With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d put together a Wishlist for Arabic students / anyone interested in the Middle East! We’ve got the perfect selection of stocking fillers from, or inspired by the Middle East and North Africa, with an emphasis on products and brands that support local creatives or social causes.
These 13 English-language Middle East blogs and websites are essential reading for anyone interested in Middle East politics and culture.
If you’re based in London, there are plenty of Middle East-focused events going on throughout November to keep you busy! Top picks: Levison Wood’s speaking tour on 11th – I caught his talk in Manchester and it was fascinating. Don’t miss his brand new book, Arabia! Jon Snow’s talk at UCL on 14th comes at a … Continue reading The Middle East in London: November events calendar
“Music gives me power, it gives me hope. It moves hearts… Strings have more power than bullets, stronger than bullets” – Masoud Buisir, the Troubadour of the Libyan revolution. You wouldn’t necessarily expect this statement to come out of Libya, a country that has been torn apart by revolution, counter-revolution, extremism and warring factions since … Continue reading Stronger Than Bullets: Music on the Frontlines of Libya’s Revolution
Like its other Gulf cousins (Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi…), the Bahraini capital of Manama is often a pit-stop on a traveller’s journey between East and West. Yet relatively few people venture out of the airport to explore what this tiny island has to offer. With its unique character, fascinating culture, edgy art scene and amazing … Continue reading 24 hours in Bahrain
Nestled in the old souq at the heart of the Lebanese seaside town of Batroun, an old house has been transformed into a beautiful guesthouse. With its minimalist and very “boho beautiful” interiors, which clash stylishly with the grand historical building, Villa Paradiso is the quintessential millennial getaway destination. (image: Lebanon Untravelled) Batroun is a … Continue reading Villa Paradiso – Lebanon’s best kept secret
By Sophia Furber Which city would you visit if you wanted to learn all about the art of bellydance? Cairo (obviously), Alexandria, Istanbul, Dubai and Beirut are the ones that would spring to mind. But London? Although many miles from the Middle East, London is a base for some of the world’s most celebrated bellydancers, … Continue reading Discover the world of bellydance in London
Since 2003, most of the stories and images coming out of Iraq have been of the devastation and despair caused by the conflict and violence that has plagued the country’s recent history. Yet Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – is believed to have been home to the world’s oldest civilisation, and the region flourished for years … Continue reading 5 Instagram accounts that show what life in Iraq is really like
Contrary to common stereotypes, there was a time when bright colours reigned in the Arabian Peninsula, before the black abaya became fashionable. Self-taught Bahraini artist Leena Al Ayoobi takes us back to these roots in her paintings, portraying beautifully the vibrancy of Arabic culture and highlighting the diversity and individuality of Arab women that is … Continue reading Leena Al Ayoobi – The Bahraini artist recreating the image of women in the Gulf
Last summer, 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