A meditation on migration of every sort. As a muslim migrant who has chosen life outside The West I feel like Hamid is chronicling the particular world I inhabit more than any other writer I can name. The major story arc is a refugee couple from a country that could be anywhere succumbing to war, […]
The sensitivity and respect he shows the Christian outlook is a great example to other converts in how to come to grips with their origins. Who we were is part of who we are, and being comfortable in yourself means coming to terms with that.
“They all claimed the city for themselves in God’s name. But is it not said: Where God is, there is everything?” Nearly five hundred years of history for a city I had never heard of in a land I knew next to nothing about could have been overwhelming, but the book is so well-written and […]
An alternative history where all the Europeans die in the Black Death and the great civilizations of the world are Islam and China. Such an exciting premise. We follow three kindred souls through group reincarnations era after era. The way their essential inclinations and human potentials are encouraged or limited by the circumstances fate delivers […]
Time for my semi-annual ritual humiliation at the Immigration Department. After 12 years here married to a Malaysian, I ought to be well on my way to Permanent Resident status. But permanent residency is predicated on holding a Spouse Visa, and I have as yet been able to get one. Kuching says I’m married to […]
American troops bombed and invaded Aceh in 1832, becoming the USA’s first military intervention in Asia. The affair began with the Friendship, a trading vessel flying American colors, coming to port in Kuala Batu, Aceh on the 7th of February 1831. This was not unusual as American merchant ships had been trading regularly on the western […]
An anti-colonial short-course for Malaysians in one volume. The Myth of the Lazy Native was an influential book in post-colonial studies, published a year before Edward Said’s Orientalism. Syed Hussein Alatas trawls through centuries of original sources to find the sources of the persistent idea that Malays, and other native peoples, are lazy. Some of […]
By W.E.B. Dubois An old book, over a hundred years old already. Some of the essays have passed from contemporary relevance into historical record, but it is history rarely discussed, from an intimate perspective and the prose hasn’t lost any of its power. Nobody writes like that anymore! The Greeks, the Bible, Shakespeare. The Veil, […]