Qifa Nabki

Qifa Nabki has written 538 posts for Qifa Nabki

What is Islam? A Review

A significant new book by my late professor, Shahab Ahmed, was recently published by Princeton University Press.  The book is entitled What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, and I have written a review and a profile of its remarkable author for The Nation. The first few paragraphs are below, followed by a link to the rest of the … Continue reading

The Death of Ideology and Beirut’s #YouStink Protests

Protesters from Lebanon’s #YouStink | طلعت_ريحتكم# movement staged a sit-in at the Ministry of the Environment today and vowed not to leave until Minister Mohammad Machnouk resigned from his post. The day ended with the police storming the building and forcing the protesters out. I’m not in Beirut at the moment, so I’ve spent the past … Continue reading

Dissolving Parliament is the Key to Lebanon’s Trash Crisis (and Everything Else)

In about an hour, downtown Beirut will be filled with angry protesters and jittery security forces. The “You Stink” demonstrations have grown in numbers, defiance, and ambition. In Lebanon, just like anyplace else, nothing succeeds like success. No longer content with a hasty fix to the trash collection crisis or even the proposed resignation of the Minister of the Environment, the … Continue reading

Modern Robots that Speak Like Ancient Romans

Here’s a piece I’ve written for The New Yorker’s Culture Desk about a course I taught last semester at Brown and the interesting research project that emerged from it. First paragraphs below, followed by a jump. Come on back here to comment! Hacking the Humanities Last spring, I taught a literature seminar called “Before Wikipedia.” The subject was the history … Continue reading

Lebanese Air Force Gets a Cessna With Teeth

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the sale of a military aircraft to Lebanon. The plane is a trusty Cessna 208B Caravan, the “single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft” that has cast fear into the heart of many a seagull over the beaches of Lebanon. Its gunmetal grey frame, silhouetted against … Continue reading

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