What the kusttram is to Belgium, the Gaza marathon is to the Palestinian territories

So it turns out that, since last year, they have a marathon in the gaza strip. Even better, this is the only marathon which covers the entire coast of a state territory (much like Belgium is the only county in the world that has a tram running along it’s entire coastline). The Volkskrant article that made me aware of the existence of the gaza marathon even claims that the coastline of the gaza strip is exactly 42K long, which after some quick fact-checking turns out to be only slightly wrong. Ac…

Free Gaza footage from Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has launched the AL Jazeera Creative Commons repository that hosts TV quality Al Jazeera footage from Gaza under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This effectively allows all uses of the footage (even by other TV networks) as long as attribution is given to Al Jazeera. As far as i can tell (and they also boast about this in their press release) this is the first time that a major broadcast organization is making it’s own footage under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This…

God went surfing with the devil

Seems to be a title of a documentary film about life in Israel and gaza in production right now (no IMDB entry yet). From what i can tell it looks like an attempt to portray everyday life in both Gaza and Israel by following surfers in both territories. According to juxtapoz.com the film should be ready in about a year, but for now the filmakers have a daily blog covering the process of shooting in Isreael and Gaza (where they have just been arrested by hamas) with some of the best photography I…

Essential humanitarianism (the Gaza Zoo)

Leila points to a pretty intresting article by Darryl Li written after a recent visit to the Gaza strip. In his article ‘From Prison to Zoo: Israel's "Humanitarian" Control of Gaza‘ (watch out, this is a link to a .doc file, what the fuck are they thinking at adalah.org?) he examines the policy of essentail humanitarianism develloped by the Israeli state after the take-over of the Gaza strip by Hamas last summer. Li claims that the conditions in Gaza have changed in such a way that it…

Border economies

One of the things that has always fascinated me about borders is the way they structure the local economies of adjacent regions. People one the one side suddenly start selling ridiculous amounts of all kind of things that are not available – or much more expensive – on the other side. Particularly vivid examples of this phenomenon can be observed on the fringes of France. The area around Calais is full of shops selling booze and cigarettes to busloads of brits & in Portbou just across the bo…

On asymmetric warfare

Couple of days ago spiegel online ran a story about how the insurgents in Iraq where now using dogs with explosives being strapped on to them to attack the occupying forces. While the article did not even bother to point to specific incidents or provide other proof for this claim it reminded me of two pictures of donkeys slummering on my hard-disk. In late 2003 donkeys suddenly entered the stage of the global war on terror with incidents involving donkeys taking place in Bagdad … Most people wou…