highlands

And the fierce white peaks were arrows pointed at the stars.

I remember the moon, the colour and texture of snow

Crumbling from the mountain

Tumbling into the dark.

You took me there

Because the day had spread like an oil slick

And tarred my skin

But I saw now the night was not black at all

But indigo

A screen-print of deep blue hills

Undulating

Like so many heartbeats

Into the always.

I thought of the night we crossed the icy border into Kyrgyzstan

The flint-arrow mountains

Dipped in shining white

Piercing the inky night

Our feet crushing snow as soft as light

The men who picked us up: hard-faced, kind hearts

Building us a nest of blankets for that cold, cold drive through the high mountain pass

My own heart beats with the rise and fall of the hills,

A symphony of synchronised cardiac rhythms –

And you say, what are you writing?

Squeezing my hand so the pink-white peaks of our knuckles

Form a a miniature mountain range of our own.

And your eyes shine

Because I feel better now

 

And you know I am ready to start the climb.

 

 

 

 

 

Arabella’s Daughter

So – this is a story I wrote aaaaages ago, and completely forgot about until I just found it by accident. It’s one of the weirder stories I’ve written, and if I remember rightly, my friend Joe’s sole feedback at the time was: ‘I think you and the male gaze need to sit down for a good long chat to see if you can resolve your issues’. But anyway. Here it is.

Continue reading →

Great News for Some Phnom Penh Friends…

When I first came to Phnom Penh earlier this year, I interviewed a really fantastic social enterprise called ARC Hub PNH for an article I was writing about prosthetic limb production in Cambodia and Laos.

During the Secret War that ran concurrently to the Vietnam War, the Americans (illegally) dropped more bombs here than had ever been dropped anywhere before, and the Khmer Rouge continued to carpet Cambodia in landmines until the ’90s. The upshot of this is that, every year, people lose limbs to UXOs all over Laos and Cambodia – and since these are some of the poorest people on the planet, their chances of getting hold of an artificial limb are pretty remote.  Continue reading →