I am a student reading History at the University of Manchester, currently on a 6 month exchange with the National University of Singapore and using this opportunity to learn about Asian culture and travel extensively. Longer term I hope to undertake further research into Asian and middle Eastern history, culture, politics and society. Eventually I would like to pursue a career in journalism or as a writer.
When we say ‘al-Qaeda’, most people think of 9/11, the 2004 Madrid bombings and the attacks of 7/7. Less people know of their effect in the Maghreb region. However, since 2002 there has been a significant amount of activity attributed to the Islamic militant group here, the most recent being their attack on the Amenas gas plant in which over 800 workers were held hostage and 48 were killed. Although this is one of their most high-profile, it isn’t their first attack: so how much of an issue is the presence of al-Qaeda in Saharan Africa? Read the rest of this entry »
Even if you have not, by some stroke of luck or misfortune, seen any of the James Bond films, it is very likely that you have at least heard of the franchise. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film Dr. No, and we are now on the sixth actor to take the reins of the womanising super spy. The books go back even further. In many ways how James Bond is perceived reflects how the British see themselves, and this is most clearly seen in the evolution of the James Bond films, and how our perceptions have changed with them. Read the rest of this entry »
This summer there were a series of wildcat (unlawful) strikes that took place in South Africa at the Marikana mines, over proposed drastic pay cuts. The mining industry is considered the driving force behind the South African economy, being the largest in Africa. Read the rest of this entry »
Unless you have been deliberately avoiding all forms of news media since December 2010, there is a good chance you will have heard of the Arab Spring. It is potentially one of the most momentous series of events to occur across the Middle East since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. For the most part, it has fizzled out, resulting in regime changes in three countries but relatively little in most Arab states. However, it is still very much a part of Syria, with the death count currently at 33,000 and rising. So, as historians, we must ask ourselves: what are the foundations behind today’s instabilities? Read the rest of this entry »
Not only do spices make your food tasty, they are loaded with medicinal benefits
- Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice used in curry. Its active constituent possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer properties and is though to have potential use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. It might just be brain food too with mmounting evidence that curcumin may help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s Amazing Who You Meet – Volume 1 by Paul Stewart
Photography into Art £29.99 (available from blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1503840)
A BRILLIANT collection of photographs taken by Daily Express photographer Paul Stewart that ranges from icons such as Queen and Van Morrison on tour to Johnny “Rotten” Lydon (left) of Sex Pistols fame. Read the rest of this entry »