Narcissists and psychopaths rule the world

I will make the assumption that most of you reading this are also regular social media users and that somewhere among the videos of tennis-playing dogs and cute little kittens, you’ll be familiar with the often posted stories of human rights issues and abuses around the world, whether in Myanmar, Syria, Yemen or elsewhere.

I am more guilty than most for constantly posting on social media about such humanitarian issues, including the oppression of the Palestinian people, the killing and imprisoning of journalists and activists, the attack on freedom of the press in the USA and particularly the horrific and heartbreaking war in Yemen.  I do it, in the full knowledge that it will do little for the people who suffer the abuse.  
I simply post about these issues because I care and I want to keep these stories front and centre in my mind and in the minds of others who care.And I care, not only because I hold values such as honesty, decency, fairness, respect and compassion at the core of my…

Eating like a Bedouin

As the end of Ramadan approached, with only 5 days to go until Eid, I decided to step up my fasting regime to see what it would feel like to echo the diet of the desert nomad, the Bedouin, who famously could survive for months on only dates and camels milk.    Sadly, unable to easily get hold of camels milk, I decided to swap it out for labeneh.... a thick strained yoghurt.  But of course, dates are available aplenty so no issue there.
As is the custom during Ramadan, I'm fasting completely throughout daylight hours, having only 3 dates and a couple of table spoons of labeneh for Iftar  (the Muslim meal to break the fast) and the same before bed, accompanied only by water or black coffee and nothing else.  Muslims will usually eat their last meal, Suhoor, at dawn.... which is around 3am here in Qatar, but having experimented, I felt better having my final sustenance at around 10pm and sleeping through the night.
I had already been fasting during Ramadan, so the daily fast was not …

Gulf Crisis One year on

One year ago, on 5th June 2017, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, closing land borders, shipping routes and air space, effectively cutting the country off from established supplies of goods and services.  Families were split apart, businesses destroyed and the Gulf Co-operation Council (formed in 1981), once a beacon of stability for the region, plunged into crisis.
Despite the fact that Qatar suffered a 40% drop in imports immediately following the blockade, it quickly secured new supplies from countries such as Turkey, Iran and India and new shipping routes via Oman.
In the meantime the country accelerated its drive towards self sufficiency in food production and now satisfies 92% of demand for milk from local suppliers.  In addition, according to local Arabic newspaper Arrayah, Qatar now produces 98% of its need for fresh poultry, 80% fish, 80% dates and 24% of its vegetable needs.
I have noticed the change in the contents of the shelves in supermarkets acro…