From hipsters in Williamsburg to millennials in Bethnal Green, ‘big, bushy beards’ have morphed from an ISIS subculture style to a mainstream Western fashion trend.* Daoud Mahmoud of Raqqa, Syria, says he can no longer remain silent. Florence of Arabia reports.
In a series of furious Tweets on Friday, 22-year-old ISIS militant Daoud Mahmoud blasted Western millennials and hipsters for their “appropriation” of the caliphate’s beard culture, saying it was becoming “increasingly intolerable.”
Tweeting from his shelled-out flat in Raqqa, Daoud gave a brief history of ISIS beard culture, saying facial hair is a core tenet of the terrorist group’s deep-seated spirituality — so much so, men who don’t sport a suitably bushy beard are instantaneously slaughtered.
My fave bit of journalism this week is this New York Times article on an Israeli lawmaker’s comments that Palestine can’t possibly exist because the Arabic alphabet doesn’t contain the letter P. In the journalistic gem, reporter Isabel Kershner states that “it is rare to meet an Arab who can pronounce the letter P.”
If you’re an Arab, or if have had the misfortune of communicating with Arabs, or living in the Middle East, you’ll know this is something of a fallacy. I say “something of,” as I acknowledge that the mispronunciation isn’t entirely unheard of. I’m fair that way. Perhaps your grandBa called you a SuBBer Star as you were growing up, or maybe you’ve been drinking Diet Bebsi all your life, but have never actually been able to bronounce the broblematic word.
Posting on Instagram from his shelled-out studio flat in Raqqah, ISIS militant Daoud Mahmoud announced plans January 1st for a low-carb diet, appending the hashtag “#NewYearNewMe.”
By Zahra Hankir and ND*
It’s been a tragic and dark year in many respects: Terrorist attacks from Paris and Tunisia to Beirut and Mali; the Nepal earthquake; the Greek debt showdown; strikes on Syria and the refugee crisis; the Charleston church massacre; escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians; police brutality; Islamophobia;Trump’s vitriol. And, and, and. (Google does a fantastic job of compiling the biggest trends here. )
But it’s also been a particularly hilarious year, and we don’t want to end it on a sour note. So we’ve pored through some of the more bizarre and unusual stories of the past 12 months and have selflessly compiled them here for you in one post, in lieu of Charlie Brooker’s 2015 Wipe.
UberPool is now available in London after successfully launching in New York. I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to save some £s (precisely 25% of a full ride) on costly London transport? Particularly for those long-haul rides from.. well… Brixton to Farringdon. On the other, part of the reason I appreciate Uber is that you get to avoid interacting with, or being exposed to, strangers. Specifically talkative, inebriated strangers who are feeling especially friendly. When you aren’t.
By Zahra Hankir and ND*
There are so many terrorist (or kind-of-terrorist-) attacks out there these days, that it’s hard to keep track.
While we understand terrorism is certainly no laughing matter, we thought we’d put together a flow chart to help you figure out how to respond to such attacks during these dark times.
Are you a Facebook user? A moderate Muslim? A western media organisation? Vladimir Putin? Or even David Cameron?
Florence of Arabia has got you covered.
(Click on the image to enlarge).
* ND is a London-based ultimate frisbee player, flow-chart expert and journalist. She’s also a White Westerner.
David Cameron on Wednesday had the audacity to call me and my friends “terrorist sympathisers,” before adding injury to insult by using my hard-earned tax money to bomb an already war-torn country that’s already being bombed by numerous other countries. Aside from far more serious issues, this begs the question of how one should define a “terrorist sympathiser.” Florence of Arabia does the heavy-lifting for you here.
At Heathrow; about to board a flight to JFK. Stopped by security last second — literally moments before getting on to the plane — and asked to step aside.
Told that ‘I’ve been ‘selected‘ by the government of the United States of America to go through a detailed security check’ by a British gentleman who’s speaking in what can only be described as an upbeat voice coupled with a posh accent.
Some readers of Forbes, the Independent and other publications are getting a real kick out of a study that has found that religion makes children aged 5 to 12 selfish and stingy, when compared to atheist kids.
Islamophobes must be thrilled!
Saturday evening, Frieze Art Fair, London. Lots of obscenely beautiful, hipster-chic people. Expensive artwork that I probably wouldn’t buy even if I could afford it (“The cliché around Frieze Art Fair is glitz,” the Independent reports). It’s fun to look at, though. Not to mention the event presents the perfect opportunity to do some serious people-watching. I wander around aimlessly before inadvertently, clumsily dropping my kuffiyeh (scarf) on the floor. No one in my immediate vision appears to have seen this occur.