The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers tells the encapsulating story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni-American who travels to Yemen to start a social enterprise to reignite the ancient art of Yemeni coffee. There’s only one problem – when Mokhtar set out in 2014, Yemen was on the brink of civil war.
Zainab Salbi is an Iraqi humanitarian, author and activist who founded Women for Women International – a not-for-profit organisation supporting women in conflict-afflicted areas. Growing up in Baghdad, her parents’ reluctant friendship with Saddam Hussein cast a dark and repressive shadow over her childhood. Today, Salbi is telling her remarkable story in a brave and … Continue reading Freedom Is an Inside Job: Iraqi Activist Zainab Salbi on how to heal the world
By Katie Holland In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, French–Moroccan author Leïla Slimani admitted using the grisly subject matter of her novel Lullaby — the murder of two children at the hands of their nanny — to illuminate the “utterly boring and repetitive” life of a childminder, grounding the brutal crime in a … Continue reading Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby: A Post-feminist Wakeup Call
By Katie Holland As Ghada Samman’s headstrong heroine Zain discovers, winning her right to live as a free, independent woman entails answering to her own moral compass, fending off constant unsolicited judgement and, naturally, finding her way around a revolver. In this story of a young woman’s bold and noble quest for freedom, Samman weaves … Continue reading Farewell, Damascus: On the Road to Freedom
On World Refugee Day, we think everyone should read An Unsafe Haven by Nada Awar Jarrar. The book is fictional and a relatively easy read, but it contains a clear and important message about the way we see the Syrian conflict and its victims. It shows the destabilising effects of the war on neighbouring Lebanon … Continue reading An Unsafe Haven: Essential Reading on World Refugee Day
The Last Optimist in Baghdad by Dr Brian Brivati is the true story of Ghassan Jawad Kadhim – an optimist, a peacemaker, a father, a friend. An Iraqi. This moving memoir of the resilience of one man manages to tell the tale of the ceaseless endurance of Iraq as a whole, providing a poignant insight … Continue reading The Last Optimist in Baghdad
You might be craving hungover falafel after a heavy weekend or perhaps looking for the perfect spa treatment to end a tough day. Or maybe you’re simply looking for a culture-filled way to spend an afternoon or an undercover shisha to take the edge off those thunderstorms forecasted… Whatever the case, Pink Jinn’s got you covered … Continue reading 6 Ways to Experience the Middle East without leaving London
I opened my copy of Go Set a Watchman somewhat apprehensively. Deterred by the less than encouraging and largely mixed reviews of Harper Lee's long-awaited To Kill a Mockingbird sequel, I prepared myself for the disappointment that would supposedly follow. The book is set twenty years after To Kill a Mockingbird when Jean Louise Finch (having … Continue reading Harper Lee: The Unacclaimed Realist of the Civil Rights Movement