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)

About A Bomb

When reading Middle Eastern news, one must always ask themselves this question, “Who will get rich and who will get hurt?” The answer, though often predictable, gives a clear and concise way to sort through the muck that can be weighed down by the region’s heavy censorship laws and long-winded official reports. Read More About A Bomb

Egypt: Five Months After Mubarak

It has been five months now since the historic evening where Mubarak stepped down. The revolution sent seismic waves through the Arab world and touched off unrest in Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Oman and even Saudi Arabia. Yet for the many young Egyptians who fought through tear gas, government thugs, bullets and mass arrests, change is coming too slowly to their country. Read More Egypt: Five Months After Mubarak

Women Risking it All

As clashes and uprisings continue throughout the Middle East, much of the attention of the world audience has waned. The news cycle has once again focused on celebrities, politics, and the common household item that you’re probably using right now that may kill you. Yet clashes are still raging on and women, the long overlooked warriors of this fight, are still accomplishing amazing feats in the name of liberty. Read More Women Risking it All

Try Not Shooting at the Protesters

To me it seems obvious: if you want a happy country, you’re going to need some happy citizens. You can go the Saudi Arabia route and bribe your people with incentives and subsidized luxuries. You could go the Canada route and provide a system of elected representation that works hard to lay out respect and fair laws for its citizens. Read More Try Not Shooting at the Protesters

Brutal Crackdows Reach Bahrain

Protests in Bahrain, which had remained relatively peaceful in the last week or so, turned deadly in late hours of March 15th and 16th. Around 500 protesters who had been camping at Pearl Roundabout (basically a smaller version Tahrir Sq.) were woken up with not just gunfire, but helicopters, tanks, and a huge police presence readily assembled. As the makeshift city burned to the ground, women, children, and men were both shot at and beaten. Embedded journalists have not given their names, doctors fear going outside, and it is only 24 hours on that we are seeing just how brutal their use of force was. I warn you now, many of the links in this article will all contain graphic images so click at your own discretion. Read More Brutal Crackdows Reach Bahrain