The difficulties Palestine is facing today are threefold: a rapidly spreading virus (COVID-19), an ongoing political conflict (Israeli occupation), and a systematic inability to legislate (physical and ideological Palestinian division). With approximately 37.7% of Palestinian refugees living in camps inside the Gaza Strip and the West Bank— comprising about 50% of the population of those areas—over-crowdedness and inadequate basic infrastructure impede the prospect of meeting any health standards such as social distancing and proper sanitation.
Beginning in 2010, the entire Arab world was rocked by unprecedented popular protests and uprisings that upended the region’s political equilibrium. Even though the rest of the Arab world has remained largely politically stagnant in the decade since the original uprisings, the Arab Spring protests still represent a turning point for democratic ideals in the Middle East.
Through forced displacement, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is slowly dissolving Tibetan communities. Local protests against these discriminatory policies resulted in violent clashes with police, while internationally, human rights groups have called it cultural genocide.
Due to the pandemic, air pollution rates have dropped in places where infection rates have been highest. But is this only the calm before the storm? Are these lowered rates sustainable, or will air pollution just return to previous levels or worse once society adapts to the new normal?