Middle East Roundup: Calligraffiti artist paints Gaza’s hope

Tunisian man lost at sea, Eritreans brawl in Israel, fallout from Libya-Israel scandal—here’s the Middle East this week.

Ayman al-Hosari inside a home so badly damaged it was declared unsafe to live in
Ayman al-Hosari inside a home so badly damaged it was declared unsafe to live in [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

In Palestine, calligraffiti resists destruction | A Tunisian man’s search for his brother | Eritreans brawl in Israel | Fallout in Libya from Israel scandal. Here’s the Middle East this week:

Gaza’s calligraffiti of hope

A child marvelling at the painting
A young boy comes to see what’s been painted on the wounded walls. ‘War is an evangelist, bearing tidings for us, The warrior escaped unscathed…’ read Tamim Barghouti’s lines of poetry [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

The flowing calligraphy unscrolls across a collapsed roof: “War is an evangelist, bearing tidings for us.” Another swirl of text, on a slab of foundation nearby,  reads: “Maybe, if everyone had been a fighter, they would have been saved.”

The lines are from a poem by Palestinian poet Tamim Barghouti that artist Ayman al-Hosari painted on the ruins of houses, destroyed by countless Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

‘Don’t come back without your brother’

A photo of Nader, who set out to Italy from Tunisia in search of better prospects [Courtesy of ] (Restricted Use)

It was midnight when Rashid Ghammam got the call: “‘Call rescue, Rashid! Immediately!’”

It was about his younger brother, Nader, who had set sail from Mahdia, Tunisia, on the treacherous journey to Lampedusa, in southern Italy, hoping to join Rashid in the capital, Rome.

Something happened on the boat that made Nader worry for his safety and he jumped into the sea.

Rashid is desperately seeking answers: “My mother calls all the time, asking if I’ve found Nader. She says: ‘Don’t come back without your brother.’ I swear, those words kill me.”

Eritreans in Israel brawl over pro-government event

Eritrean refugees in Israel have always had it rough, with the government trying many ways to force Africans out.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for their deportation after a brawl broke out between rival Eritrean groups.

South Darfur reels from looting, violence

Armed adversaries in Sudan are going toe-to-toe in South Darfur – with civilians caught in the middle.

“There is a lot of [indiscriminate] shelling by the army … and the [Rapid Support Forces] are always hiding in residential neighbourhoods,” a witness tells Al Jazeera.

Fallout from the Libya-Israel saga

The leak of a clandestine meeting between Israeli and Libyan ministers made the United States unhappy, with a senior US official lamenting that it “killed” a possible rapprochement.

It may have well also opened up the door to renewed fighting between armed militias in Tripoli.

And now, something different

Furqan Abdul Razzaq, aka Lover Boy Addu, is a resident expert at Muttrah Souq just outside the Omani capital, Muscat.

He can cajole prospective customers into buying some of the many trinkets on show in this market, near a busy port that brings in tourists from cruise ships.

Razzaq is just one of the dozens of South Asian vendors there, who for generations have found a home at the ancient marketplace, in what once was Oman’s main commercial centre.

A busy evening in Oman's Muttrah souq
A busy evening in Oman’s Muttrah souq [Urooba Jamal/Al Jazeera] (Restricted Use)


Quote of the Week

“Just seeing destruction every day puts people in a deep funk, stressing their mental health. I wanted to change that sight that they see every day, the crushed stones and twisted walls, to make them something else.” | —Palestinian artist, Ayman al-Hosari who scrawls calligraffiti on ruined houses in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Al Jazeera