Sharing inspirational, informational, ideas, articles, videos, snippets on various issues. 

05 May

People & corruption: MENA survey 2016

Nearly 1 in 3 paid a bribe in Middle East and North Africa in past 12 months

New Transparency International report shows MENA governments failing to stop corruption as they suppress citizens’ voices

Nearly one in three citizens who tried to access basic public services in the Middle East and North Africa paid a bribe, a Transparency International report said today, showing that governments across the region have failed to hear their citizens’ voices against corruption.

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26 Apr

Arabic: A language of beauty, prestige

IMG_0491Arabic, a language that has passed the test of time,  remains one of the oldest and most unique languages in the world.

According to Ethnologue, almost 600 million people speak the language. Most native English speakers consider it a language with a foreign alphabet and unrecognizable speech patterns. However, those that take Arabic at BSU know it as a beautiful, flowing language that offers a glimpse into the past.

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19 Mar

Travelling library: A road trip to promote books

What is the most amount of books you have carried while travelling?


Whatever your record, it’s unlikely that you have beaten Satabdi Mishra and Akshaya Ravtaray.

The two friends are on an ambitious 10,000 km (6,213 miles) road trip in their minivan, and have taken an eye-popping 4,000 books with them.

They say they are on a “mission” to promote book reading across towns, cities and villages because they believe that “more Indians need to read books”.

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01 Mar

MENA Micro-Financing

What is Micro Financing?


Microfinance – defined as the access to and usage of quality financial services, including savings, credit, insurance and money transfer systems – is crucial for low-income households to manage cash flows to finance day-to-day living, manage risks, invest productively, and respond to financial shocks. The low levels of financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, however, have left many with limited access to any sort of financial services. This is especially true for certain groups such as women and young people.

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15 Feb

What is Orientalism?

a1915-1“Orientalism” is a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Arab peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S. It often involves seeing Arab culture as exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous. Edward W. Said, in his groundbreaking book, Orientalism, defined it as the acceptance in the West of “the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate theories, epics, novels, social descriptions, and political accounts concerning the Orient, its people, customs, ‘mind,’ destiny and so on.”

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12 Dec

UNESCO: Arabic coffee, a symbol of generosity

Inscribed in 2015 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Serving Arabic coffee is an important aspect of hospitality in Arab societies and considered a ceremonial act of generosity. Traditionally, coffee is prepared in front of guests. Coffee-making begins with the selection of beans, which are lightly roasted in a shallow pan over a fire, then placed into a copper mortar and pounded with a copper pestle.

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