27 Feb 2015

Understanding the Middle East with better clichés

Some people feel that western media coverage of the Middle East is dominated by too many clichés and stereotypes. However an emerging view now believes that there are actually too few rather than too many clichés, thereby making reporting less accurate. This radical critique of what is really wrong with Western media coverage has already produced enlightening pieces that allow us to understand what exactly is happening in the Middle East far better than we have managed in the past. Below is a sample of this revolutionary trend.

In order to understand the Middle East and North Africa/the Arab World/The Near Muslim East one must begin with its centre of gravity and most populous nation, Egypt. Following the general tumult that ensued from the Arab Spring/Arab Uprisings, Egypt is now ruled by the military strongman and former army leader Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi, a bald Sunni Muslim secular leader came to power after overthrowing democratically-elected moderate Islamist Sunni (not-bald) Mohammed Morsi .

25 Feb 2015

Google creates artificial intelligence that drinks overpriced independent coffee

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, Google has created AI that learned how to play 80s computer games, drink overpriced independent coffee and dress in checkered shirts and vintage denim. The announcement by Google this week has set the world of technology abuzz at this huge leap in the field of artificial intelligence.

The AI, knows as Auden, has impressed scientists and programmers with its ability to learn how to play vintage games like Atari very quickly and also to be incredibly specific about the coffee and ale it drinks. Within hours of its release, Auden was pontificating about the aroma and acidity of its black coffee and acquired a taste for ale produced by an obscure microbrewery. It also bought one of those oversized glasses despite having perfect 20/20 vision.

19 Feb 2015

Obama Outlines His Vision for a Likeable, Watered-Down Version of Islam

Following his recent statements about the US being 'at war with those perverting Islam', American president Barack Obama has now expounded his vision for ‘a likeable, watered-down version of Islam’ that is sure to get the approval of a large number of non-Muslims. In an exclusive interview with our blog through which Obama wanted to reach out to a wide audience of ‘not too Islamic folks’, the president outlined his ideas for a ‘cooler, lighter Islam’, in a bid to galvanise support against the Islamic State.

In the interview Obama maintained that his aim is denying religious legitimacy to radicals by promoting this alternative vision of Islam. He insisted again that the likes of ISIS and al-Qaeda aren’t true Muslims, in a manifestation of his strategy for ‘takfiring the takfiris’. (Excommunicating the excommunicators.) The president wants ordinary Muslims to take a lighter approach to Islam that will help show this alternate vision, which contrasts sharply with the infuriatingly literalist interpretation of ISIS.

17 Feb 2015

How one tweet ruined my life

This is the first time I speak about my ordeal with Twitter mobs in public, and I do it with a sense of duty and to raise awareness about the dangers of this kind of online bullying, in hope that we could learn something from this unpleasant episode.

The story begins yesterday around six in the evening, when I came across a website called It's Back To The Future Day! which proclaimed that today (yesterday) was the day that Marty McFly went forward to in Back to the Future, along with a picture of the dashboard of the car showing the actual day. So I tweeted the image with a line that said "If you want to feel really old, today is the 'future' in Back to the Future", not expecting that this single tweet would change my life forever. 

13 Feb 2015

US Calls It Quits In the Middle East in Response to Constant Whining

Following its recent withdrawal from Yemen, the US administration has surprisingly taken the decision to call it a day in the Middle East and cut its entire links with the region. The move follows decades of constant whining and criticism of the role that the US has played there, which has made it impossible for the superpower ‘to continue to perform its imperialist functions in a satisfactory manner’.

11 Feb 2015

Five Great Tales Ruined By Mobile Phones

The Odyssey

After the end of the ten-year Trojan War, Odysseus is trying to return home to Ithaca to be reunited with his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. Fearing that Odysseus had died, Penelope and Telemachus are in agony. They are tormented by the prospect of life without him. Fortunately, after half an hour of this mental anguish they receive a text message from Odysseus saying that he is on his way home. Odysseus books a trip on his mobile phone app and manages to return home in time for dinner that night.

30 Jan 2015

Deconstructing the Theoretical Currents in Middle Eastern* Food


Deconstructing the Theoretical Currents in Middle Eastern* Food

*By which we mean the food of the Levant**, but we said Middle Eastern to draw you in.

**It’s really Lebanese food that we are talking about, but we don’t want to alienate Syrians and Palestinians.

23 Jan 2015

The Confused Person's Guide to Understanding Yemen


‘What the hell is exactly happening in Yemen?’ is now one of the most urgent geopolitical questions in the Middle East. Sadly, few people are qualified or knowledgeable enough to answer this pressing question. Most experts agree that most experts can’t give you a straight answer. The reality is Yemen is a complex place that is very hard to understand for outsiders, and even more so for insiders. Indeed most of the people asking what is happening in Yemen are Yemenis themselves.

14 Jan 2015

World Agrees Hypocrisy Is Our Only Hope

In an unprecedented realisation that represents global consensus such as we have never seen before, the entire world has awoken to the same epiphany today: hypocrisy is our only hope. A week to the day since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris, and after an intense week of debate and argument, reality has sunk in for all Homo sapiens: we cannot ever hope of living up to any shared principles and we must embrace hypocrisy as our only hope of achieving global harmony.