Cairo vs Beirut

Cairo and Beirut, these are two great Arab cities that have stayed with me. When I compare the two it is not for the purpose of choosing one over the other, but to highlight the qualities that make them special. I spent around ten days each in these two places. I was in Cairo in March 2013 and […]

Allahu Akbar Incident in Oxford

Reading about the recent ‘Allahu Akbar’ incidents in France, I was reminded of my ‘Allahu Akbar’ story. Across from my workplace in Oxford there is a house for vulnerable young adults and people with learning difficulties. Every now and then they sing from the windows, play loud music, dance on the pavement. They jump out of the windows to […]

Why I thought Lebanon was the Middle East’s Playground

Recently I spent 10 days in Lebanon. There were 6 reasons why I thought this tiny country was the Middle East’s playground. Not just because it was a fun place, but also because it was possible to see a range of religions, ideologies, conflicts in action. 1) Mar Mikhael Beirut is a party town, hedonist and liberal. This is particularly the case in […]

Twitter love-to-hate ratio by country

Whilst I was following the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine, I decided to analyse Twitter messages to see what I could uncover about countries. I started by investigating the association of the words love and hate with each country. I used statistics collected on 25/07/2014 for the past 30 days by For each country […]