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.
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.
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
A screen-print of deep blue hills
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.
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.
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.
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.