This article examines the practices of humanitarian aid distribution from the perspective of aid recipients rather than providers through an immersion in the daily home life of Palestinian residents of Nahr al-Barid refugee camp (north Lebanon) in 2011. It argues that in the name of distributing aid fairly, humanitarian aid providers put in place a pervasive system of surveillance to monitor, evaluate, and compare residents' misery levels by relying on locally recruited aid workers. This regime of visibility was designed to be one directional; NGOs never disclosed how much aid they had available, nor when or how it would be distributed. The inclusion of local aid workers in this opaque framework turned a process that relied on community and neighborhood ties into an impersonal machine that fostered doubt and suspicion and ultimately hindered the community's ability to engage in collective political action.
In a wide-ranging and timely interview, the head of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, Ghassan S. Abu Sitta, discusses his most recent trip to Gaza to help treat wounded protesters in what has become a war-like zone. Abu Sitta addresses the current state of Gaza's healthcare infrastructure, the types of injuries that he operated on, and the implications of the Great March of Return for Palestine's political future. When Abu Sitta arrived on 11 May 2018, he quickly began preparation for what he expected (and what indeed turned out) to be the bloodiest week of the Great March. He speaks candidly about traumatizing scenes, with doctors and surgeons desperately attempting to save as many lives as possible without the benefit of proper medical equipment; and he explains how the injuries he saw are part of the Israeli army's deliberate effort to maim and incapacitate as many Palestinians as possible.