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Sameer Rahim

Sameer Rahim works at the Daily Telegraph.

Islamic Extremism

Sameer Rahim, 19 July 2007

When I was ten years old, I attended a youth camp organised by my local mosque. At the end of a week of lectures and quizzes we were asked to present a project on an aspect of Islam, preferably something we had learned during the week. A set of older boys produced a booklet called ‘Islam Is the Solution’. The front cover was an image of two tanks facing each other, one flying the...

The Yacoubian Building

Sameer Rahim, 10 May 2007

Last October, on the evening of Eid-ul-Fitr, hundreds of men gathered outside a cinema in downtown Cairo. When they discovered the film was sold out, they began ripping down posters and wrecking the box office. Then they turned their attention to women on the street. They shouted ‘Saudi! Saudi!’ at one woman and pulled off her black veil. Other women had their clothes and...

A report from Damascus

Sameer Rahim, 17 August 2006

Students at Damascus University no longer wear the colours of their favourite football teams. The flags of Brazil or Italy, draped round shoulders or hanging from satchels, have been replaced by the yellow flag of Hizbullah and the tricolour of the Syrian Arab Republic. Young men have dug out combat trousers from their military service days and, in the trendier parts of town, girls wear tight...

Jamal Mahjoub

Sameer Rahim, 9 March 2006

In Jamal Mahjoub’s Wings of Dust (1994), a Sudanese exile pauses halfway through his memoir to let his thoughts catch up with his writing: ‘I must set down the pen to prevent the words colliding into one another and producing only confusion where I am searching for clarity.’ Sharif arrives at Oxford in the 1950s and maps the future with other aspiring post-colonial leaders....

The evening after the 7 July bombings the Tube train I was waiting to catch home slid to a halt leaving me exactly halfway between the front door of one carriage and the end door of another. On that nervous Friday there were plenty of seats free in both carriages. As I began moving to my left, a large, dark-skinned man with a thick black beard, clutching a rucksack in his arms, stepped...

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