War & Peace

Iraq: The Reckoning

In a suite of rooms in a ‘safe house’ in a city in south eastern Europe, investigators employed by the British Government have been interviewing a stream of Iraqi civilians for the past 18 months.

Royal marine by Thomas McDonald

The Orange Trees of Baghdad

The Orange Trees of Baghdad was born out of rage. How does a book begin? Sometimes with an idea, a thought, a concept, a scene, for me it was an emotion and a phone call. Like everyone in the Western world in 2003, I watched the build-up to the war in our media and our parliaments, and like many millions around the world, I’d believed the war was unnecessary and unjust and would do more harm than good to the Iraqi people.

Baghdad girl by Zoriah

A century of war and peace in Lebanon

The Middle Eastern front during the First World War is romanticized in the adventures of Lawrence of Arabia and by the exploits of youthful Arab revolutionaries, but its repercussions for what is now Lebanon were anything but romantic.

“The children of my country, dear Mary, the people of Mount Lebanon are being killed by a famine at the hands of the Ottoman government,” wrote the Lebanese poet and philosopher Gibran Khalil Gibran in May 1916 to his American patron and one-time lover Mary Haskell. “80,000 people have perished until today and thousands of others die every day.”

Beirut building from before civil war