1 March 2008Review

Artificial Eye, 2007; 98 mins; Arabic with English subtitles. UK release date 21 March 2008 (tbc). Opening at selected West End venues and selected cinemas nationwide. http://www.underthebombs.com

Under the Bombs is a stunning and intensely moving film set amongst the physical and emotional devastation of Lebanon under the Israeli onslaught of 2006.

The storyline is simple yet powerful: Zeina arrives in Beirut on a desperate mission to find her son in the confusion and terror of war-ravaged southern Lebanon.

Taxi driver Tony, a Christian, whilst initially motivated by making a fast buck, is drawn into Zeina's odyssey. Taking strength from each other, they see the quest…

1 September 2006Feature

The events in the Middle East during July and August resulted in a flurry of activity back here in Britain, with people from Brighton to Glasgow taking action to “bring the war home”. The heavy-handed tactics of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) were widely derided as “disproportionate”, and many people were compelled to do more than just march. Some of these actions even got covered in the mainstream press, most notably the Trident Ploughshares “citizens' inspections” at Prestwick Airport…

1 September 2006Feature

Writing from southern Lebanon, former Voices in the Wilderness activist Ramzi Kysia reflects on the work of ordinary people for peace and reconstruction.

Last week, I made my first trip to South Lebanon since the war began. Having travelled a fifth of the world, and been present during “wars” in Iraq, Palestine, and New York, I can honestly say that I have never seen such complete devastation in my entire life. The only thing that even comes close are the pictures I've seen from World War II. Much of South Lebanon simply lies in ruin.

This wasn't a war against Hezbollah, with some collateral damage on the side. This was a war against…

1 September 2006Feature

Anti-war activist Tali Lerner finds hope in humanity despite the chaos and destruction.

I was told, as this current conflict began, that we - the opposition - are more than we were 25 years ago, during the previous invasion of Lebanon. Thousands went to the streets to try to stop this war. Anarchists and communists, Jews and Arabs, the older generation of war resisters and the newest generation, most of which weren't even born when the previous war took place.

Gender, power and violence

This was a battle of women trying to stop this war. It was women who organised the…

1 September 2006Feature

Greenpeace reported in mid August that they had delivered more than 75 tons of essential medical supplies to Lebanon by sea, following a joint operation between the international environmental campaign group and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Three voyages were made by the Rainbow Warrior between Larnaca in Cyprus and Beirut. The humanitarian cargos consisted of relief equipment, including medical equipment, dialysis material, drugs, hygiene kits and fuel.

Greenpeace are also…

1 April 2004Review

Pluto 2003; ISBN 0 7453 2043 0

The blurb on the back of this book augurs well. “In the aftermath of 9/11, America has been haunted by one question: Why do they hate us?” Perhaps, one thinks, some intelligent discussion by a leading US commentator (Pintak is a veteran journalist who has reported on the Middle East for many of the big names of the international English-language media) of why the USA has become such a symbol of oppression for so many. Progression to the next few sentences reveals that such hopes may be…