Head elsewhere!

May 28, 2014

Recent interesting reads A new study sheds light on the hard situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon – it shows that over 90% view them as “symbolic threats”. I wrote about the anti-Syrian racism and discrimination for Swedish Amnesty last year, find the article here. Rana Jarbou writes about...

10 000 chimneys

May 23, 2014

10 000 chimneys Our piece about Bangladesh’s brick-makers, featured on Al Jazeera. The industry is one of the country’s largest – and most dangerous, to both humans and the environment. Karim took the photo.  

Head elsewhere!

May 20, 2014

Recent interesting reads Starting from now, I’ll be sharing roundups with links to smart, interesting and original stories and projects. Today – development, prison tales and two Indian cities. 80% of the world’s poorest live in 10 countries, says a new World Bank report. In Kolkata, creativity triumphs over...

Older Dubai

May 18, 2014

Older Dubai Made a short stop in Dubai last week for an event for our book, Beirut Re-Collected (which can be ordered online here). The evening was nice: we met at The Archive in Safa Park for live readings from the book and a roundtable with our friends from...

Paint it coloured

April 13, 2014

Paint it coloured If Dhaka has a heart, it must be Shahbag, the intersection surrounded by the National Museum, the city’s best tea stalls (some of them prepare their sweet tea with gaur, not sugar, and of course they all have ginger), small shops arranging flowers, others selling hard-to-find...

B13

April 11, 2014

B13 “Do you live here?” we ask. “Yes, my house is right there.” She points to the other side of the road, where small two and three-floored houses stand close to one another. Typical suburban Beiruti houses, made of grey cement with square windows and bright textile shutters that...

After the rain

April 10, 2014

After the rain The night before, it had poured down. It came quickly – cold winds, overcast, then sudden, heavy rain. The power went at about the same time, and with it the yellow lights that dotted the slopes where the city climbs down towards the plains below. “Tomorrow...

Imagination

March 30, 2014

Imagination “When you leave here, you’ll forget about me.” Her name is Kolpana, she tells me – “imagination” (the others too bear names like that: Beauty, Jolly, or Mishty, which means “sweet”). She stands in the doorway to her small room, with the curtain half-wrapped around her. Two guys,...

What one can do on a day in Dhaka

March 12, 2014

I was looking through a book I bought last winter, with the collected writings of Adnan Morshed. In one essay, he talks about the purpose of a city. An immediate answer, he writes, is to provide services to its people. In this regard, the inhabitants of Dhaka, the megacity...

Kids, children, shishu, babies

March 1, 2014

Kids, children, shishu, babies We came back to Dhaka a couple of days ago, after almost a month in southwestern Bangladesh. Getting back to the capital was nice, the way it always is when you’ve been away from a familiar place. After the eight-hour train ride (which wasn’t bad...

Morning madrasa

February 8, 2014

Morning madrasa The call for prayer had woke us up after five, but we didn’t get up until seven. It was a foggy morning, but the sun was already on its way to get the upper hand against the mist. We got out and crossed the grounds in front...

Hidden history in Old Dhaka

January 15, 2014

Hidden history in Old Dhaka “See the monkeys playing on the roof? They’ve realised something that most humans haven’t: the value of these old buildings.” Sourav, a student who lives in Old Dhaka, points towards a rooftop one building away from the roof where we’re standing. A couple of...

A day on the east banks of the Buriganga

January 9, 2014

A day on the east banks of the Buriganga While Bangladesh is experiencing some really rough times (the political troubles, attacks by radicals on civilian targets like buses and trucks, other attacks by the same radical forces on the minority Hindu population), the huge majority of the country’s people...

Election/”Election”

January 6, 2014

Election/”Election” Stepping out into the streets this Sunday morning, it was hard to believe you were in one of the world’s largest and most busy cities. Central Dhaka, normally jammed in traffic and a never-ending flow of people, resembled more a sleepy town than its actual self. Motorised vehicles...

New Bedford, just off Cape Cod

December 7, 2013

New Bedford, just off Cape Cod There’s this town that I came to spend unexpectedly much time in. Two months ago I had never heard of it – I think that goes for most Sweden-born, Lebanon-based people – even though it’s the largest fishing port in the US and...