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[Comment] Offline: The dark heart of the wood

“A family reunion that keeps us connected to the outside world.” So said Mamdouh Aker, a Trustee of Birzeit University, as he opened the annual scientific gathering of The Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance (LPHA), which last week returned in its eighth year to the home of its birth. Birzeit is one of the State of Palestine’s most prestigious global universities. The LPHA is a loose network of Palestinian, regional, and international researchers committed to the highest scientific standards in describing, analysing, and evaluating the health and health care of Palestinians—contributing to the global scientific literature and developing local evidence-based policy and practice.