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.

There could be no doubt that Levantine cuisine is the greatest in the world, but few people know that it is the product of centuries of ideological conflict, philosophical debates and conceptual disagreements that have often pitted brother against brother and mother against daughter. Before it crystallised into its current form we all love and enjoy, it went through epochs of internecine struggles that the field of food theory has never witnessed the likes off before or since. Here is the fascinating story of how the beloved tabbouleh acquired its current form and why kibbeh looks like a rugby ball.

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.

Now, I am not an expert on Yemen but being Lebanese I am an expert at not knowing what is happening in my country, which gives me a valuable insight into the situation in Yemen. Not one to shy away from difficult challenges, I have compiled this essential primer on Yemen that will help you understand its politics and prepare you for what will happen there next. (Experts also agree that anything is possible there next, which narrows it down a bit.)

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.

6 Jan 2015

Far-Right Extremist ‘Confused and Upset’ After Realising He’s a Foreigner

A far-right extremist has spoken publicly today of his shock and dismay at discovering that he too is a foreigner. John Smith, 29, from Luton in England, revealed the agony and confusion he has been experiencing since making the traumatic discovery. Mr Smith is a fierce critique of immigration and ‘everything foreign’ as he once put it, and has been active in far-right circles for a number of years.

5 Jan 2015

Shock As Lebanese Student at US University Comes Second In His Class

Lebanon awoke in a state of shock today to the news that a Lebanese student at a US university has come second in his class. The small Mediterranean country is reeling from the revelation, particularly as every Lebanese student at a US or European university has topped his or her class since 1953 when official records began.

22 Dec 2014

An Adoring Profile of a Western Journalist

The room lights up as soon as he walks in. He’s dressed in one of those khaki trousers that have many pockets. They’re brimming with biscuits that he gently distributes to little brown kids when he’s on one of his expeditions. You don’t get to be an accomplished Western journalist without understanding the way to the hearts of the natives after all.


19 Dec 2014

2014 on Karl reMarks: Six posts to remember the year with

January: God Interviews A Suicide Bomber

The ultimate conversation and a cheerful topic for the new year. 

'Dead Bomber: Blessings be upon you… 
God: Cut that out, I’m good. There have been so many of you people blowing yourselves up, I decided to interview you personally. But this is not something I normally do. Why are you doing that? 
Dead Bomber: Eh, we thought that’s what you wanted. 
God: You thought what? Are you insane? Why would I want you to blow yourself up? And kill other people on top of that? It’s in all religions, ‘Don’t Kill’. Number one. The first thing. How can you miss it?'


2 Dec 2014

A Secret Guide to Immigrants: How to Abuse the UK Benefit System

So you made it to the UK, welcome to your new life. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about abusing the benefit system here, but there have been hardly any useful articles on how to actually do it. To that end we have prepared this handy guide which will make it easy for you to abuse the system and enjoy a decent lifestyle, while contributing little to society. Remember to think big and be ambitious.

25 Nov 2014

What if Friedman wasn't American? A Patronizing Editorial On America

A few weeks ago I read a great book by an insightful author, entitled the Black Swan. The book deals mainly with the issue of the rare black swans in a world dominated by white swans, clearly a thinly-veiled metaphor for race-relations in America. As many things, from taking a taxi ride to chewing gum do, it got me thinking. What is the problem with America? Why can’t it be like the rest of the world and why does it still have such inequalities more than two hundred years after its independence?