Habib Umar ibn Hafidh’s historic visit to Cape Town Media interviews can be predictable things. People who are famous for being famous can hardly utter a sentence. Those who are well-known might be worth a few sound bytes; and those who are really famous might, if you’re lucky, reveal something[…]

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Majlis goes snap, crackle – and pop!

Just who exactly is this ‘Majlis’? Whilst the strict lexical term for the word is a ‘sitting’, in reality the Majlis is a ghostly ‘presence’. Its ether, in the form of Post-Box 3393, has haunted us for decades.   And lest I be accused of playing the man, rather than[…]

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20 Years On – My Mandela Moment

    Can it be twenty years, already? I must admit that the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela has caught me by surprise. It’s still the biggest event I’ve covered.   So why would I regard it the biggest?   Silly question, maybe. But as a journalist, I’ve[…]

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UFO’s or Unidentified Aerial Performers?

When I was younger, and bright-eyed about the wonders of the world, I would read about UFO’s or Unidentified Flying Objects. I was fascinated by the idea that we were not alone in this huge universe. I delved into all the conspiracy theories of my youth: extraterrestrials were our friends;[…]

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Haiti: diminished but unbowed

As a journalist, a natural disaster – which is defined in the insurance industry as “an act of God” – is always something that catches you by surprise. Due to its unexpected nature, our emotional shield we so often call “objectivity” is momentarily dropped. Our human condition is such a[…]

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Cell-phone Psychosis and the Marlboro Man

The other day I was chatting in a shopping mall when my cell-phone rang. “Aren’t you going to answer it?” asked the person. “No,” I replied, “the caller can leave a message.” “But, I don’t mind, you can answer your phone,” he insisted, surprised that I was just letting it[…]

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Shark! Shark!

When the news broke that a Great White shark had fatally attacked a human (for the second time in five years) in False Bay at Fish Hoek, I shuddered. But not from the shock. I was more concerned that the subsequent media frenzy would bloody the water. Lloyd Skinner, a[…]

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Coming up

Usually when I go on leave, a huge story breaks. Last year it was Gaza, a few years ago it was the Asian tsunami – so it was quite a relief to see things so relatively calm. But no sooner was I back behind my desk than there was a[…]

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Imam Abu Hanifah, the liberal Imam

IMAM Abu Hanifah, born Nu’man ibn Thabit ibn Nu’man, came into the world a mere eighty years after the Prophet Muhammad’s (s) death. His grandfather was a Persian revert to Islam. His father was a wealthy silk merchant who died during his childhood. By the time Abu Hanifah had passed[…]

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