Every time one of my students reaches towards the middle of the table for the biscuits, there is a peal of thunder from the speaker in the ceiling, followed by the sound of supersize rats in a warehouse full of tinfoil. The conversation comes to a halt for a moment, but the students are oblivious: this is a video conference, and though we’re all on British Council premises I’m in a building in Ramallah and they’re 50 miles away in Gaza, with Israel in between.
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