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Will the lives of people in the Middle East ever really matter to the West?

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In the three months that countries around the world have imposed widescale lockdowns that paralysed their economies and decimated trade, we have seen the emergence of grassroots organisations which have supported those worst affected by the crisis.

In the UK, Mutual Aid has become synonymous with community projects that ask nothing in return for the good they do. People are now becoming acquainted with their neighbours, discovering that they are not isolated on their roads, rather the busy pace of the life they once lived left them unable to – or perhaps having never considered – spend time with those who are physically closest to them.

Fast forward three months and we know more about the communities we live in than we have in the decades we lived in them, we’ve checked on each other, shopped for one another and clapped for our carers in a moving tribute that has seen us shed tears together.

But while individuals connect in a raw and heartfelt manner, politicians are continuing their usual manner of isolating us. After all, a united community is strong and can change authority.

READ: It is time for the US to end its deadly exchange programmes with Israel

In the Middle East and North Africa governments have imposed new emergency laws which encourage people to spy on one another for the “good” of society (of course). Spreading “misinformation about the coronavirus” can lead to jail terms and large fines, as despotic leaders continue to ensure that they maintain their hold over “facts”.

Concentrating efforts on reducing the spread of panic and therefore protecting their seat in........

© Middle East Monitor