Dubai: world’s least cosmopolitan city
Dubai is possibly the most international place in the world, with less than 10% of its inhabitants holding the local passport. But calling Dubai ‘cosmopolitan’ would be a mistake, based on a wrong understanding of the term and of reality of life in the Arab Gulf. In fact, Dubai is maybe the least cosmopolitan city there is.
Schooling is not learning: the state of education in the Middle East
Being young is not always easy, but it is even more challenging if you happen to live in the Middle East. In this region, children and youth face more challenges than almost anywhere else in the world. And one of the very things they need to improve their own lives and advance society is what is affected the most: access to quality education.
Identity and nationality in the Gulf
Few countries in the world have more foreigners than locals living within their borders. It is the case in the Arab Gulf states, where the majority of the population consists of immigrants: up to more than 85% in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. For the locals, this poses unique challenges to their concepts of identity and nationality.
Islamic State: media and identity
The so-called Islamic State might have been defeated, but ideas do not die so easily. In this essay I deconstruct its ideology and self-identification and show that it is different from the way ‘the West’ has categorized it.
The paradox of rape culture
Sexual violence is a problem many women around the world encounter in their lives: one in three have experienced it in one way or another. The situation in countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is in many cases worse, ranking Egypt at the lowest end of the scale, with 99.3 percent of…
Amid the chaos of the city that she was calling her home for a little while now, there were only two sights calm and peaceful: the surface of the river and the setting of the sun. On the bridge, people were gathering to welcome the evening coolness closing in. She walked by them over the…
It was overwhelmingly hot and the metro was packed as usual. The agonizing heat and lack of space made the world as small as her own discomfort. The other passengers, covered in many bright layers of clothing yet used to extreme temperatures, nevertheless seemed fascinated by her as always. It was obvious: the lightness of…