A Palestinian protester covers his face with a Palestinian flag during demonstrations outside the UN’s headquarters in Gaza after they announced a lack of funds to rebuild the Palestinian territory as some 100,000 people remain homeless after the July-August conflict, which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)      

What Can a Pregnant Photojournalist cover? Everything

'The New York Times sent me to Gaza to photograph a prisoner exchange between the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, and the Israeli government. The newly freed men looked shellshocked in the crush of loved ones. People poured out onto the streets.As the weight of men started to close in on me, I realized how vulnerable I was and started to panic. I was so deep in the crowd, I couldn’t extricate myself.

In the Muslim world, women and children are put on a protected pedestal, and pregnant women are slightly higher up on that pedestal. Naturally, no pregnant woman in Gaza would voluntarily be in that mix of madness, but it was too late to lament my stupidity. I had an idea: I threw my arms up in the air and screamed, “Baby!” and pointed down at my very round stomach with my index fingers on both hands. “Baby!” I screamed again, pointing down.

All the men around me momentarily paused. They looked at my face and then down at my stomach, and the seas parted. Spontaneously, they made a human gate around me, cocooning me from the crowd. And I continued shooting with my new bodyguards keeping watch over my unborn son and me.’

Read more excerpts from Lynsey Addario's book It’s What I do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War on The New York Times Magazine.

Photo:Lynsey Addario/Getty Images Reportage


man who claims to be former member of “israeli” military trespassing at #uoft

open letter

Dear University of Toronto and University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:

This is in response to the recent assault on student activism and student spaces at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus:

On Thursday November 6, a 34 year-old man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto furiously entered the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union office after hours. He stole a poster that read WARNING: THIS UNIVERSITY PROFITS OFF ISRAELI APARTHEID AND OCCUPATION. All attempts to calm him down failed. After stealing the poster he drove off, recording the incident with his phone. Campus police filed a report and said to notify them if the man returns. After a couple of weeks we put up another sign. The man came back. He forced his way into the student union. We tried to calm him down and initiate dialogue. The man replied with, “I’ll rip your fucking throat out” and “I have twelve guys on standby ready”—implying that he or other people will be back. He shouted that he use to be a part of the “israeli” military and regularly killed “terrorists”. Campus police came to the scene and issued the man a Notice of Trespass for the UTSC campus.

In fury, we wondered how a man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto invaded student spaces, threatened students, stole private property, and walked away with just a Notice of Trespass. Why hasn’t the University been held accountable for investing in companies such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, both of which supply F-16 bomber jets and Hellfire missiles to “israel”? Why do our tuition dollars continue to fund “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The University—rather than addressing their complicity—responded with increased policing of student union spaces and activism. We are not looking for increased policing of activist activities, we want to cut ties with international law violations without facing death threats. If the University of Toronto did not invest in these companies we would not be threatened repeatedly on University grounds.

We demand that the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
- Immediately divest from companies complicit in international law violations, including all companies profiting off “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land.
- Apologize and take accountability for the violence and death threats we’ve incurred as a result of raising awareness of UTAM’s investments.
- Ensure safer spaces for student organizers not through increased policing and surveillance but rather by validating our voices and addressing our concerns.

U of T Divest - Scarborough

A Palestinian draped in a Palestinian flag stands next to burning tyres during a protest against the decision by the main U.N. aid agency to suspend payments to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to their homes damaged in last summer’s war, outside the headquarters of the United Nations Special Coordinator in Gaza City.
Jan28 2015
Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are adopting a two year old Syrian boy named Moussa who lost both his parents. Angelina stated that part of the reason for the adoption is to bring awareness to what is happening in Syria, the civil war crisis. While Angelina was visiting a refugee camp in Jordan where little Moussa was, she starting tearing up and Moussa smiled and wrapped his arms around her. From that moment on Angelina knew she wanted to adopt him and have him as one of her own children. Many children in Syria share the same fate as little Moussa, loosing a family member or even their whole family. Now little Moussa is leaving the refugee camp and is going to live in a warm home with loving parents. I hope this good hearted action starts a chain reaction that will get people to wake up and come to the aid of the suffering in countries like Syria and all over the world, we sure need more people like Angelina and Brad.
Read more about it here