31 October 2016

Forget Halloween: there's plenty of real-life horror in the Middle East

Middle East Eye

In the Iranian city of Isfahan the other day, I chatted with a carpet vendor who had in his possession two carpets woven by Afghan refugees in Iran.
At first glance, they appeared to be just like any other colourfully patterned carpets, but upon closer inspection one’s eye began to pick out warplanes, guns and tanks among the more typical shapes.
The seller remarked to me matter-of-factly in reference to the Afghan weavers’ products: “That is the world they know” - one in which the terror of war has infused every aspect of existence.
To be sure, it’s a world away from those in the West who, in accordance with the annual cycle of profit-driven holidays, are today celebrating Halloween.
Nothing against horror films or haunted houses, of course, but we might as well exploit the occasion to reflect on the circumstances of people for whom horror and fright constitute a permanent condition rather than an occasional source of controlled entertainment. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.