Palestinian exiles: When home becomes a foreign land

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.

Memory lanes: The smell of childhood and lemons in Cologne

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.

In search of the lost city of Londonistan

September 2018 – Our intrepid and fearless reporter visited the fabled capital of  the European Caliphate, Londonistan. What he discovered was shockingly, surprisingly, confoundingly, almost frighteningly… ordinary.

The road less travelled, part V: Shakespeare in Sweden

August 2018 – In his final stop on his ‘road less travelled' tour, Christian Nielsen uncovers the possible prototype for Shakespeare's Hamlet in a Swedish hamlet.

The road less travelled, part IV: The rich texture of the original Hamburger

August 2018 – Hamburg has been minded by many nations but owned by none. This is visible in the city's openness, resourcefulness and rebelliousness.

The road less travelled, part III: The cycle of life in Groningen

July 2018 – Christian Nielsen's road trip along the scenic route this summer takes him to Groningen where life cycles mellowly by in its car-free zones.

The road less travelled: Navigating without algorithms

July 2018 – As I embark on my summer travels, I have resolved to ignore the recommended routes on my satnav and to get off the beaten track. Join me.

When Mariette met Mary

May 2018 – The Virgin Mary appeared eight times to a child in Belgium and the rest is ‘alternative history'

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.

Lesbos: “No matter how hard you swim, you can never save all of them.”

January 2016 – Despite the massive efforts of volunteer lifeguards, refugees are losing their lives in the Mediterranean. Europe must act… and out of compassion.

A Syrian ‘ode to joy' on Europe's border

September 2015 – A violinist's inspired and impromptu choice of music at the Greek-Macedonian border tells us a lot about the Syrian refugee crisis.

Greek islands: No holiday in the sun for Syrian refugees

June 2015 – Kos is straining under the influx of Syrian refugees.  Though locals are hospitable, the refugees are desperate to move on but where or how eludes them.

Hagia Sophia: A symbolic bridge or wedge?

June 2015 – The Hagia Sophia must not become a mosque. If its status must change, it should become a space of tolerance, where both Christian and Muslim worship.

Romania's myths, legends, warts and charms

November 2014 – Romania defies many of the unflattering stereotypes associated with the country. To me, it shone because it doesn't profess to be a shining light.

Political baggage and state insecurity at Ben Gurion airport

November 2014 – Ethnic profiling at Israel's airport are not about state security but the insecurity of the state, and are an infringement of fundamental rights.

Buying camel's milk in Arabic

October 2013 – Conversing about camel's milk may not be the most useful Arabic to learn, but learning the language can open up the Arab world to Europeans.

Defeating Hitler's legacy

April 2013 – On the 80th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power, Germany provides an inspiring role model for how societies can come to terms with their ugly past.

Humanising the Holy Land

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.

Minority voices in Upper Egypt

September 2012 – A publisher in Luxor who happens to be Christian shows how Egypt's majority and minorities, despite growing tension, share similar dreams and fears.

Holy month, holy city, unholy Egyptian

August 2012 – Even for a non-believing Egyptian, Ramadan in Jerusalem – where the three Abrahamic faiths coincide and oft collide – is a fascinating experience.

Egypt without the hype… and away from Cairo

August 2012 – Contrary to the distorted and Cairo-centric media view of Egypt, Egyptians have an extraordinary breadth of views about  revolutionising their country.

Behind the ‘Zion Curtain'

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.

The liberation of exile

July 2012 – My father's secret police file reveals that my newly wed parents were right to flee Egypt. But I'm grateful for the liberation of “exile”.

Robert Mugabe and ethical tourism

June 2012 – Was Robert Mugabe's appointment as UN ‘tourism ambassador' an unforgivable travesty or can ‘guilt-edged tourism' trigger reform in dictatorships?

Confessions of a would-be Egyptian revolutionary

April 2012 – Returning to Egypt for the first time since the revolution, an expat desktop rebel discovers the inspirational, the troubling and the simply bizarre.

Travelling without political baggage

February 2012 – Israelis and Palestinians travelling together without their political baggage can help pave the way to the mutual respect eventual peace requires.

In the shadow of the pharaohs

January 2012 – Even though the downfall of Egypt's modern “pharaoh” has scared tourists away, Luxor, the seat of Egypt's ancient rulers is still well worth visiting.

The ghost of Christmas past

December 2011 – The Holy Land is where Christmas began. But with the relative decline of Christianity there, does the yuletide still retain its spirit?

Defining Egyptian democracy: “Not like America and not like Iran”

December 2011 – Provincial Egyptians believe that moderate Islamists can construct an Egyptian model of democracy that respects their traditions and identity.

A drinker's guide to Islam

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.

Walking on the moon in Ramallah

September 2011 – As an Israeli and a Jew, Ramallah once seemed to be as distant as outer space. So joining the crowds celebrating the Palestinian UN bid was like a small step for a man but a giant leap for my mind.

Egyptian in the holy land

September 2011 – As a rare Egyptian in Jerusalem, I have felt something akin to being a B-list celebrity.

Recipe for gourmet camping

August 2011 – Who said camping has to be hard ground, twisted sleeping bags and Knorr's instant pasta dishes? Here's a recipe for gourmet camping in Burgundy.

Jerusalem: the city where peace lost its way

June 2011 – Although it is called the ‘House of Peace', Jerusalem's reality is that of conflict and dwindling hope. But can this divided city ever live up to its name?

Tombs for the living

February 2011 – Egyptians' lavish burial spaces offer comfort to relatives – while 1.5 million less fortunate Cairenes live among the dead.

Baksheesh and social tipping points

January 2011 – Egypt's ‘baksheesh' culture helps poor people get by and maintains relative social peace, but it encourages subservience.

Deserts, desolation and development

October 2010 – Amid the sweltering heat and omnipresent dust, Andrew Eatwell discovers Sudan's hospitable and friendly face – and its rapidly developing capital.

More to Sudan than meets the West's eye

September 2010 – Despite its reputation for war and violence, there is more to Sudan than meets the West's eye.

Malta's mash of civilisations

August 2010 – Malta's complex heritage is living proof that cultures mash more than civilisations clash.

Overplaying Egyptomania

July 2010 – Egypt's pavillion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 misses the mark of modernity and dwells excessively on the country's ancient past.

Pangs for simpler times

February 2010 – Island retreats are like rich ice cream… lovely until you become lactose intolerant. One place has all the creamy pleasure and none of the hype.

Obit tourism

January 2010 – Visiting friends and relatives is a thriving tourism sector. But is visiting the dead a growing, if somewhat, morbid niche market?

Australia's great outdoors?

January 2010 – Like shrimps on the barbie and hard yakka*, the great outdoors is one of the binding contracts of being . Except it really isn't.

Rude Mediterranean awakenings

August 2009 – “Croatia, the Mediterranean as it once was,” the ad says. I didn't realise that meant rude.

Guilt trips

May 2009 – Travelling to poor countries may be incredibly rewarding, but it poses some uncomfortable ethical dilemmas.

Paradise forsaken

October 2008 – With the separatist movement committed to non-violence, now is a good time to visit Kashmir.


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