Selma Dabbagh

Selma Dabbagh is a lawyer and writer of fiction. Her novel, Out of It, is set mainly in Gaza. She edited We Wrote in Symbols: Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers, published by Saqi in 2021.

From The Blog
6 May 2024

Last November, I wrote of waiting for the grey ticks to double up and go blue when sending WhatsApp messages to my friend Ghassan Abu Sittah, who in October had narrowly missed being killed in the bombing of al-Ahli Arab and al-Shifa Hospitals in Gaza, where he had travelled from London to work as a surgeon. He survived and was inaugurated as the rector of Glasgow University, with 80 per cent of the student vote, on 11 April. He has set up a fund for Palestinian children, planning ‘for the day after’, and is speaking tirelessly to the media and audiences across the world. 

From The Blog
11 April 2024

Gaza’s economy has been stifled since the time of the British Mandate, a process exacerbated by first Egypt’s and then Israel’s occupation. The nail in the coffin was the land, sea and air blockade that Israel imposed in 2007, placing Gaza under siege, severing its economic links with Israel and strong ties to the West Bank, turning it into an isolated enclave where the free movement of labour, material or expertise was impossible.

From The Blog
7 March 2024

The support for Palestinians among ordinary people in Pakistan is genuine, palpable and widespread. Audience members asked what they could do with the outrage they feel when they watch images of slaughter and starvation. They described their sense of isolation and distress when watching these clips on social media on their phones. M.A. Jinnah Road (formerly Bandar Road), lined with crumbling colonial-era architecture and packed with lawyers’ offices, was festooned with Palestinian flags, especially near the mosques, strung up between the banners of the parties that had run in the recent elections. In Pakistan, two things get stolen, a man joked at the Sind Club: lighters and elections.

From The Blog
9 February 2024

At the end of last month I went to an event at the Photographer’s Gallery, where the grandson (and namesake) of the Armenian Gazan photographer Kegham Djeghalian (1915-1981) took us through what is left of the archive of Studio Kegham.

From The Blog
26 January 2024

Finally, something shifts. The ruling by the International Court of Justice is said by public international lawyers to be a game changer. For starters, the vocabulary has been reset. Out with the references to ‘self-defence’, bandied around as an excuse for the inexcusable; in with the cogently argued case that the US and UK’s greatest ally in the Middle East is committing genocide.

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