Pool, Bulls and Humanity

What does Mosul and the festival of San Fermin have in common? Humanity. A photograph I saw recently on Twitter (the featured photo above), of a group of Mosul residents, including children, playing pool in a recently liberated district of Mosul where IS previously forbade pool, filled me with that rarest of elements: hope. Hope…

On Caribbean Politics and Literature

    Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian Nobel Laureate, has written many masterpieces. The free-flowing Conversation in the Cathedral, the foreboding tome of The War of the End of the World, and the exuberantly post-modern The Green House. A contemporary of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Peruvian is a proud, staunch realist. Reading most of his…

I Think Therefore I Am Maltese

      The best kind of patriotism is the one that remains unspoken. I am not a patriot, because I subscribe to the Voltarean rationale of patriotism: “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.” I love travel, diversity and humanity itself –…

Taking Things Too Syria-ously

      Ernest Hemingway once wrote, clearly embittered after a bad interview with the New Yorker: “If you say nothing it is difficult for someone to get it wrong.” And saying nothing is exactly what we should do – in writing, but not in interviews. I was recently interviewed by the kinkily titled Rum Punch…

War and Happiness

    Jacques’ Wake   They throw Jacques into the wet ground, His boyish body a frightful mound. He had survived the quake But the hurricane claimed him In its wake; Now the stars claim a new name Immortality shall never tame.   They throw Jacques into the wet ground, And the village echoes with…

Poems From Where We Would Never Tread

  Syrian Butterfly   Butterfly, buffet your wings sea-ward A unicorn on the salted winds, Leave behind the garden wall soaked in gunpowder. Why do you stay, in the bloodied dirt Where bombs make beds out of children? Sweet yellow butterfly, fly, migrate!     Stifling Conceit in Concentration Camp   My mother used to…

Poems to a Libyan Girl

Letter   Across the funereal waters, Somewhere amidst death’s booming nightlife, You hide away in stolen happiness Not knowing that purpose My purpose Stalks you like a voyeurish jinn.   Kidnapped back to the home Where you always wanted to be Yet never wanted to see I can see your smile of crescent mischief Light-up…

The Sack of Paris

In the year 1651, near the end of the English Civil War which saw the establishment of parliament’s authority and the English Commonwealth, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes published his great work the Leviathan. In this seminal work, comparable in statesmanship to Machiavelli’s The Prince, Hobbes introduced the concept of a safeguarding state that enables its…

The Heir of Holocaust

The past is a foreign country – when we travel to it we remember what shouldn’t be forgotten. This is a short-story set around the time of the Carthaginian holocaust at the hands of the Romans. A potential Part I to a full-fledged novel. What do you think – does it have potential to blossom…