Category Archives: Travelog

Book review – Desert kingdoms to global powers


Desert kingdoms to global powers The rise of the Arab gulf By Rory Miller Published by Yale University Press, London ISBN 9780300192346 price £20.00 hardback A lively analysis of the Arab Gulf states’ stunning rise to global power over the last … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

IRAQ: Return to the Marshes?


The morning of 20 January 1992 began much like any other for the Mohammed family in the marshlands of southern Iraq. Rising at first light, they roused their herd of buffaloes and drove the beasts snorting and protesting into the … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Book review – Syrian dust


Syrian dust Reporting from the heart of the war By Francesca Borri Published by Seven Stories ISBN 9781609806613 Price £12.99 paperback   From the middle of ravaged Aleppo, a freelance journalist describes the chaos of war, the uncertainty of freelance life and … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Book review – The dove’s necklace


The dove’s necklace By Raja Alem Published by Overlook Duckworth Translated by Katharine Halls and Adam Talib ISBN 9780715645864             Price £19.99 hardback The winner of the 2011 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, translated into … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Book review – The making of a Salafi Woman


The making of a Salafi Woman          Paths to conversion By Anabel Inge Published by Oxford University Press ISBN 9780190611675 Price £22.99 hardback                       The spread of Salafism―often … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

The devastation at Nimrud

A fragment of an Assyrian-era relief shows the image of a genie holding a pine cone at the ancient site of Nimrud that was destroyed by Islamic State group militants near Mosul, Iraq. in this Nov. 28, 2016 photo. In the 9th and 8th centuries BC, Nimrud was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which burst out of Northern Mesopotamia to conquer much of the Mideast. The remains of its palaces, reliefs and temples were methodically blown up and torn to pieces by the Islamic State group in early 2015 in its campaign to erase history.
(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

The chilly December wind whipped rain across the strewn wreckage of a city that, nearly 3,000 years ago, ruled almost the entire Middle East. Rivulets of water ran through the dirt, washing away chunks of ancient stone.The city of Nimrud … Continue reading

Category: Travelog



Sylvia Smith As Ayesha begins to crack her second sack of nuts of the day, she wipes her hand across her forehead. The sun in southern Morocco is hot and the work physically demanding. She looks over at her neighbour … Continue reading

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Book review – No Place for women


No Place for women (Crimes in Arabia -Book two) By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform ISBN 9781535077989 Price £7.99 paperback   Finding a missing construction worker makes Ali a good man but not a stellar detective – at least … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016


Architecture of Optimism Sylvia Smith From a cemetery to a textile factory, a conference centre to striped water towers, one of the world’s most influential prizes for architecture has taken the concept of modern architecture to a new level by … Continue reading

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Wagner’s Lohengrin plays the Royal Opera House Muscat


By Rosemary Hector The work of the great Romantic German composer, poet, librettist, conductor and theatre director, Richard Wagner , a giant in the history of opera, was showcased at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) in Oman recently to enthusiastic reviews … Continue reading

Category: Travelog