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.
Amritsar: conflict and harmony
The city of Amritsar in north-western India is not big, but attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal. The two main attractions are symbols of harmony and conflict, respectively: the Sikh religion’s holiest temple complex where everyone is welcome, and the nearby border with Pakistan where on a daily basis people on both sides assemble to celebrate the gates closing.
I wrote this article for the Center for Intercultural Dialogue.
Still(ed) waters: a very short history of Mexico City
How a lake turned into one of the largest cities in the world: this is the story of Mexico City.
Before the Spanish conquest, Mexico City was a kind of Venice in the middle of a couple of connected lakes, surrounded by volcanoes. It was called Tenochtitlan: ’the place of many tunas’ (notwithstanding the watery environment, a tuna here being the fruit of a cactus).