The dreaded health disaster has not occurred in the Middle East, as in the Maghreb countries or in Africa, even if there is no indication that the coronavirus crisis is about to end and that the situation may still change, especially with the second wave that is once again raging in the region.
What might philosophers tell us as we live through a pandemic crisis that forces us to be confined to our homes and avoid our fellow human beings? Obviously, we will have to listen to the scientific, medical and technical word. Scientists are the only ones who can give us practical answers on how to respond to the attacks of this dangerous virus.
Ultimate libertarian and subversive mode of artistic expression, the street art experienced a spectacular proliferation during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when museums, theatres, concert halls and cinemas were forced to close, and when the world of art and culture was suffering the full force of the horrors of confinement, street art managed to sneak out, literally and figuratively!
The pandemic that has hit the planet must make us realize that nothing will ever be the same again. There was a pre-coronavirus. There’s now going to be a geopolitical and geostrategic post-coronavirus. Today, several factors are cause for concern in Western chanceries: An American withdrawal from world affairs, especially in the Middle East, leaving the field open to Russia and Iran; China’s all-round offensive and divisions in Europe.
Emile Habibi, a Palestinian writer from Haïfa who stayed on in Israel after 1948, had coined a great word to describe the state of mind of those individuals who experience ambiguity on a daily basis: peptimist. It is a mixture of hope and weariness, somewhere at a juncture between optimism and pessimism. This is a most fitting word to use these days in light of the consequences the epidemic is having on religions.
The appearance, in last December, of the epidemic due to a new strain of coronavirus, called Covid-19, and its evolution, in barely three months, into a pandemic swarming worldwide, is anything but a foreseeable event. However, a prospective study drawn up by the CIA presented, in November 2008, a detailed « scenario » whose developments espouse in an extremely disconcerting way the disturbing turn of events since the appearance of the first cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China!