Converting the Jews of Cairo

A few years ago I cam across 6 full years (1905-1910) of a mysterious magazine called “Jewish Missionary Intelligence” in the Oxfam in Cambridge. It was published by the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. It was the in house journal of the society that worked across the world trying to convert Jews…

Some Hope: Dr Zamenhof’s Universal Language

In late 19th century Russia, Ludwig Zamenhof had a dream of world peace. His contribution to the goal was going to be an important one; he would invent the language. His first idea was to use a series of two letter roots such as -pa-, -lo-, -ra-, etc. with a basic meaning, to which he…

Blythe Spirits

In December 1958 the Egyptian magazine “The Spirit World” published the account of one of their seances. Among the spirits who appeared were King Faisal of Iraq, King Abdullah of Jordan and the former Prime Minister of Egypt and Nationalist hero, Saad Zaghloul. The answers that they give seem to chime a little too conveniently…

Get out of Sudan!

Last night brought the wonderful news that the Sudanese author Bushra al-Fadil has won the Caine Prize for one of the stories included in The Book of Khartoum, which came out last year. In honour of him I am going to write a short blog about a pamphlet that I picked up in Cairo a…