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Why a Beheading in Saudi Arabia Threatens the Whole Middle East

Written by André Harris Beheadings are not uncommon in Saudi Arabia – but one carried out this week has the potential to destabilise the whole Middle East. Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, a Shi’a cleric from the east of the kingdom, was sentenced to death in 2014 for his activism on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a minority. According to the government ... Read More »

Torn Apart: how the Korean War destroyed a story of Love

‘’What greater punishment is there than life when you’ve lost everything that made it worth living?’’, Shakespeare wrote in his play Romeo and Juliet. These thoughts must have crossed more than once the mind of Mr Kim, the protagonist of this story. Mr. Kim was a Korean citizen that suffered from the Japanese rule over his native country from 1910 ... Read More »

Kamikaze in Ankara

“There has been a vicious terrorist attack in Ankara Train Station at 10:04 am on 10th of October. This attack is an atrocity against the Turkish Republic.”  Turkish President, Tayyip Erdoğan. “We saw flags and pieces of bodies flying into the air. People were injured and running around unconsciously (..) I will never forget the smell of burned human flesh” ... Read More »

Friesian Cows in China

From a culture where dairy was completely absent, to a big market share in the dairy industry: dairy’s star is rising in China, it’s undeniable. China’s increasing milk consumption affects the Chinese as well as the global market. The popularity of dairy is unprecedented, as China’s dietary tradition does not involve dairy. Why are the Chinese consuming more dairy and ... Read More »

Concerning Bombings of Hospitals

When I heard the breaking news about a bombing of a hospital in Kunduz yesterday, I immediately thought of a suicide bombing, of an “act of terror” how it is phrased too often. The fact, that the attack most likely was conducted by the US military did not change my disgust for this happening, but when I found out that it was ... Read More »

Cambodian Sugar Rush

In our modern Western world, sugar is seen as something that is hidden in comfort foods that will make us fat if we overindulge. We think we are safe from it outside of candy stores and fast food establishments. Still, great amounts of sugar is to be found in a lot of processed foods. We try to avoid it because we ... Read More »

A Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

On the 23rd of March this year, Asia lost one of its most peculiar leaders: Lee Kuan Yew, the very first prime minister of Singapore. This man, who was known for his seemingly totalitarian regime was nevertheless a dearly beloved and admired leader among his citizens. Through Western eyes it seems a strange paradox to have a population bound by ... Read More »

Xi’s Fight Against Corruption: A Hoax?

Corruption in China has been a longstanding truth that remains today. In 2013 the PRC was ranked 80th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International’s Corruption Preceptions Index. Since the 1980s widespread surveys have been carried out to the public and have shown that corruption represents one of the top concerns of the general public. However, as China has ... Read More »

Semester Abroad: A Little Taste of Expat Life

About seven months ago I was waiting in line at Schiphol Airport, jumping around like a little kid seeing a puppy for the first time. This very moment was what I had been waiting for ever since I was in my last year of high school. Finally, I was going on my exchange and the destination was even beyond what ... Read More »

The Greatest Trek in History

With China’s economy having experienced a rise that is second to none, the government often boasts about having lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. What is often forgotten is that this has also led to one of the greatest migration movements in human history. China booms, but it does not do so everywhere. While the overwhelming majority of industrial ... Read More »