Middle East: a bleak year ahead?

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I had the pleasure of enjoying some Javanese folk songs, pop music and beer – Bir Bintang to be precise - with a Jogja-based artist on New Year’s Eve. The atmospheric mood, however, became rather sombre when the topic was shifted to the on-going attacks by the Israeli army against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that had killed more than 350 people, including women and children.

The artist friend had been playing some American songs too, but that did not stop him from uttering in the most despondent tone his detestation for the atrocious crime against the Palestinian civilians.

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