Empty plates in Syrian homes

September 6, 2015

Empty plates in Syrian homes “Oil, tea, sugar, rice. And harr in the jar, from chilis I’ve dried.” Yussra Ibrahim al-Muhammad stands in her small kitchen taking up 1/3 of the tent where she’s lived for over three years now, in a camp settlement just outside Qabb Elias, a town...

Aleppo, Alep, Halab, حلب

April 8, 2015

Aleppo, Alep, Halab, حلب Lately, for different reasons, Aleppo has been on my mind. I have been carrying a book around (wrapped in a piece of fabric – it’s a hard cover and has a personal dedication on the first page, and I’ve borrowed it from its owner and...

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...

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...

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...