An invitation to study at one of the world’s most prestigious universities should have been enough to secure safe passage into the United States. Yet 17 year-old Palestinian Ismail Ajjawi was barred entry to the US for ten days after Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents detained him for questioning upon arrival at Boston Airport. … More Social Media and Immigration Discrimination
The #10YearChallenge has blown up on social media, with people either gloatingly posting photos that show how they haven’t aged (or better yet, how much better they look now!) or (a select few) lamenting the age process. A parody that has since popped up is the #10YearChallenge Middle East version, that show’s pictures of Arab … More #10YearChallenge: Middle East Version
On June 24th, the women of Saudi Arabia woke up and did something radical: they got behind the wheel of their family car and drove. This was radical, of course, because up until that day women in Saudi Arabia were not permitted to drive in the only country in the world to perpetuate such a … More Why Were the Women Jailed?
Western absurdities and sinful projects. The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) certainly had a colorful way of describing cinemas and concerts in a bulletin it issued on June 1st. The terrorist organization condemned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “opening the door wide for corruption and moral degradation” with his plan of … More Saudi Arabia and the Dangers of Cultural Reformation
An American embassy hasn’t been the source of this much ire since 1979. While the opening of an embassy is usually a stolid diplomatic occasion, filled with polite goodwill and handshakes between dignitaries, the opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem was anything but. At best contentious and at worst (and it was indeed … More The US Embassy in Jerusalem: For What Purpose?
Has there been anything like it in modern-day diplomacy? Perhaps not. Perhaps because world leaders are not given the luxury of time to spend on what has been an elaborate PR campaign of both man and country. Perhaps because no country has essentially the luxury of picking and choosing what aspects of itself to improve … More The Prince’s Publicity Tour
He’s back. If it had previously seemed as though the January 25th Revolution had come full circle the past few years, what with the “election” of yet another military man and an all-around death to democracy, the final nail in the proverbial coffin was hammered in by none other than Hosni Mubarak himself. The former … More Guess Who’s Back: Egyptian Revolution, 7 Years Later
“Where are you moving to?” “Bahrain.” “Where??” (Emphasis). Trying to tell people where I was moving to was futile. No one had ever heard of a country called Bahrain. I would usually tell them it’s a small island in the Arabian Gulf. Or I would tell them it’s near Dubai (since they’d all heard of … More Reflections on Three Months in Bahrain
Moving to a new country is tough. Now, imagine that, when you touch down after more than 13 hours in transit, it’s 10 pm at night. The meal you’re about to ravenously eat is the last one you’ll have until 6:30pm the next evening. This pattern will repeat itself day after day. You will not … More Eid Mubarak! My First Ramadan
L’affaire hijab in France is weighed down with almost 30 years of rhetoric, polemique and infamy and yet, 30 years on, it still won’t quit. The French obsession and stubbornness regarding the Islamic headscarf made headlines again recently with not one but three separate incidents (none involving actual Muslim women) which are both embarrassing … More Affaire Rossignol: Does Hating the Hijab Mean You’re an Islamophobe?