Ten years since the Ghouta chemical attack by the Syrian regime killed thousands – here’s the Middle East this week.
Ten years since Syria’s regime killed thousands in a chemical attack | Tunisia’s faltering human rights | New faces in BRICS | The women shaking the region’s music scene. Here’s the Middle East this week:
No justice for Ghouta
“I can’t forget the gasps of suffocating children, the foaming mouths, the terror in their eyes… the hospital floor was full of dead bodies,” Um Yahya said at a memorial for Ghouta.
Ten years after the regime attack, Umm Yahya, a nurse in Ghouta in 2013, relived that day when 1,127 people died and another 6,000 choked near to death.
They never got justice. In fact, Samer Abboud argues, Arab efforts to normalise relations with Syria undermine Ghouta victims seeking restitution.
Maybe the people will hold Bashar al-Assad’s government accountable… for something else. This week, rare protests came out in Sweida as people decried deteriorating living conditions.
Tunisia’s police brutality, gender inequality
Human rights aren’t improving in Tunisia.
Police violence is growing as President Kais Saied entrenches his power, using security forces for support where no political parties will back him.
Inheritance is still a sore point, excluded from earlier women’s rights reforms. Current laws give a male heir twice as much as a female heir and it doesn’t look like Saied will change that.
BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – have decided to expand their economic grouping, adding Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as members in addition to Argentina and Ethiopia.
Violence… daily reality for Palestinians
Mustafa al-Kastoni, 32, was gunned down in an Israeli raid in spite of, according to his mother, being unarmed and saying he would surrender. Dogs were set on him and he was killed anyway.
Israeli forces branded a Palestinian man’s cheek with the Star of David after detaining and beating him.
Israeli society is also unhappy – over the far-right government’s judicial changes. Could this lead to Israelis seeing the reality of Israel’s occupation and bringing about its end?
And now, something different
Syria’s Takht ensemble and Morocco’s Chefchaouen Hadra Sufi band are making waves. Here’s how they balance rehearsing, performing, motherhood, and family reactions to their careers.
Quote of the Week
“Those families who were killed by the chemical weapon had a merciful death, compared with those who were killed by the warplanes … there were amputated limbs and blood everywhere.” | Um Yahya, who witnessed the 2013 chemical attacks on Ghouta.