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"The Defenders", a series that aims to shed light on and empower children of war and conflict as superheroes that will rise from their oppression.
Issue 01 - Palestine: Eyad and Eiman.
The Palestine citizens throw stones, an improvised weapon that is a profound symbol of resistance. The two heroes can move earth and rocks. In 2021, Israel's Supreme Court had been expected to deliver a ruling on whether to uphold the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood that a lower court had permitted. The order covers 13 families, 58 people, including 17 children. Across the city, the UN estimates, at least 970 Palestinians are at risk of forced removal due to cases brought before Israeli courts.
Issue 02 - Syria: Ashraf and Abida.
Both possessing the power of Voice Projection, creating ultrasonic vibrations whenever they shout and chant. The power stems of the voices of the Syrians protesting for their rights. Figures such as Ibrahim Kashoush, a musician who had his throat cut by security forces because he sang songs against the regime back in 2011.
The savage crime committed by the Syrian regime against the singer Ibrahim Qashoush made his voice stronger and his songs more influential and they will be the torch to tumble this criminal regime sooner or later.
Issue 03 – Occupied East Turkestan, known as China (Xinjiang province): Alimjan and Arzu.
Fighting for the freedom of their people. Uyghurs have long resisted China’s determination to break the chain, through which families hand down culture and faith across generations. From laws preventing kids from going to mosques and raising them as atheists. To banning baby names that are considered, “too Islamic," to the creation of state-run indoctrination boarding schools for Uyghur children. However, Beijing strongly denies the allegations and says it is organising training programmes and work schemes to help stamp out extremism in the region.
Issue 04 – Kashmir: Harud and Mahnoor.
Both possessing the power of magnetism, allowing them to control metal and generate magnetic fields. The Indian forces identify people who have participated in protests by firing pellets in crowds. Pellets are supposedly harmless, but as a result many people have lost their eye sight and some have even resulted in death. For the survivors, it's used as a marking - where the Indian forces go into houses at night rounding people up. If anyone has a wound, they are taken away, not for treatment but interrogation. The two heroes use their powers to stop pellets in mid-flight from harming protesters and defending the people’s right to protest and saving lives.
Issue 06 – Srebrenica Massacre: Mevludin, lone survivor of the Srebrenica Massacre.
Mevludin, the lone survivor of the Srebrenica massacre who played dead amount the corpses and at night escaped over the mountains to government territory. (BBC news)
(Character based on Mevludin Oric)
This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, On July 11, 1995, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were rounded up and killed by Bosnian Serb forces near the eastern town of Srebrenica -- the worst mass killing in Europe since World War II. 26 years of struggle to secure justice, truth, and reparation for survivors, including victims of wartime rape and sexual violence. While the bodies of more than 7,000 victims of the Srebrenica genocide have been exhumed, identified, and buried, more than 1,000 people are still missing or their remains awaiting recovery and identification.
Issue 08 – France: #handsoffmyhijab Collective heroes, they possess the power to generate and manipulate Force Fields, using it to protect and defend the rights of Muslim Women.
In 2004, France prohibited the wearing of Islamic headscarves in state schools. In 2011, the niqab, the full-face Islamic veil was banned in public places such as streets, parks, public transport, and administrative buildings. Now in 2021, the French Senate voted to approve President Macron’s controversial Separatism Bill. If it becomes law the Bill would introduce two new amendments – one of which would ban French Muslim women under the age of 18 from wearing a hijab in public.
Issue 09 – Kuwait: #لن_أسكت #no_more_silence Collective heroes, they possess the power of Voice Projection, using their voice to protect and defend the rights of Women. “Silence is no longer an option. We must speak, unite and defend ourselves because what is happening is unacceptable.” Shayma Shamo
In a social media campaign sparked by a famous fashion blogger, women in Kuwait defy conservative norms and a culture of "shame" to speak out against harassment for the first time.
Ascia Al Faraj, a Kuwaiti fashion blogger, expressed in a video that a problem in the country sparked a nationwide movement . After seeing the footage, Shayma Shamo launched the @lan.asket platform, which translates to "I will never be silent", to urge women in Kuwait to testify and talk without fear of harassment.
Lebanon’s Economic Crisis
Issue 10 – Lebanon’s Economic Crisis: Rise from under the rubble
No food, no water, no medicine and no fuel for transportation or electricity. Lebanon is on the brink of economic collapse. That's the dire state in which Lebanon finds itself after more than 18 months of political and economic Instability.
Lebanese shoulder the burden of these crises largely alone with little support from the state for nearly a year, there's been no government to implement the economic reforms needed to lift the country out of the crisis. Many analysts argue that the economic collapse, the long-running political stalemate, and Beirut port's devastating explosion have the exact root cause. This sectarian-based political system has allowed years of mismanagement and corruption by the same people in power. More than half the people in this small Mediterranean country live below the poverty line, basic food has increased in price, there are queues for fuel, no electricity for 20 hours a day, medicines are running low, hospitals are struggling to function, and crime is rising.
Issue 11 – Sudan: Military Coup, Asim and Kazima, two Sudanese heroes. Despite fears of violence, they are fighting for reinstatement of a civilian government
October 30th 2021, the Anti-coup demonstrators are staging a 'million-strong march against the military's power grab. The military and their allies were shocked at the sheer number of people who went out today in support of the civilian government. “They really thought [Prime Minister Abdalla] Hamdok and his government did not have the widespread support that they do, and they still do.”
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