At time of writing, the official death toll in Israel-Palestine since 7 October 2023 stands at 35,173 Palestinians, including over 14,500 children, 8,400 women and at least 498 people in the West Bank; and 1,139 Israelis, all of whom were killed during the 7 October attacks by Hamas and other Gazan militias.

In the dream factory farm of the Western pop music industry, women singer-songwriters with siren voices who are also anti-racist activists, gender non-conformists, emotional lightning rods and fountains of love are golden needles in a haystack.

From my vantage point in Brighton, UK, it’s a strange time on Planet Earth – for all the sound and fury, social media meltdowns, strikes and protests, it has felt to me this autumn of 2022 as though we are just miming political action.

Bring back 2020. As if climate catastrophe, mass extinction, pandemic and surging inflation weren’t enough to be dealing with, Europe, America, and Russia are mired in armed conflict in Ukraine, shattering post-war dreams of peaceful economic union, and pushing the twenty-first century over the threshold into a terrifying new world order.

Whether or how autism is a physical condition is not a straightforward question.

limate crisis, refugee crisis, pandemic. Systemic racism, xenophobia, increasing health and socioeconomic inequalities. State surveillance, drone warfare, robotisation, the rise of AI during an epidemic of mental illness.

This is a story about a boy called Hamid. One might argue that it starts fifty-six years before he was born, during the Nakba of 1948 – in Arabic ‘the catastrophe’.

Sara woke before the azaan and lay quietly in the dark spooning with Farooq, his arm draped over her swollen belly, their phands clasped. The baby kicked. Well hello to you too.