May 2013 – Those who fear Muslim influence should raise a glass to the Sultan of Style when they freshen up, don the latest fashions or enjoy dining out.
May 2013 – A shop called Hitler in Egypt raises some uncomfortable questions about Arab perceptions of the Nazi dictator.
May 2013 – If we can have gay and interfaith marriages in the West, then why not polygamous ones?
May 2013- The curious case of Arab men reportedly deported for being “too handsome” demonstrates that the beautiful can also be the victims of discrimination.
April 2013 – Multiculturalism is enriching and as easy as child’s play. But as the winds of intolerance blow harder, it may become a liability for my son and his generation.
March 2013 – In telling the story of Egypt’s vanished Jewish community, a new documentary sheds light on a forgotten chapter of history.
December 2012 – My time in Israel and Palestine, where everything is politics, has taught me that it is the human that is holy, not the land.
December 2012 – Can art help the Palestinian struggle or is it a preoccupation those living under occupation can ill-afford?
September 2012 – Israeli novelist Amos Oz believes that Jewish civilisation is founded on dissent and non-conformity, but how true is this?
September 2012 – The spread of print media in the 19th century played a profound role in shaping modern Egyptian nationalism and its quest for full independence.
September 2012 – As a clash of idiocies erupts over the depiction of Muhammad in an obscure Islamophobic film, it’s time for a sober look at the man behind the prophet.
August 2012 – Many Muslims believe that fasting is good for their health, but is science on their side?
August 2012 – Even for a non-believing Egyptian, Ramadan in Jerusalem – where the three Abrahamic faiths coincide and oft collide – is a fascinating experience.
اغسطس 2012 – يعتقد ساسون سومخ، الشاعر والكاتب وصديق الأديب المصري الراحل نجيب محفوظ، ان الأدب يتسامى على السياسة
August 2012 – Sasson Somekh, critic and friend of the late Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, believes literature transcends politics and can bridge cultures.
July 2012 – Living behind the ‘Zion Curtain’ reveals how alike Israelis and Palestinians are and how ordinary people must build common ground on this shared land.
June 2012 – The world’s largest Arabic-language press archive is located in Israel. Should Arabs use it or boycott it?
May 2012 – The polarised debate over Arab women overlooks the fact that men can be victims of the patriarchy too and their identity is a cultural battlefield.
March 2012 – Bestselling Israeli historian Shlomo Sand identity politics, political despair, why Lieberman is right… and drowning sorrows with Mahmoud Darwish.
March 2012 – Arab men who do not fit the traditional ideal of manhood are often regarded as inferior, and this stereotype holds back the emancipation of women.
March 2012 – The reopening of a landmark East Jerusalem cinema could provide local Palestinians with a much-needed dose of ‘reel’ freedom. Read in Arabic
October 2011 – Jailing Egyptians for insulting religion and the military goes against the revolution’s spirit, and violates people’s secular and sacred rights.
October 2011 – Although alcohol is ‘haraam’, Muslim societies have rarely managed to stay on the wagon, and vital parts of their culture have developed under the influence.
September 2011 – As a rare Egyptian in Jerusalem, I have felt something akin to being a B-list celebrity.
September 2011 – Although designed to instil loyalty to the regime, Egyptian schools have been breeding grounds for rebellion and revolt.
August 2011 – Ramadan is when Muslims fast and feast, but the holy month has something to offer those of other faiths, or none.
August 2011 – Zahi Hawass may liken himself to Indiana Jones, but the minister of antiquities is one artifact of the old regime Egyptians want to live without.
July 2011 – Egyptian atheists and religious sceptics are a minority that exists in reality but not in official statistics.
March 2011 – Egyptians will no longer tolerate paying for the state-run newspapers that peddled Hosni Mubarak’s propaganda.
February 2011 – Egyptians’ lavish burial spaces offer comfort to relatives – while 1.5 million less fortunate Cairenes live among the dead.
January 2011 – Egypt’s ‘baksheesh’ culture helps poor people get by and maintains relative social peace, but it encourages subservience.
December 2010 – Animal rights activists are calling for global vegetarianism, but the Middle East is not ready to sacrifice its meat-eating lifestyle.
November 2010 – Some in the west are more likely to believe in elves in Middle Earth than in Arab men in the Middle East who are secular and do not oppress women.
August 2010 – Love is a universal theme in music, but there are good reasons for the Arab world’s preoccupation with romance.
