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 >

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 →

More Goals than Fans: Syria’s Uphill Struggle to Rally Nation Behind Football Team (Guardian)

The team, sitting at the top of the table for its group, is performing remarkably well despite formidable hurdles. The war has crippled football in Syria, scattering players across the world, and leaving them with barely a week to meet and train ahead of each match.

But Syrians everywhere are pouring out their support through social media, says Al Husein, and the crisis at home piles on the pressure to make them proud. He hopes that, by doing so, the team will pull the country’s fragmented identity closer together.

“At the end of the day we come from all aspects of Syria. Whether you’re a Christian or a Muslim or any sector of Islam, we’re all one family, we’re playing for one team, one country.

Read the full story at the Guardian 

These Indonesian Women Are Part of the Design Team for Their Own Development Tech

At a tech fair in Lembata, a volcano-sprinkled island near the eastern tip of Flores, Indonesia, 62-year-old subsistence farmer Daprosa and her friends Maria and Yuliana are checking out a water filter. It’s a simple $15 contraption, made of two plastic tanks with a ceramic-and-silver dome connecting them. The top tank is filled with river water and left overnight, with harmful chemicals and parasites removed as it trickles through. These women aren’t the only ones wondering about its success; local officials are interested, too — they want to know whether a giant version could be used to create a centralized water supply for villages.

Read the full story at How We Get to Next

Still Don’t Know Who to Vote For Tomorrow? Just Make Sure It’s Not for Murdoch

It’s been described as the election that economics forgot. Outlandish proposals put forward by the country’s major parties on everything from tax evasion to inheritance tax seem, to be blunt, to be taking UK voters for fools. And well they might; after all, they can get away with it.
Just ask the Tories, who have successfully conned the country about economic growth for the past five years, without anyone seeming to notice.
The combination of a Prime Minister with a far better grasp of PR than macroeconomics, a woefully complicit media and a bewildered population that needs someone to blame has seen British people hoodwinked by made-up numbers since the Coalition took control.

Continue reading →