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Jerusalem: The Biography

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, September 15, 2011

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s excellent book “Jerusalem: the Biography” is a masterly history of a city that is both “a den of superstition, charlatanism and bigotry” but also the point on earth where heaven and earth meet.

Didier Malherbe: Sax to Doudouk!

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture,

Didier Malherbe, a stalwart of the mythical band GONG talks about his current band the “Hadouk Trio” (that includes Loy Ehrlich and Steve Shehan), his new CD with Eric Löhrer, his poetry and his love for the doudouk.

Khaled Khalifa: “In Praise of Hatred”

By Allston Mitchell in Features,

Khaled Khalifa, author of the novel “In Praise of Hatred”, talks about his literary influences and Syria’s ongoing struggle for democracy. Already published in French, Dutch and Italian, the novel is set to be published in English in 2012.

US Debt. No Summer of Love…

By Allston Mitchell in Economics and Finance,

China is wagging its finger at the US for its cavalier attitude to its debt problem, equity investors are piling out as QE2 comes to an end; debt bears are warning of a US bond market meltdown; three rating agencies have now taken aim at the US economy and Congress is playing in the sandbox.

Chasing Gorillas is Better than Lions

By John Nelson in Travel Writing,

From Somerset to the Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve in Southwest Central Africa Republic. A trip to meet up with the Bayaka hunter-gatherer Pygmies, visit the big elephant clearing known as Dzanga Bai and follow the lowland gorillas.

Behind the Scenes with Kubrick

By Adrien Mory in Arts and Culture,

La Cinémathèque française in Paris is hosting a complete retrospective of the work of Stanley Kubrick. The exhibition is a great opportunity to re-discover the world of this unique and mysterious film maker who made such a mark on the 20th century.

Ukrainian Enigma

By Astrit Dakli in Politics,

Ten years after the murder of the journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, the Justice Department of Ukraine has charged former President Leonid Kuchma with involvement in the crime. Astrit Dakli asks who wants this high profile trial and why bring back to life an investigation that itself has been a litany of mysteries?

Al-Aswany: Books and Revolutions

By Allston Mitchell in Politics,

Egypt’s best-selling author Alaa Al Aswany talks to The Global Dispatches about his time in Tahrir Square during the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, his new book “On the State of Egypt”, Dostoyevsky, the Muslim Brotherhood and some neglected classics of Egyptian literature.

Pakistan: A Hard Country

By Allston Mitchell in Politics,

Interview with Anatol Lieven, the author of the recently released “Pakistan: A Hard Country”. He is Professor of International Relations and Terrorism Studies at King’s College, London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC.

T.E. Lawrence and Clouds Hill

By Westrow Cooper in Arts and Culture,

As the extraordinary series of events has unfolded across the Arab world this spring, and rebellion and war stretch across the land and the airwaves, echoes of this conflict reverberate all the way to a tiny cottage in a quiet corner of the English countryside.