Doing radio!

October 13, 2013

Doing radio! I’m on a two-month break from my Beirut life. And what a break. It could hardly be more different from Lebanon: where I’m at now is chilly, crisp and autumn-y. Quiet and spotless (you have to search hard for those cracks Leonard Cohen sings about – but...

From there to here

September 11, 2013

From there to here It’s funny how, on a summer afternoon, under the gazing sun, walking the streets of a crowded city with little greenery and lots of pollution can be so nice. Ras el-Nabaa. The stencil says “private parking”. Selling books in Ras el-Nabaa. Selling other things. Basta....

Windows into the world

September 6, 2013

Windows into the world Whether you are someone who is tired of dull and misguided stereotypical representations of the Middle East or just a person happy to discover interesting people who portray the world around them, this post is for you. Yesterday, when walking from one part of Beirut...

Under the sun

August 30, 2013

Yesterday, amidst all the uncertainty about a possible coming US-led strike on Syria, I went with my sweet (the best!) colleagues Alison and Alia to speak to people who are leaving Syria for Lebanon. Each week, thousands of people make the journey across the mountain range that separates the two...

Edibles from the Middle East

August 17, 2013

Edibles from the Middle East Over at Mashallah News, we featured a bunch of stories lately that relate to something that is at the same time deeply emotional and incredibly simple: food. Through these culinary features, we have explored a number of themes – from issues of identity and...

“Like a small Syria”

August 7, 2013

“It’s like a small Syria here, but without the violence and the troubles.” Raghad Mardini stands barefoot in the small green garden, right in front of an old stone building. We’re in Aley, a short drive up the mountains outside Beirut, where Raghad has restored an abandoned horse stables...

Ramadan kareem!

July 10, 2013

Today is the first day of Ramadan, which this year takes place during the absolutely hottest and brightest month. With all that’s going on politically here, there’s a lot of tension to add to the heat. But started the holy month has! Walked around different Beiruti neighbourhoods this morning,...

Down south

July 6, 2013

Sur, the southernmost city in Lebanon, is a special place. In summer, this is definitely where you want to be. The beach just south of the city has two things that you need to look hard for in Lebanon: public access and clean (well, relatively) water. The old town...

From A to Z – what to love about Bangladesh

June 21, 2013

Because Bangladesh is a great & special place. Reasons why, from A to Z: Art everywhere There are few better ways to discover a place than through its popular art. In Bangladesh, some of the nicest artistic stuff is very accessible. It’s on display on the country’s roads, where...

Making a living

June 14, 2013

They tore down a building, to make way for a new one. A few hours later, the site is filled with people. Mums and dads, but mostly kids. Small children, a few teenagers, a few babies resting on the hips of their mothers or elder siblings. The remains of...

May 29, 2013

In Bombay, working on a story about the street outside India’s largest cancer hospital. Hundreds of patients from rural & far-away parts of the country sleep on the pavement while receiving treatment. These low-income (sometimes zero-income) patients get to see the doctor for free, but finding a place to...

In the kitchen in Khulna

May 14, 2013

Back in December, we spent some time in Khulna, Bangladesh’s third biggest city. It was right before Christmas and pretty cold, but the welcomes we received were warm. One day, we had a tea at a tea stall along one of Khulna’s main thoroughfares. All of a sudden, a guy...

60+

April 24, 2013

In 2050, India will have a population of more than 300 million seniors. Only three countries in the world are estimated to have more people – Pakistan, USA and China. India is already today home to 1/3 of the world’s poorest, and with a population that’s getting older, safeguarding...

Where to find soul

April 14, 2013

Kolkata. The city is like a book so rich with content that an endless number of chapters will not suffice. There is the old Kolkata (which the British, who had troubles pronouncing the native names of India’s cities, named “Calcutta” but since 2001 goes by the name Kolkata again),...

In West Bengal, close to the Bangladeshi border

April 7, 2013

On the road, cycle-rickshaws with furniture in the back (cupboards with mirrors, beds, side tables). Women with umbrellas to protect them from the sun (and it’s only winter). Ladies with the soles of their feet painted red, and with colorful dots in between their eyes. Beautiful sarees – crisp,...