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 […]

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 […]