Bulldozing Books

Once they used to say that Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads, and when I lived in Baghdad in 1988-90 the book market flourished, a scruffy haven of old and sometimes wonderful books. Later I read of the dreadful business of libraries sold off piecemeal as the price of survival, the slow, tragic dismantling … More Bulldozing Books

Innocence and Muslims

I’ve just got back from ten days in London, starting with a splendid event at Chatham House, where a group of young policy analysts, from across the MENA region, a dozen of them from Morocco, debated their policy proposals. They had been working on these for eight months, covering subjects like energy, education reform, youth, … More Innocence and Muslims

TEDx in Marrakech

A day in Marrakech for TEDx, the local franchise of the TED conference, run by Vanessa Branson at her lovely Riad al-Fenn. It’s not a format that I’m familiar with, and the rapid-fire, pump-action delivery of ideas is invigorating, dazzling and kaleidoscopic. Writing in the first break, I’m digesting with my coffee contributions by the … More TEDx in Marrakech