What’s wrong with your country?

In the ancient Ethiopian town of Lalibela I once met a German guy. He was short. He had thick shoulder-length blond hair with a fringe half-covering his eyes. He was on a 6-month jeep journey from Hamburg to Cape Town. Rather than coming through Spain, Gibraltar and West Africa, or through Tunisia and Central Africa, he had chosen […]

Ethiopia Memories: Christian Muhammads, Mehmet Scholl, Coffee

In this post I share fun memories from my time living in Ethiopia in 2007-08. — In the West we often think of Muhammad as a Muslim name. In actual fact it’s just a name which originated in the Middle East, and it is not associated with a religion. It was in Ethiopia when I met Christians named […]

Africa Memories: Witchcraft, Whiteman, Spreading the word of Jesus

In this post I share fun memories from my time in Ghana in 2005-06, where I was working for VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas). — In Ghana like in some other parts of Africa people believe in witchcraft. There are camps for women accused to be witches. They are blamed for their kids’ illnesses, their husband’s business […]

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 […]

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 topsy.com. For each country […]