In the meantime on the other side of the world…

By Marina de Regt     While we were all busy watching the US elections in the first week of November, an armed conflict broke out on the other side of the world, in the already turbulent and instable Horn of Africa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to bring about peace between the almost 20-year stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea, ordered a military offensive in response to an attack launched by the TPLF (the Tigray People’s Liberation Front) on the national defence force. It resulted in hundreds of deaths amongst whom …

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COVID-19 in a war zone

BY MARINA DE REGT “Marina, how are you? I am worried about you, how is the situation with Corona?” a Yemeni friend asked me last week via Whatsapp. It was not the first time that one of my friends showed their concern about the situation in the Netherlands, which touched me greatly. They are living Yemen, in the midst of a civil war that has led to the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world according to the United Nations, and worry about me, living in one of the most economically developed countries. Their concerns are inspired by the images they …

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ANZAC Parade in Adelaide: a tough nationalist monument with soft edges

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN More than two decades ago I published an article on the urban symbolism of Canberra, the national capital of Australia. When Australian states federated to become an independent state in 1901, it was a nation in search of a national identity. The exploits of Australian troops in the First World War, and in particular the ill-fated landing at Gallipoli in the Bosporus, formed a source of inspiration and the result is that monuments that commemorate the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) loom large in the formation of Australian national identity. The martial imaginary was reinforced …

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Vrouw in Jemen

Door Marina de Regt           In het Volkskrant magazine van afgelopen zaterdag 26 januari j.l. doet journaliste Ana van Es verslag van haar bezoek aan Jemen. De Midden-Oosten correspondente valt hier van de ene verbazing in de andere: alle stereotypen over man-vrouwverhoudingen in de Arabische wereld worden volgens haar in Jemen bevestigd. Vrouwen moeten zich zwaar sluieren, ze moeten zich onzichtbaar maken, ze worden continu lastig gevallen door mannen, ze worden gedwongen jong te trouwen, ze kunnen niet buitenshuis werken, als ze werken wordt hun geld afgepakt door hun mannen en ze hebben geen enkele politieke invloed. Op ironische wijze doet …

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Hodeidah is being attacked, but the Western media are silent

By Marina de Regt. “Hodeidah is empty, Marina, there is no one there anymore”, says Noura to me this morning, in a short telephone conversation that is repeatedly interrupted because of the bad connection. Noura moved to Sana’a a week ago, fleeing the horrendous violence that has exploded in the city of Hodeidah since Thursday 14 June, the day before the start of Eid Al-Fitr. On that day the Saudi Led Coalition, mainly consisting of mercenaries and ground troops of the United Arab Emirates army, soldiers of the Yemeni National Army and Hiraak al-Tihama started the long planned attack on …

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Every Image Has A Story

By Aniek Santema           Around 2 million Syrian refugees who fled the war have been stranded in Lebanon and many of them live in harsh circumstances. The following pictures will give a small insight into the lives of Syrian youth and show the world from their perspective, through their eyes. The pictures in this photo essay were taken by Syrian refugee girls in the city of Saida who participated in a workshop where they learned how to use visual methods as a way of self-expression. During the workshop the girls answered questions about themselves and their lives …

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Living Text: Written messages outside and inside a West Bank peace project

This photo essay gathers statements from both outside (West Bank/Jericho area) and inside the peace project EcoME (“Ecological Middle East”) in the contested Palestinian Territories. The texts and their contexts portray the dynamic relation between outside hopes, fears and separation policies and the project’s inner striving for connection, warmth and openness. (The author wishes to stay anonymous). While studying sociology and cultural anthropology, the author has spent more than half a year participating in and researching the ecovillage-inspired peace project at hand. Currently, she is writing a master’s thesis about its relationality with the outside world of conflict and cultural …

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Ramadan Kareem, my beloved Yemen

By Marina de Regt    Last Saturday the holy Muslim month of Ramadan started. Ramadan, a month of fast-ing and feasting, a month of contemplation, a month that should be full of joy and happiness. In Ramadan Muslims experience what it means to be hungry which will make them cherish what they have and feel compassion for those who are poor and hungry. Who will fast Ramadan in Yemen this year? Are there still people left who are not starving to death? Are there still Yemenis who need Ramadan to know what it is like to be poor and hungry?

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No space for grief

By Aniek Santema       The floor in Ouzai where Mariam lives becomes a familiar place. I know the people in this corner of the tall building and they greet me happily when I visit them. Today, the stairs that lead up to this floor are slippery and covered with garbage like empty bags of chips, chocolate wraps and orange peels. While climbing up the stairs to the third floor, I pass by some small kids with stains on their clothes, faces and hands, running and playing on the stairs. The youngest must be around 2 years old. Many of …

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