Miércoles, 23 de julio de 2014 (Continuación)

Darkness Falls on Gaza

Ramadan, when night descends, is usually a joyous time. Friends and family gather to break their fast at the iftar meal. Not this year.

Nights are the worst. That is when the bombing escalates. Nowhere is safe. Not a mosque. Not a church. Not a school, or even a hospital. All are potential targets.

On Monday, the Israeli military fired artillery rounds at Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, claiming to target a cache of anti-tank missiles. Dr. Khalil Khattab, a surgeon, was operating on a patient when the first shell struck. He ran to the floors below to discover at least four dead and dozens of colleagues — doctors, nurses, orderlies and administrators — injured.…  Seguir leyendo »

In eastern Ukraine, Vladimir V. Putin has been playing with fire.

He has mobilized the worst elements to be found in the region.

He has taken thugs, thieves, rapists, ex-cons and vandals and turned them into a paramilitary force.

He has permitted ad hoc commanders of separatist groups to kill or chase off intellectuals, journalists and other moral authorities in the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.

He has watched as a vodka-soaked rabble army destroys or takes over public buildings, hospitals, schools and municipal offices of the country it is pretending to liberate.

He has allowed a veritable gang war to take hold — without caring that he is losing control of the forces that he has unleashed, with rival bands pitted against one another and carving out fiefs amid the growing anarchy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Residents walking through the conservative Fatih neighborhood here were used to seeing a billboard with the Brazilian actress and model Adriana Lima advertising a hair-removal product — until, one recent day, she appeared in a full burqa. Someone had covered Lima head to toe in black spray. Next to the image, a mysterious hand had scrawled: “Do not commit indecency!”

All over Istanbul, billboards displaying women’s bodies were similarly vandalized, triggering spirited debates about the female form in public space. When I used my Twitter feed to condemn the vandalism, which I see as a form of censorship, the feedback from female followers was heated.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jalal Dhiyab Thijeel was tall, funny and handsome, qualities that should have made him a popular man in Basra, Iraq, where he lived. But he was also black, one of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been pushed to the margins of society based on their skin color.

In 2003, inspired by the opening of Iraqi society after the American invasion and, later, by the success of Barack Obama in overcoming his own country’s history of racism, Jalal began to push for anti-discrimination laws in Iraq. For his audacity, Jalal was assassinated last year in Basra.

Most estimates show there are about 400,000 Iraqis who trace their origins back to sub-Saharan Africa, most of them living in the south around Basra, though a few push the count as high as two million.…  Seguir leyendo »