The orange road

The road back from Abbottabad yesterday afternoon, just outside Haripur, was flanked by little stalls selling oranges. Not just one or two stalls, but probably about 30 or so. This after all is orange season. The chap at this stall cut one into quarters for me to try. Which I did. Leaving me with juice … More The orange road

Whose conference was it anyway? Somalia meeting disappoints

And so we have another commitment from world leaders to help rebuild Somalia and assist its transition to a moderate democracy. Apparently this means a pirate taskforce (link is here but behind a paywall). Perhaps when you hold a conference so far away from Somalia then discussion is not about Somalia’s problems, but about our … More Whose conference was it anyway? Somalia meeting disappoints

Drone Wars

Francis Fukuyama has been building his own surveillance drone. His post makes for a rather interesting read full of techy details, before he goes on to make a rather important point: I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal.  The US has been fighting such low-tech enemies lately that we haven’t … More Drone Wars

Railways, rabid wolves and man-eating lions

Don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a railway story. And nowhere are they richer or more symbolic than South Asia. Built by the Brits and nationalised at independence, Pakistan’s railways are now mired in economic failure – an inefficient, publicly-owned service that has struggled with landslides and bombs, and which today caters … More Railways, rabid wolves and man-eating lions

Originally posted on Gigaom:
Whenever newspaper executives get together to bemoan the fate of their industry, someone inevitably brings up the so-called “original sin” of the online news business — namely, a failure to charge for content when the web was new. One of the latest manifestations of this idea appears in an upcoming e-book…

Darfur diplomacy row

Ibrahim Gambari is head of Unamid, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur. He’s a diplomat. And one of the things about being a diplomat is that you go to things when you are invited. That’s the diplomatic thing to do. And so it was that he turned up at a wedding do in Khartoum. … More Darfur diplomacy row

Originally posted on Sahel Blog:
Regular readers probably noticed a drop-off in posting around September; daily posting did not resume until last week. During the interval I was in Kano, Northern Nigeria, doing my dissertation fieldwork. My dissertation is not about Boko Haram – rather it is about Muslims from Northern Nigeria who have studied…