Hepatitis: The Road Trip

“When I had the test yesterday I told the guy, ‘God forbid, if you find HIV in me, please, don’t give me the news, just give my parents the news…because if you tell me I might just go straight and commit suicide.’” Abraham,[i] a small time real-estate agent and sometimes used-car salesman, was recounting what he called “the dark stage

Arabs of the Future: Beirut in the Present Tense

13 January 2015 I had flown to Beirut for the first annual Symposium on Arabic Comics to deliver a paper about the Franco-Syrian comic artist Riad Sattouf’s incredibly popular graphic novel, The Arab of the Future. As part of the American University of Beirut’s symposium, and kicking off the events, a top Lebanese wedding planner had designed a

Every Day Is National Day in Oman

Oman commemorated its 45th National Day on November 18th, which was also His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’s 75th birthday. Festivities weren’t confined to just one day. Preparations were visible in early September, and some of the most anticipated celebrations occurred in December, long after his birthday. In fact, sometimes it feels like every day is

Fool’s Gold: On Oil and its Discontents

Oil is at times called “black gold” because, like the metal, it is precious. Its discovery spurs avaricious rushes and crowns a nouveau-riche class in garish ostentation. Numerous books, films, and artworks have documented the familiar, shimmery promise of the commodity; and the predictable disappointment that follows. The peripatetic Polish foreign

Five Things You Should Know About Willy Foote

The Boston Globe – Willy Foote’s ICWA Fellowship inspired him to leave his job as a financial analyst to start Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund working in Latin American and Africa. This year Root Capital expects to have lent more than $1 billion to small buisnessses in the developing world.  Foote and Cambridge-based