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  • Dubai: world’s least cosmopolitan city

    Dubai is probably the most international place in the world, with less than 10% of its inhabitants holding the local passport. But calling Dubai ‘cosmopolitan’ would be a mistake, derived from a wrong understanding of the term and of reality of life in the Arab Gulf. In fact, Dubai is maybe the least cosmopolitan city there is.

  • Identity and nationality in the Gulf

    Few countries in the world have more foreigners than locals living within their borders. It is the case in the Arab Gulf states, where the majority of the population consists of immigrants: up to more than 85% in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. For the locals, this poses unique challenges to their concepts of identity and nationality.

  • Islamic State: media and identity

    The so-called Islamic State might have been defeated, but ideas do not die so easily. In this essay I deconstruct its ideology and self-identification and show that it is different from the way ‘the West’ has categorized it.

  • Antithesis

    Amid the chaos of the city that she was calling her home for a little while now, there were only two sights calm and peaceful: the surface of the river and the setting of the sun. On the bridge, people were gathering to welcome the evening coolness closing in. She walked by them over the…

  • The commuter

    It was overwhelmingly hot and the metro was packed as usual. The agonizing heat and lack of space made the world as small as her own discomfort. The other passengers, covered in many bright layers of clothing yet used to extreme temperatures, nevertheless seemed fascinated by her as always. It was obvious: the lightness of…