Amidst the Chaos and social strife lets ask “What would Gandhi do?”
For those scholars and activists who are following India, there is not much good news coming out of the subcontinent. Day after day, there are reports of riots, planned attacks on minorities and institutional corruption that has forced many democracy watchers to downgrade India’s standing as a democracy. Amidst the silence of the leaders of […]
Do Sanctions work? : What have we learnt from past actions￼
I recall coming across this question in grad school, almost 12 years ago. The professor who taught a course on the UN and its role in development posed this question to all of us. The class, consisted of about 20 or so young, idealistic students from around the world with varying understandings of sanctions – […]
What is really at stake in Ukraine?￼
As the war in Ukraine rages on, there is much anger, anxiety and fear around the world. The popular consensus among media and experts seems to be that the fault is entirely that of Russia. It is certainly true that Mr. Putin instigated the current aggression against its neighbor. However, as a few scholars have […]
How real is the Social change in Saudi Arabia?
I visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after nearly four years. My first visit was in 2017, when I was invited to speak at a national conference at the King Fahd University, Dammam. It was my first visit to the country, despite having traveled to neighboring countries a few times. The visit this time, in […]
What is the best way to address your professor/ colleague in an academic setting?
I have made my fair share of faux-pas when it comes to addressing people, in an academic setting. So, based on over a decade of experience living, working and surviving American academia, here are a few tips for you, to navigate this complicated landscape. I’ll just focus on the seemingly innocuous topic of how to […]
Barter is alive and well in Oaxaca, Mexico
How are artisans and craftspeople in Mexico surviving the pandemic? Here is a discovery that I made, based on one interview in Oaxaca, Mexico. I know that for a scientifically reliable insight, a sample size of one is not considered reliable. However, indulge me, as I share one remarkable insight into how artisans and crafts […]
Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?
Did you know that a majority of the refugees from the Middle East live in the region? Lebanon & Jordan host millions of people who have fled war, conflict or other disasters. There are an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, for example. In Pakistan, the story is similar : about three million Afghans reside […]
How the Italian army fooled us all during WWII
“You can’t do too well if you are creative or very imaginative, in Washington DC,” said the senior member of a Congressional staff who I was meeting in the nation’s capital. This was a few years ago, when I had just finished my Master’s degree and was managing a small nonprofit. I was the […]
The world is doomed as a result of climate change – what will we do about it?
On a recent trip that I took recently, I turned on the screen on the airplane and watched Before the Flood, a well-made documentary, narrated by Leonardo Di Caprio. The documentary is a summary of what we already know : We are screwed. From a climate-change perspective, we are already well past the stage […]
What you don’t know about Tipu Sultan’s connection to July 4th (and the wars with the British)
Part 1 “If the Sultan of Mysore had had a bit more luck, George Washington might be known as the Haider Ali of North America,” writes Blake Smith, a professor at the University of Chicago. Who is Haider Ali? You may be wondering. And why are we comparing him to the Founding father of the […]