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Last updated: 15 December 2017

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Islam for Donald Trump and the politically incorrect

December 2017 – Mr Trump, if you really want to know “what the hell is going on” with Islam, I invite you and all the other bigots out there to join me on a mind-expanding journey through Islam(s), passing through the main thoroughfares and back alleys of history, society, culture, politics, theology and, above all, people.

Donald Trump: Universal scapegoat

December 2017 – Donald Trump is possibly the worst American president in history, but that does not give the rest of the political establishment a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to taking responsibility for the mess the world is in.

Based on photo by ©Boštjan Videmšek

Post-ISIS Mosul, pt 1: The final death of a city?

December 2017 – Its building turned to dust, its citizens traumatised and impoverished, Mosul may have been ‘liberated’ from ISIS but it has become a graveyard. Can this razed and devastated city ever be free again?

A US embassy in Jerusalem changes nothing and everything

December 2017 – Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem changes nothing on the ground but everything on the horizon. It is the final death certificate of the peace process. Now it’s time for something completely different.

Economic recovery means little to Europe’s working poor

December 2017 – Europe is experiencing an economic recovery but many of the jobs being created a keeping people poor rather than lifting them out of poverty.

Just one of those unlucky lucky days

November 2017 – Unlucky days can sometimes turn out to be a different kind of lucky… the tortuous variety.

Foreign tourists vote to thump Trump’s America

October 2017 – Left without a say in the election of Donald Trump, a new breed of conscientious objectors are making their mark on the USA. Foreign tourists are voting with their feet and going elsewhere.

Give Donald Trump a Nobel prize

October 2017 – It is outrageous that the fake news media is not outraged that Donald Trump has been left empty handed at this year’s Nobel awards. This oversight must be rectified next year.

Angela Merkel: The ‘Arab’ chancellor

September 2017 – If Arabs could have voted, Angela Merkel would have won by a landslide, rather than the embattled situation she currently finds herself in following the shock gains scored by the far-right.

Photo: ©Jure Eržen

The adventures of Rami and his magic violin

September 2017 – Syrian Rami Basisah and his violin have been through hell and high water together. His childhood dream of becoming a world-famous musician is about to come true. But the trauma of losing is country means he cannot enjoy his success.

Muslim women in short skirts and the Tunisia paradox

September 2017 – Bombing Afghanistan will not bring back women in short skirts, rather it will only empower men in short skirts (beards and long trousers). The path to gender equality lies in internal reform, as Tunisia demonstrates.

Unsung death on the Nile – Part II

August 2017 – Arriving in Thatcherite Britain was a shock to mother’s leftist, post-colonial worldview, but she adjusted, managed to admire her new home and made friends from all walks of life.

Photo: ©Boštjan Videmšek

Greek island teaches Europe how to welcome refugees

August 2017 – The Greek island of Tilos has hosted more than seven times its population in refugees… and has done so with dignity, respect and with almost no external assistance.

Unsung death on the Nile – Part 1

August 2017 – Once the mother of our world departed, her ghost arrived, plunging me into the memory hole which grief opens up, where the past becomes its own present and the present morphs into a kind of phantom future.

Alia Malek

Dreaming of a vanished Syria

August 2017 – “A lot of Syrians are indulging in a nostalgia that requires a lot of denial,” says Syrian-American author Alia Malek. “This is why I’m a student of history, not to live in a fantasy but to learn why and how we are where we are today.”

Photo: ©Boštjan Videmšek

Uganda’s refugee crisis, part 2: The world’s largest refugee camp

July 2017 – Uganda’s open door policy has created Bidibidi, the world’s largest refugee camp, of which few outsiders have heard. The strain of housing so many refugee has placed an unbearable strain on this poor country, yet no help is forthcoming.

Uganda’s refugee crisis, part 1: “Back home, all we could hear were guns and screaming”

June 2017 – Northern Uganda houses more refugees than entered the European Union during the peak of the “refugee crisis”. And Uganda has only 8% of the EU’s population and a fraction of its resources.

When you’re a collector… don’t give too much away

April 2017 – Collecting may seem like a harmless hobby but it allows others to gather a whole lot more about us than we let on or probably even know.

Old Kingdom Egyptian princess Nefertiabet (2590-2565 BCE) from her tomb at Giza.
Source: Wikipedia

Feminism’s Egyptian roots

March 2017 – Women’s liberation is generally believed to have started in the West but the roots of female emancipation go back millennia, to ancient Egypt.

Mosul in my heart

February 2017 – The Mosul I have always loved, whose sky was our protective shield, has been replaced by an alien city of death, destruction and destitution.

Photo: ©Jure Eržen/DELO

Trapped inside Fortress Europe

January 2017 – The plight of the 63,000 refugees and migrants still marooned in Greece should give Europeans pause for thought.

Donald Trump’s terrifying Middle East playbook

January 2017 – America’s decision to democratically elect a dictator has Middle Eastern reformers bewildered, but the region’s despots are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory – a sure sign of troubling times ahead.

Egypt’s Christians in the cross-hairs

December 2016 – The bombing of St Peter’s Church in Cairo exposes the growing vulnerability of Egypt’s Christian minority and the increasing mainstreaming of extremist Islamist discourse.