Last updated: 30 July 2020
July 2020 – The world’s best-known Arabic dictionary started off as a Nazi propaganda project and cost a young Jewish scholar her life. It’s time Hedwig Klein received the posthumous recognition she deserves.
July 2020 – Many of the leaders held up as representing the epitome of evil were extraordinarily and spectacularly untalented, incapable and incompetent. With this mediocrity of evil, it is almost a wonder that they managed to rise to the top at all.
June 2020 – The super rich are leaving only the scraps for everyone else to fight over, which is fuelling a mounting wave of intolerance as minorities and migrants are scapegoated for falling wellbeing. For the welfare of all, we must end these stark wealth inequalities before it leads to unmanageable social unrest.
June 2020 – Atheists are amongst the most marginalised and persecuted minorities in the Arab world. Despite the risks atheists face from the state and vigilantes, atheism has become more visible and vocal in recent years, leading to greater public understanding and tolerance.
May 2020 – Belgium has long been written off as a dysfunctional and failing state, yet its response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been surprisingly functional and successful. This highlights how effective healthcare acts as society’s immune system.
March 2020 – The advent of ‘living robots’, or biobots, not only poses grave risks for which we must be prepared but also raises profound questions about the future and what it means to be human.
February 2020 – Safia, a Yazidi teenager from Iraq, was captured by the Islamic State, sold into sexual slavery, raped, tortured and made pregnant, leaving deep psychological scars. Her ability to come to terms with the trauma are thwarted by taboo, shame and her forced separation from her daughter.
January 2020 – Decades of unprecedented population growth have played a significant role in Arab regime repression, the two main waves of revolutions that swept the region, and the fierce counterrevolutions that followed.
January 2020 – While Palestinians living in the diaspora are physically separated from Palestine, those who remain in the homeland often feel a sense of psychological or spiritual alienation, not to mention an overwhelming dream to roam free.
January 2020 – For Western Muslims, Christmas is just outside their doorsteps. For some, Christmas even skips merrily in from the cold and crosses the threshold into their homes.
December 2019 – Trauma, depression, destitution and hopelessness are the daily realities with which Gaza’s besieged population must contend.
October 2019 – When Arab revolutionary dreams turn into anti-revolutionary nightmares, the fortunate ones find safety abroad. But with exile comes unprocessed trauma, guilt, fear, dealing with xenophobia and painful yearnings for home.
August 2019 – Rather than being allowed to apply for asylum, thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to enter Slovenia and Croatia are being illegally and often violently spirited across the border to Bosnia, and out of the EU.
June 2019 – The death in court of Mohamed Morsi completed the incarcerated former Egyptian president’s unlikely metamorphosis from mediocre mundanity to mythical martyr whose political ghost will inspire generations of radical Islamists.
June 2019 – Rows and rows of the now iconic 4711 bottles arranged in the display window of Cologne’s famous ‘House of Fragrances’ were a trip down memory lane for Christian Nielsen.
May 2019 – As recent motions in the German Bundestag and US Congress reveal, both the BDS and pro-Israel movements are exploited by racists as fig leafs to further their agendas. These racists must be exposed and challenged.
April 2019 – Despite their reputation for being undisciplined and insubordinate, Australian soldiers who fought in World War I, known as ‘diggers’, were fiercely courageous and disciplined where it mattered – on the battlefield. These rebels with a cause would play a pivotal role in defining modern Australian identity.
March 2019 – Despite their conviction that they are polar opposites, white supremacists and Islamist extremists share much in common, including a hatred of minorities and the enemies within, a persecution complex, and nostalgia for past glories.
March 2019 – The death of Shamima Begum’s infant son underscores the injustice of depriving alleged terrorists and jihadis of their citizenship. It also sets a dangerous precedent that can come back to haunt and hurt everyone in society.
February 2019 – Salman Rushdie made a very unlikely target for the fury of conservative Muslims, which is why the opportunistic fatwa issued by a Khomeini in serious decline took the novelist and the world by surprise.
February 2019 – Rather than being like a vegetarian who suddenly becomes a carnivore, a former Islamophobic politician’s conversion to Islam is more akin to a committed soda beverage drinker switching from Coca Cola to Pepsi.