At the very end of 2013 Patrick Cockburn was asked by his editor to nominate a Middle Eastern ‘Man of the Year.’ He named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a name that did not resonate much except with a small number of Western specialists – and a growing number of Iraqis and Syrians. In January al-Baghdadi’s troops … More A Heavily-armed Mediæval Hyperlink
At the beginning of 1973 I spent a few months in Cairo. War with Israel was in the offing, and preparations for it were under way. At the most mundane level, blast walls were built in front of the entrances to blocks of flats, and windows taped; at the Egyptian Museum Tutankhamun’s mask and regalia were … More Ash-sha’ab yurid … what, exactly?