Category Archives: 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

Book review – Letters to a young Muslim


Letters to a young Muslim By Omar Saif Ghobash Published by Picador ISBN 9781509842599 Price £14.99 Hardback In a series of personal letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a short and highly readable manifesto that tackles our current … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

EGYPT: embarking upon a new era of silver screen success?


In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, the literary works of leading Egyptian authors brought glory to the big screen when their novels were made into films. This year, the Egyptian novel took to the small screen when Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz’s  Afrah al-Qubbah … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog