You Should Be Following @everydaymiddleeast on Instagram Right Now

Rows of multicoloured wigs in an Istanbul shop window. Snowy hills seen from a ski lift. Abu Dhabi’s mint green central bus station. A 200-year old Yemeni knife. Two friends in Beirut share an umbrella; Omani shipbuilders inside a half-finished dhow; Syrian refugees under a blanket; the giant aquarium at Dubai Mall; a model walks her first fashion show in Bethlehem. A surprised cat sits under a washing line; an artist puts on lipstick in Gaza.

Yes, there are camels, but @everydaymiddleeast — a stunning Instagram account that you should be following right now — is challenging the visual representation of the Middle East with a diverse and beautiful collection of contemporary photography.

Read More You Should Be Following @everydaymiddleeast on Instagram Right Now

“And It’s Scented!”: The Perfumed Credit Card You Never Knew You Needed (Because You Don’t)

Today in inexplicable news from the Middle East, Abu Dhabi-based Al Hilal bank has come up with a new gimmick to entice female customers to spend, spend, spend, in the face of a huge oil price crash and a plummeting stock market. In a move that screams out “JUST HOW MANY LEGALLY BLONDE GIFS CAN YOU FIT INTO ONE BLOG POST ABOUT THIS”, the bank (whose headquarters, totally coincidentally, you can see from my apartment) will be introducing… wait for it… a scented credit card. Scented. Read More “And It’s Scented!”: The Perfumed Credit Card You Never Knew You Needed (Because You Don’t)

Totally Awesome Women in Fiction

It’s hard to find novels with female characters who read like actual women. In this list of some of my favourites, I’ve tried to present women who lead their own lives, who aren’t sidelined for men, whose stories don’t revolve around other people, and who have depth and complexity existing beyond the necessities of plot. That meant I had to cut some obvious candidates (sorry, Hermione). There may be spoilers ahead. Read More Totally Awesome Women in Fiction