Book review: The White Tiger

By Emma Brooks

In search of a new read, I picked one of my housemate’s books “The White Tiger” off our bookshelf in the living room. I was intrigued by the title and also by the book cover, but the only existing blurb said “Meet Balram Halwai, the ‘White Tiger’: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer…” which did not really give me much to go on. I had never read an Indian author’s novel before and considering that Aravind Adiga won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for this book, it seemed like a good place to start. Read more of this post


Attack on Logan should not deter women reporters

By Emma Brooks

Considering the beating and sexual assault on Senior CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Egypt, should women be sent to report from danger zones at all? Simple answer: yes. This question reminded me of another situation in which we are confronted with the differences between men and women, whether or not they are equals and what their roles are: capoeira. Read more of this post

The Middle East emerges from the shadows

By Alex Katsomitros

The Chinese statesman Zhou Enlai offered an oft-quoted cliché to journalists when he was asked his opinion about the impact of the French Revolution in human history. He simply replied that “it is too soon to say”. His quip seems especially relevant today, as we find out that everything we knew about the Arab world and the Middle East is wrong. The revolution taking place in the streets of Cairo, Algiers and Tunis might have come from the past, but its impact will last for decades.

There is no doubt that the ousting of Mubarak from the Presidency of Egypt signifies a tipping point for the Middle East. Not too often has a country in the region witnessed an uprising against an internal enemy instead of an external one, such as the Ottoman Empire or Israel. However, many Western and local commentators have expressed concern over the outcome of the crisis. For them, this might be an unfinished revolution, if a revolution at all. Read more of this post

A bleak outlook for the Middle East peace process?

By Emma Brooks

After the recent turmoil in the Middle East, could it be that the peace process between Arabs and Israelis is now going to sit even further on the back seat and not be resolved in the face of more pressing issues of democracy? Or could it be that peace in the region is now threatened, with the rise of political instability and new governments potentially coming in? Read more of this post

Egypt, social media and Wikileaks: a World War of Words

By Alex Katsomitros

It was Winston Churchill who once remarked that ‘a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on’. Today, we can claim that exactly the opposite is true. Truth gets halfway around the world through online media, before a well orchestrated campaign of lies covers everything.

The role that social media and Wikileaks have played in the ongoing unrest in Tunisia and Egypt is a message too powerful to be ignored. Perhaps it is a harbinger of a new world to come, more democratic and hopefully less corrupted. Its first signs can be seen on the streets of Cairo, but sooner or later they will be equally evident in the West. Read more of this post

Rail travel highest since 1920s: why the allure?

Figures released by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) suggest that rail travel may be enjoying a new dawn. Whilst other industries continued to suffer the effects of the recession, 2010 marked a year of growth for the railways. Last year saw a remarkable 1.3 billion train journeys in Britain. Peacetime rail travel has not been so popular since 1928. One has to wonder what might have been the impetus for this dramatic increase. Read more of this post