Many parts of the developing world continue to struggle to contain Covid-19, even as the West begins to open back up. I live in South Africa, and my family came down with Covid last week. Of course, it wasn’t such a great surprise, since almost everyone we know here has had one or more family member infected. But it became clear to me, as we continue to self-isolate at home, that in the face of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the West must realize that it is only if it abandons its vaccine selfishness can it truly provide security…


Your next trip to Starbucks might be an unusual one. The global coffeehouse chain is running out of cups. Due to supply chain bottlenecks affecting virtually every part of the worldwide economy, Starbucks is struggling to secure enough paper cups and oat milk. This is worrying, because recovery in the post-pandemic economy won’t amount to much if there aren’t enough products for purchase and we can’t even get a cup of coffee from Starbucks. From semiconductors to timber, the global economy is running out of everything. A fundamentally new approach focused on the effects of technological innovation to supply-chain economics…


More than a decade ago, a small neighborhood in East Jerusalem became the focal point of a new type of Palestinian non-violent resistance against Israeli occupation. Sheikh Jarrah, as it is known, lies in a nondescript area of East Jerusalem but has been the focal point of Israeli efforts to “Judaise” the city by evicting Palestinian families and replacing them with Jewish settlers. As the evictions ramped up, Palestinians effectively used social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share with the world the daily reality of Israel’s efforts. Sheikh Jarrah is back in the news, but Palestinians have encountered…


Medics and police officers checking a shipment of Russian Sputnik V vaccines at a Gaza border crossing with Israel

Imagine this scenario: Concerned about US President Joe Biden’s new Middle East policy and the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel decides to get on everyone’s good side and announces that it will vaccinate the entire Palestinian population against Covid-19.

Such a decision would be an instant public relations victory. But dream on. While Israel is among the leaders in the world in inoculating its population, it has shown no inclination toward taking care of all of the people under its control — the Palestinians being the excluded class.

Worse, it…


The Hall of Names, bearing names and pictures of Jewish Holocaust victims, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem

The politics of memorization are never straightforward. All the more so when it comes to one of the most horrific events of the 20th century. Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial is one of the country’s sacred sites. It’s also ground zero for a burning controversy over how the state uses the event to reconcile its behaviour. The nomination of a far-right political figure to lead Yad Vashem has rekindled this debate. It’s not the first time the memorial and its purpose has been weaponised.

Yad Vashem sits on an idyllic hillside just outside Jerusalem. The primary exhibition meanders through dimly…


When Pfizer and BioNTech announced their Covid-19 vaccine’s promising results this week, airline shares around the world soared. But that may have been premature; it will take more than a vaccine to rescue the industry. The pandemic laid bare the structural problems of airlines, and it’s apparent the crisis is deeper than the collapse in passenger numbers.

Energy-efficient airplanes and cuts to inflight service aren’t going to be enough. The industry needs a deep rethink and radical pivot. It’s often noted (albeit not entirely correctly) that the Chinese character for “crisis” is an amalgam of “danger” and “opportunity.” To be…


It’s been an exhausting year. With the US presidential election almost behind us, we all need a break from the news cycle and associated doom scrolling. Several months ago, I fell down a self-help rabbit hole, which I’m surprised to say changed my life. The transition is surprising because I’ve long held a dim view and deep skepticism of the self-help industry.

This view has become especially acute since I moved to Cape Town. In one of the world’s most unequal cities, the self-help industry is big business for the privileged. There are more yoga studios here than I can…


Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, there was great concern over how the disease would affect Africa. Overcrowded and under-resourced healthcare networks across the continent, coupled with a high prevalence of other infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV, were seen as a potential timebomb. Six months later, the most dire health warnings have proven to be incorrect.

Things are bad (and likely worse than official numbers imply) but they aren’t as devastating as initially feared. The real challenges are economic, many African countries are reeling from a devastating Covid-related economic fallout that demands action.

High Transmission, Low Mortality

As the world marked the one-millionth…


Given the amount of collective insecurity among journalists, the inward focus common in media outlets is understandable. But what shape does this navel gazing take in a country like South Africa? A free press is critical for any functioning democracy but all the more so in a young country like South Africa.

The South African press is robust enough to investigate (and attempt to hold accountable) those in power. But it doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The sector has been considerably weakened by shrinking revenues, leading to the downsizing and juniorization of newsrooms across the country. On the whole, South…


The Covid-19 pandemic starkly illustrates the state of health care in the Middle East, from the good to the truly wretched. The condition of local health systems has, in turn, offered opportunities to outside powers to boost their influence in the region. And no country in the Middle East offers better opportunity — in terms of size and geo-strategic importance — than Iraq. It is being seized upon.

The pandemic hit Iraq’s already fragile health system like a freight train. After decades of conflict, corruption and mismanagement, the Iraqi health system was on the brink of collapse even before the…

Joseph Dana

/// Writer ///

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