How to embrace Ramadan as a non-Muslim

By Tone Delin Indrelid Yesterday was the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the lunar calendar, here in Oman. Observing the Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and all mentally and physically fit adult Muslims are required to refrain from food, drink and … Continue reading How to embrace Ramadan as a non-Muslim

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5 reasons to fall in love with the Middle East

Happy Valentine’s Day! To share the love, I’ve put together a list of the 5 reasons why I fell in love with this magical, mysterious part of the world… and why, if you haven’t already, you will too! 1. Natural beauty The Middle East is home not only to vast deserts, but also to mountains, … Continue reading 5 reasons to fall in love with the Middle East

The painful truth about FGM in the Middle East

One of the greatest obstacles standing in the way of the pursuit of gender equality in the Middle East is the continued practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in many regional countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM across 30 countries, and that … Continue reading The painful truth about FGM in the Middle East

Iran’s city of lies – Extraordinary stories of love, sex and death in Tehran

The Islamic Republic of Iran stumbled into 2018 making headlines around the world. Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the country’s staggering economy, corruption and rising prices. It is the first widespread opposition movement the Islamic Republic has seen since 2009, but this time, something’s different. In 2009, … Continue reading Iran’s city of lies – Extraordinary stories of love, sex and death in Tehran

Mohammed bin Salman: 5 things you need to know about the most powerful man in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (or MBS, as he has become known) has been making headlines around the world over the last few months, most recently for a crackdown on corruption that has seen hundreds of prominent Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen arrested and detained in Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carleton hotel. The five star … Continue reading Mohammed bin Salman: 5 things you need to know about the most powerful man in Saudi Arabia

“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

Trump in Saudi Arabia: What you missed while the media were obsessing over Melania’s wardrobe

Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia over the weekend on his first official foreign trip, signing a $100 billion arms deal and offering support for a new regional order in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the press focused on the First Lady and Daughter’s decision not to wear a headscarf. Ivanka and Melania Trump's decision to forgo … Continue reading Trump in Saudi Arabia: What you missed while the media were obsessing over Melania’s wardrobe

8 TED Talks to get you through Trump’s first week – and inspire you to #resist

Ever since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States last Friday, the simple act of checking the news has become a distressing activity for millions of people both inside America and worldwide. Since his inauguration Trump has signed executive order after executive order, launching a terrifying campaign against freedom of information … Continue reading 8 TED Talks to get you through Trump’s first week – and inspire you to #resist