The cover image for MER issue 310 features an ink on paper drawing from Galal Yousif’s “Forgotten Crisis Series 2024.”

A drawing by Sudanese artist Galal Yousif to raise awareness about the war in Sudan. The Forgotten Crisis series, 2024, ink on paper.

Galal Yousif is a Sudanese artist who lived and worked in Khartoum until June 2023 when, like many others, he was forced to flee. As of the date of this publication—one year after the alliance between two Sudanese generals collapsed into war—the number of people displaced both inside and outside Sudan has reached 8.2 million.

The series’ title captures the frustration and fear shared by many Sudanese activists: that the staggering humanitarian crisis has been largely ignored globally. Sudan, a country of 50 million people, is currently on the brink of the world’s largest famine. As Khalid Medani discusses in his primer for this issue, the war is not only disrupting trade with Sudan but impacting agricultural production in the country’s breadbasket. Fighting has rendered the country’s health infrastructure dysfunctional. Moreover, the politicization of aid by both warring parties, chronicled in Azza Abdel Aziz’s contribution, hampers crucial support. The articles in this issue also capture the popular responses to war: how individuals and communities are mobilizing amid massive displacement and loss.

Yousif’s vivid drawing of a multitude of individuals walking away as one group that disappears into the horizon reflects the scale of the crisis and its human dimension. He explained to MERIP that he felt compelled to create this series to raise awareness about what is happening in Sudan. On his Instagram page, where he displays his artwork, he writes, “People have lost so much…These are not only numbers, they are people, they have #life to live, they deserve a better life.”

The swirling colors and small, intricate designs that hover around the people in the drawing poignantly suggest the beauty and vitality of life that is now beyond reach. As the figures recede into the distance their color vanishes but does not disappear from the picture.

As an artist in exile currently living and making art in Nairobi, Yousif reflects that the “experience of war has changed me and changed my art as well. It’s a heavy experience, but we have to go through it.”


Read the first article in MER issue 310 “The Struggle for Sudan.”

How to cite this article:

"A Note on the Cover Image," Middle East Report 310 (Spring 2024).

For 50 years, MERIP has published critical analysis of Middle Eastern politics, history, and social justice not available in other publications. Our articles have debunked pernicious myths, exposed the human costs of war and conflict, and highlighted the suppression of basic human rights. After many years behind a paywall, our content is now open-access and free to anyone, anywhere in the world. Your donation ensures that MERIP can continue to remain an invaluable resource for everyone.


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