Tag Archives: read up


Quotable: Arnold Bennett

From How to Live on 24 Hours a Day: You get into the morning train with your newspaper, and you calmly and majestically give yourself up to your newspaper. You do not hurry. You know you have at least half an hour of security in front of you. As your glance lingers idly at the […]


Assassinating Upton Sinclair

The real Upton Sinclair spent a long life refusing to abandon improbable dreams, whereas his fictional counterpart, as vividly imagined by author Chris Bachelder, also refuses to stay dead. In Bachelder’s U.S.!, a 2006 novel-as-collection of stories, songs, letters, interviews and memos – not to forget one hilarious, impossible course syllabus – Sinclair dies violently […]


It’s a Mad, Mad World

If you haven’t watched Sunday’s premiere, well, go do it already…and then come back and read: Rob Sheffield’s pitch-perfect commentary in Rolling Stone, sampled here: Many fans were horrified to see Don act like a starry-eyed sucker [last season], instead of the cool customer we need him to be. It turns out this guy believes […]

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More Freud

Can’t get enough of Dr. Freud’s online incarnation? Browse on: Doctoral student Benjamin Y. Fong, in a contribution this month to the NYT’s Opinionator blog, makes a case for the enduring relevance of “radical talking”: What Freud proposed, and what remains revolutionary in his thought today, is that human beings have the capacity for real […]


The Arab Spring Issue

What role has Lebanon played in the Arab uprisings? Why did revolution break out in Tunisia? Libya? For some answers, browse the the Arab Spring-themed issue of MainGate and read my latest work, including a feature on feminism in Lebanon, a profile of a Tunisian doctor who’s taken the pulse of the revolution and a […]


Let Us Remember Anthony Shadid

An excerpt from this talk delivered by Anthony Shadid last year at TEDx Oklahoma City: To me the antidote to conflict, the antidote to violence, is a shared sense of universal values and – it sounds very basic but it’s hard when you try to execute it in journalism – the sense that we all […]


Wikipedia Blackout

I’ve opted to blog today, but I support Wikipedia’s black out. Read up on what it’s all about at The Washington Post. I often link to Wikipedia here on the blog, not because it’s perfect, nothing is, but because: (1) it’s free and widely accessible; (2) it’s easy on the eyes and intuitive to navigate; […]


The End of the Beginning

There’s no end in sight for what Arabs have embarked on this year but that doesn’t make it any less thrilling, and the Carnegie Middle East Center‘s annual greeting card nicely captures the energy and spirit of 2011 and the great hopes for 2012. I recently interviewed the Libyan professor, columnist and speaker Mansour El-Kikhia […]


Fresh Pages From History

From my latest piece for MainGate, the alumni magazine of the American University of Beirut: When Charles Raad (BA ’55) decided to gift an old medical textbook from his grandfather to AUB, their shared alma mater, he yielded up a material link to the institution’s earliest days when Arabic was the primary language of instruction. […]

Top Goon

So Little Time, So Many Links

First up, the revolution will be televised: Click on the image above (or here for the Arabic) to see a trailer of Top Goon, puppet political satire from Syria. The Guardian dubs 2011 the year of the translator and The National considers the “steep upwards trend” in Arabic literature in translation. If you ever wondered […]