August 2010 – Malta’s complex heritage is living proof that cultures mash more than civilisations clash.
July 2010 – Activists in Egypt should look to the hippy movement of the 1960s for a successful model in bringing about long-term social change.
July 2010 – Advocates of banning the face veil want to take away the only choice some women have – the choice to conform.
June 2010 – Being monolingual can be limiting, so why not learn another language and get a new perspective on the world?
May 2010 – Rima Fakih’s Miss USA win is welcomed by many Arab-Americans, but some neocons denounce it as a sinister Islamic plot.
May 2010 – Following the lead of Islamists, Egyptian Christians are trying to ban an award-winning novel because it ‘insults’ Christianity.
April 2010 – In multicultural families, deciding on where to raise your child is no easy matter and has profound implications for the future.
February 2010 – For a new generation of young Egyptian artists, music is not just about love.
January 2010 – Author and journalist Brian Whitaker diagnoses the Arab world’s problems.
January 2010 – A Saudi journalist is demanding that women be given the right to four husbands. Should equality mean monogamy or polygamy for all?
December 2009 – The British are famously reserved, but so are the Belgians. Let’s break the ice and make the public sphere more friendly.
November 2009 – Much as we’d like our children to hold the same things dear as we do, we should have enough faith in them to let them choose their own belief system.
November 2009 – Are Saudi Arabian beauty shows for goats as weird and outlandish as they seem?
November 2009 – Learning Arabic is tough but it can open you up to a whole new world of cultural experiences and opportunities, not to mention build understanding.
November 2009 – Preparations for a World Cup showdown are getting heated, but does the animosity between Algeria and Egypt run deeper?
November 2009 – As the singer prepares to visit Egypt, Christian and Muslim fundamentalists agree: Beyoncé is the root of all evil.
October 2009 – Egyptians are slowly overcoming their fear of authority, but old habits die hard.
October 2009 – New attempts to address the divide between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians must be supported, not undermined, by the state.
October 2009 – For many Egyptians, tip-based and street jobs are their only means of survival.
September 2009 – The ‘Chinese hymen’ may make pre-marital sex safer in a patriarchal society but a woman’s honour should not lie between her legs.
September 2009 – From fashion tips to adult breastfeeding – rulings by some clerics range from the eccentric to the downright bizarre.
September 2009 – Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny’s bid to be the chief of the UN’s cultural wing has aroused suspicion among liberals and conservatives alike.
July 2009 – Egyptian outrage at the brutal murder of Marwa Sherbini, the ‘hijab martyr’ is understandable. But If Egyptians want better justice for Muslims in Europe, then they should demand more justice for non-Muslims at home.
July 2009 – Wacky conspiracy theories cause damage by drawing attention away from the real plots being hatched by our governments.
June 2009 – For Egyptian marriage offices, the search for profit has replaced the search for a perfect union.
June 2009 – Rather than encouraging people to make moral choices, religious groups in Egypt are imposing their values by law.
April 2009 – A new book lifts the veil off Israel’s Arab face and shows how, like the Palestinians, Middle Eastern Jews fell victim to political forces beyond their control.
رغم أن ساحة الحرب الإعلامية الإسرائيلية الفلسطينية تشوبها المرارة وهي متحصنة جيداً، إلا أن على الصحفيين مسؤولية المغامرة في الأرض الحرام بين الجانبين، حتى لو عنى ذلك الوقوع في خط مرمى النار
March 2009 – Pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinian need to join forces and find common ground in the no-man’s-land of the media battlefield. Read talk
April 2009 – An outward appearance of Islamism disguises the increasingly secular reality of some Arab and Muslim societies.
March 2009 – Rumours of deadly SMS messages are symptoms of a worrying trend in Egypt – the unstoppable rise of superstition.
December 2008 – In Egypt, getting married has young people all tied up in knots.
December 2008 – An Iraqi journalist expressed his contempt for President Bush in a manner familiar in the Arab world: by throwing his shoes.
September 2008 – Egyptian women have broken their silence on sexual harassment and are demanding the right to go out in public unpestered.
September 2008 – Belief in the sacredness of the holy land has long bedevilled the quest for peace. It’s time to challenge the ‘God veto’.
August 2008 – The world isn’t short on wacky theories about Egypt’s greatest monuments. The reality is less fun, but more illuminating.