Monthly Archives: November 2015

Certainty: claims and rumour in Moscow and Ankara

                Last Friday, on the first leg of a journey to Turkey, I was drawn into a conversation about IS and most specifically the attack on Paris on Friday 13th November. As we (a middle-aged woman sat opposite me, a couple of roughly similar-age who sat in the aisle seats next to us, and I) about increased risk in the UK and whether it exists, as well as … Continue reading

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Chaos: Islamic State’s ambition, and opportunism

On 10th October this year, in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, a peace march was attacked by suicide bombers. I have written about it already, but for the sake of swift recall and recognition, 102 people were killed and more than 400 injured when two people blew themselves to pieces as a rally gathered outside Ankara’s Central railway station.

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Solutions…? Refugees and governance in the face of crises

‘What we want is not just official development assistance in this form, but reform of global governance. World trade must be fair. There must be more investment in Africa. Official development assistance is good, but it’s not sufficient.’ Mahamadou Issoufou, President, Niger

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Beirut and Paris

I was going to write a different blog, you know? I was going to return to Tunisia where there have been some extremely interesting (and in some odd ways quite promising) developments in the national parliament, maybe talk a little about Syria and proposals for peace, and the EU’s ideas for greater assistance and engagement with Turkey and the African continent.   Instead, once again, I’m writing about murder.

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Disgrace: politics and murder in Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Syria

‘Disgrace; noun. Loss of reputation or respect as the result of a dishonourable action.’ ‘Disgrace; verb. Bring shame or discredit on.’

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Notes:

As the sun sets on the Jungle, it brings in its wake a sense of exhaustion.

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Notes, Two. Miri

You meet Miri in a tea-shop (in fact, a tent, just as every other ‘location’ at the Jungle is a tent: the restaurants, the medical centre, the women’s centre, the homes, the mosque and the church – all are tents, nothing more). The tea is good, though a cardomam seed within it worries him momentarily.

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Notes 3. The Jungle, Calais: Refugees, and how the UK government could help itself

Not every story you hear from refugees is one of heroism, triumph over adversity, or harrowing despicable mistreatment suffered and overcome to reach a destination.

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Notes 4. The Jungle, Calais: Health, Welfare and Organisation.

You glance inside one tent as you walk by. Two packets of sliced meat are swiftly covered by a man who turns and smiles at you, as if embarrassed. To have your own food here – even a small amount – is a symbol of independence; of not needing to rely on the meagre handouts that are available (the camp never has enough food to feed all of its inhabitants on any given day), and … Continue reading

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Notes 5: The Jungle, Calais. Hamid, war and fences.

                  Hamid, Afghanistan If I could say one thing to the UK government I would say instead of spending so much money on fences and police*, spend it on refugees instead.

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