Loss and Laughter in Dubai’s Labour Camps

March 1, 2014

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As written for The Platform (March 01, 2014) Mahmoud Kaabour explains how his new docu-film, Champ of the Camp, delves deeply into Dubai’s notorious camps to expose feelings of pain and yearning  We just separated only yesterday But how will I live in this condition for ages Death didn’t come, but why have your memories come Oh long […]

The Trials of Ease – Reflections of a Forehead Well-Traveled

February 3, 2014

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As written for MuslimMatters (February 03, 2014) In Ramaḍān, from the balcony of my flat in the United Arab Emirates, I can hear the boom of a cannon fired from a few kilometres away signalling the end of a day’s fast. Following immediately is the call to the Maghrib prayer – 3 different adhāns in […]

The Real GoodFellas

December 23, 2013

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Disclaimer: By posting this, in no way do I intend to invalidate/dilute the increasing stream of incidents reflecting anti-Muslim hate.  I do believe however, that Islamophobic sentiment is also inadvertently creating a reverse bias, where Muslims (especially in the Arab World) are beginning to generically hate on the West and the people who represent it […]

Must Wedding Bells Go Ka-Ching? -A Muslim Perspective On The Wedding Industry

November 20, 2013

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As written for Muslim Matters (November 20, 2013) When it was confirmed that I was to be married and the dates for the event set, family members went into a flurried pseudo-state of panic and anticipation. We have a wedding to plan! The dress! The venue! The guest list! The frenzy that ensued soon began to seep […]

Ramadan Musings

July 28, 2013

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As written for Yahoo! Maktoob (July 24, 2013) To anyone looking to truly appreciate Ramadan, I would say: put on those blinders. Block out the clichéd crescent-themed commercialism lacing the highways – the hawking of seasonal sugar syrups competing with the peddling of fast food all-you-can-eats. Ignore the ostentatious Ramadan tents and the allure of their […]

Must We Have A Day

June 20, 2013

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Today they say, is refugee day So the world remembers us, or so they say When the only one thing soothed, hugged and told “it’ll all be alright” Is their conscience. Must we have a day In your calendar of goodwill?   Striking in hunger for those millions of empty plates.  Lighting candles in vigil […]

Posted in: Blogpost, Poetry, Society

Dubai’s Reading Cafes

May 14, 2013

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As written for The National, UAE (May 14, 2013) Another fun round-up for the lit lot. At a time when a true appreciation of literature is seemingly on the demise, thanks to the doomsayer-esque allure of technology and its de-romanticisation of the written word, Dubai seems to be witnessing a sudden revivalist surge in the promotion of […]

Dignity in the Time of Islamophobia

March 29, 2013

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Following months of an incendiary campaign against Muslims in Sri Lanka, a Muslim-owned fashion store was attacked last evening by mobs of hate-mongers led by men in the saffron garb of Buddhist monks. I refuse to dignify these robed madmen by associating them with the religion they claim to represent, just as I would be […]

Anti-Muslim Bigotry on the Island: Sri Lankan Muslims in the Face of a New Civil War?

February 11, 2013

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As written for Muslim Matters (February 11, 2013) The island nation of Sri Lanka celebrated its 65th Independence Day on the 4th of February amidst conflicting emotions. Although no stranger to tourism brochures as the idyllic holiday getaway, this teardrop isle has also had its fair share of the spotlight in making international headlines – there was the incapacitating […]

Save The Humans

January 2, 2013

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The stateless Palestinian. The Rohingyan asylum-seeker. The Syrian refugee. The defenceless in war zones. The unwanted girl child. The Dalit. The raped. The gang-raped. The child being molested and too afraid to speak. The starving. The ill-treated labourer. The discarded orphan. The jailed without justice. The physically abused. The emotionally beaten. The homeless. The victim […]

Rest Upon the Wind: Staging the Life of Khalil Gibran

November 5, 2012

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As reviewed for The Platform (November 05, 2012) “A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.” –The Prophet, by Gibran Khalil Gibran, 1923 Having made its debut in London’s West End back in November  2011 to an exceptional stint of sold-out shows, Rest Upon the Wind, a theatrical depiction of the […]