Last updated: 28 April 2022
April 2022 – The clothes we wear speak volumes about our individual and collective identities. However, the history of fashion reveals that “western” and “eastern” traditions are not cut from different cloth but are an intricate patchwork foreign and local influences.
March 2022 – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the major power tension it has created, has sparked fears of a wider conflict. While World War III is unlikely, World Annihilation War I only requires a misstep or miscalculation by one nuclear-armed man or another. That’s why we urgently need nuclear disarmament and world peace.
March 2022 – With the aid of fellow Slovenian musicians, the Ukrainian Youth Symphony Orchestra managed to flee the advancing Russian forces which have invaded swathes of their homeland. Despite their gratitude at being rescued, they miss their families and yearn to return to their homeland.
March 2022 – The corporate ecosystem is rooted in profit maximisation and the unrelenting quest for perpetual growth, which provides a powerful incentive for greenwashing. This is not good news for our natural ecosystems.
March 2022 – I was almost certain that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would not take place. I was at an utter loss as to what the Kremlin could hope to achieve with such a clearly insane military venture. Staring at the endlessly scrolling explosions of narcissistic hatred on social media, I wonder what I, who once believed in the ‘never again’ mantra, still have to offer in this post-fact age of sabotaged attention spans.
December 2021 – The migratory history of foodstuffs and cuisines reveals that our dinner tables, like our societies, are both melting pots and salad bowls of ingredients from many different civilisations.
December 2021 – From countries and corporations to fossil fuel producers and steakhouses, almost everyone is pledging to reach net-zero emissions. But meeting these promises would require a Planet B to offset Planet A. We need other solutions.
October 2021 – The environmental movement has scored remarkable recent successes, but the situation for the climate and nature remains fragile and vulnerable. Overcoming the damaging inertia of business as usual requires the thin green line of activists to be reinforced by the swelling ranks of concerned citizens.
October 2021 – Atheists are widely misunderstood by many Arabs and Muslims. There are those who believe us to be Satanists or that we have no moral compass and are debauch degenerates. But understanding and sympathy are growing.
August 2021 – Israel will not lift its blockade of Gaza until Hamas is removed from power, but Hamas will not fall so long as there is a blockade. This is just one of the many tragic, circular paradoxes in which Gaza is entrapped.
June 2021 – In these polarised times, the social, political and cultural influence and fluid identities of Arab Jews and Jewish Arabists is largely forgotten when it should be commemorated and celebrated.
May 2021 – Gaza’s traumatised children are paying the heaviest price for the endless wars raining down on them. Israel, Hamas and the international community have all failed them.
May 2021 – A new alliance of Italian, Polish and Hungarian far-right parties promises a renaissance that will make Europe great and Christian again. The trouble is the original Renaissance was not Christian, and Europe has never been better.
April 2021 – Our efforts to harness the sun’s energy to power our future may require up to 5% of the territories of some countries, a new simulation finds. This could have significant direct and indirect environmental side effects, including habitat loss and deforestation. But there are ways to avoid this.
April 2021 – Using offensive images of Muhammad in the context of a lesson on blasphemy is entirely justifiable pedagogically, intellectually and morally. Conservative Muslims protesting against it are attempting to shut down free inquiry and undermining pluralism.
April 2021 – The concentration of immigrants in certain poor neighbourhoods in Denmark is far more a sign of the ghetto mentality of the majority than that of minorities.
April 2021 – The European Union has committed itself to dispelling the spectre of racial prejudice. But with the resurgence of racism and discrimination across Europe, combating it requires urgent action, not just noble words.
March 2021 – The Republicans have become the party of anger and grievance. Their rage is amplified by the conservative media and gun rights associations. This is bad news for society.
March 2021 – A sudden lurch from ignoring or underplaying the threat of right-wing extremism in America to treating white crusaders like jihadis and QAnon like al-Qaeda will set off the insurgency timebomb rather than defuse it.
March 2021 – Despite the paranoid conspiracy theories and fear-mongering of the extreme right, cultural diversity is a beautiful and wondrous thing.
February 2021 – A decade after Egyptians rose up against Hosni Mubarak, the counterrevolution appears victorious in the political domain. However, under the radar, a social revolution is in motion.