Laleh Khalili

Laleh Khalili is the author of Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula.

How to Get Rich: Who owns the oil?

Laleh Khalili, 23 September 2021

Rotterdam​ city centre sits a few miles inland from the North Sea, its skyscrapers and office buildings lining the New Meuse River, a tributary of the Rhine. A ferry tour takes you past ship repair yards, grain silos, terminals receiving coal and iron ore for Ruhr Valley industries, and even a massive orange juice storage facility that receives its cargo from Latin America. If you want to...

Growing Pains: New Silk Roads

Laleh Khalili, 18 March 2021

In​ a short story called ‘The Chinese Road’ written in the 1970s by the Yemeni-Ethiopian Mohammad Abdul-Wali, a Yemeni man befriends a Chinese construction worker on the new road from the port of Hodeida on the Red Sea, ‘cutting through the mountain’, to the capital, Sanaa, more than two hundred kilometres away. Abdul-Wali describes the competent and friendly Chinese...

Gargantuanisation

John Lanchester, 22 April 2021

The shipping industry has worked hard to hide itself from view, and we have colluded with it. We don’t want to think about how that 90 per cent of everything got here. The labour of an entire industry...

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