a proposal to retire the term ‘arab spring’

1. It’s a misnomer that excludes (further). First word, Arab: there are more ethnicities than Arab in North Africa. Hold up, I’ll say that again. North Africa is not made up of Arabs alone. Tuaregs, various Amazigh communities, Nubian communities and many others, all live in North Africa. Some were there before the Arabs. Saying…

can we end hunger by 2030? will we?

A panel discussion at the 2016 Wellesley College Impact Albright Symposium that I attended focused on the 2nd Sustainable Development Goal, namely, ‘End Hunger by 2030’. Weighing in on the panel titled, ‘Can We End Hunger by 2030? Will We?’, were former UN World Food Programme Executive Director, Catherine Bertini; chief of staff of the…

on poetry, and agosín’s ‘i lived on butterfly hill’

“Poetry is a violence from within that protects us from a violence without” Wallace Stevens One evening many years ago, I stood up in a modestly filled room at the Goethe Institut, Nairobi, walked somewhat unsurely to a seat at the front and read some poems from my ‘Pink book’ notebook collection of poetry. The…