Nature Middle East this week provides heartbreaking accounts of the impact of war upon Iraqi and Syrian children:
How fear has stolen the childhood of a generation
Across the Arab world many children are showing signs of severe psychological distress and support efforts are often futile in the face of continuing raging conflicts.
The toll of war on learning for a generation
The Syrian civil war is creating an uneducated generation — burdening social systems in countries of refuge, and forcing children into illegal labour.
Iraqi children endure a crippled healthcare system
Thirty years of conflict, sanctions and a mass exodus of medical professionals has severely compromised the health of Iraqi children. And there’s no respite on the horizon.
Once proud, Iraq’s schools reel from decades of setbacks
Schools in Iraq continue to struggle, limiting learning opportunities for the country’s youth. Educational indicators show a marked decline as wars, sanctions and sectarian strife have stripped Iraq’s education system of resources.
Behind the headlines is a series of events at the Museum exploring the cultural context behind news stories from across the world, looking closely at objects from the Museum’s collection.
Before 2011, the Syrian art scene was limited by the number of galleries and spaces for showing work, and the government control of cultural institutions. Since the uprising, an outpouring of creative expression from artists across all levels of Syrian society has formed a response to the violence. This panel discussion, chaired by Malu Halasa, co-editor of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, and including panellists Issam Kourbaj, Zaher Omareen, Khalil Younes and Venetia Porter, will consider the pre-revolution period through looking at British Museum objects, the change that revolution has bought to the country’s artists, and the new possibilities that lie ahead.
The British Museum
Friday 20 June
BP Lecture Theatre
Although she was ready to give
herself to me, I abstained
and did not accept the temptation Satan offered.
She came unveiled in the night,
illuminated by her face,
night put aside its shadowy
veils as well.
Each one of her glances
could cause hearts to turn over.
But I clung to the divine precept
that condemns lust and reined in
the capricious horses of my passion
so that my instinct would not rebel against chastity.
And so I passed the night with her
like a thirsty little camel
whose muzzle keeps it from nursing.
by Ibn Faraj (10th Century)
Poems of Arab Andalusia
Publisher: City Lights Publishers