5 reasons why you should learn Arabic

1. It’s useful! Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. With 421 million Arabic speakers and 26 official Arabic speaking countries worldwide, Arabic is one of the most useful languages you can learn. 2. Travel! The Middle East is one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world. The … Continue reading 5 reasons why you should learn Arabic

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5 things you need to know to understand the Kurdish independence referendum

Today, millions of Iraqi Kurds will go to the polls to vote on whether they believe Iraqi Kurdistan should become an independent state, in a controversial referendum that could have far reaching implications for Iraq and the Middle East as a whole. Here are 5 things you need to know to understand the “Kexit”: 1. … Continue reading 5 things you need to know to understand the Kurdish independence referendum

3 young Moroccan bloggers taking the internet by storm

Prepare to meet three young Moroccans who are dominating the bloggersphere - all the while giving their followers a virtual tour of one of the world's most beautiful countries... Yusra Idrissi Fancy a trip to Morocco? Forget the Lonely Planet Guide, all you need is Yusra's blog, Moroccan Musthaves. Yusra's life is every traveller's dream, … Continue reading 3 young Moroccan bloggers taking the internet by storm

Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

Last month, the Yezidis of northern Iraq marked the third anniversary of the attempted genocide of their people by the so-called Islamic State (ISIL). In August 2014, ISIL rampaged through their villages in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing the men en masse and taking the women and girls as slaves. These women and girls bore unimaginable suffering, … Continue reading Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

“Driving while female”: Manal Al Sharif and the fight for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

“Rain begins with a single drop.” If you’re looking for some inspiration this week, look no further than Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif’s recent book, Daring to Drive. It tells the story of a fearless Saudi woman who went from living in a poverty, to being radicalised by her extremist education, to risking her life … Continue reading “Driving while female”: Manal Al Sharif and the fight for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

How to change the world

The events that are taking place in Charlottesville have shocked many in the United States and beyond. They represent the latest manifestation of a growing trend towards racism, nationalism, exclusion and ignorance that are products of technological developments and globalisation. The world around us is changing beyond recognition, and while many bury their heads in … Continue reading How to change the world

Shift – 3 female Saudi artists reflect on their changing culture in a London exhibition

Since the discovery of oil in the 1930s, life in Saudi Arabia has changed beyond recognition. What was once a traditional subsistence economy has become the linchpin of the global energy industry. Oil revenues have translated over the years into massive government spending, with gleaming new cities shooting up in place of previously modest, sleepy … Continue reading Shift – 3 female Saudi artists reflect on their changing culture in a London exhibition

Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino

Omani business graduate Amal Al Raisi found a career in fashion totally by accident while working for a government ministry in Muscat. After searching for a wedding dress and becoming frustrated at the lack of choice, she decided to design her own. The dress was so popular that she began designing for her family and … Continue reading Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino