Stories written by Leila Yasmine Khan

Honour Killings – Religion or Culture?

There is nothing honourable about murder. And murdering someone of your own family, your own child - a daughter, someone you held in your arms and rocked to sleep when they were babies? This is such a horrifying crime that there are no words to describe it – certainly not the word Honour. And yet it happens! It happens in Pakistan and to the shame of all of us in the diaspora, it has been brought to Italy.

Coping with the USA-China Conflict – Strategic Procrastination

For several years, a fast growing and assertive China has been challenging the USA’s global dominance.  China’s GDP, taking into account differences in purchasing power, is now greater than that of the USA; its military spending has been expanding rapidly and exceeds by wide margins that of other countries except the USA with which it is catching up; it is the manufacturing power house of the world; it is quickly moving up the technological ladder; and it is the key trading partner for an increasing number of countries.  All this is creating tensions with the USA and its key allies.

Clash of Cultures – Is it Real or a Smokescreen?

The notion of “Clash of Cultures” is most frequently used as a justification for anti-immigrant prejudice and, particularly in Europe and in the USA, for islamophobia. The reasoning goes as follows: immigrants, especially Muslims, have a deeply different culture from the hosting communities and these differences create unsurmountable tensions and conflicts.

Closing the Gap between Developed and Developing Countries: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Developing countries as a group have been growing faster than developed countries for several decades. As a result the ratio between average incomes between the two sets of countries – albeit still very large - has been shrinking.  This is good news. The other piece of good news is that over this period the number of people living in extreme poverty has also been dropping – from 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 650 million in recent years.  China has recently declared an end to extreme poverty. 

Does COVID-19 Imply an End to the Epoch of Science?

Around the 16th century there was a radical shift in the way humans perceived nature.  New thinking in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics heralded a deeper understanding of the world around us.  Between the 17th and 18th century this new thinking had resulted in spate of technological inventions such as the steam engine, railways, electricity and the telephone.

Will COVID-19 Change the Global Balance of Power?

Lockdowns, social distancing, face-masks and other restrictions on personal and social behaviour have helped slow the progress of the COVID-19 virus. Enough to allow health systems to start catching their breath, for doctors to work out treatment protocols, and for work to start on a vaccine. There is now a need to take stock of the many other impacts the pandemic is likely to have, particularly at the economic and political level.

COVID 19 – Conspiracy or Apocalypse? – Part II

As the COVID-19 virus spread rapidly around the globe, so did various theories about what caused the pandemic. According to the standard scientific theory, the virus originated in bats; crossed over to humans, probably via another intermediate host; and then spread rapidly across the globe.

COVID 19 – Conspiracy or Apocalypse? – Part I

As the COVID-19 virus spread rapidly around the globe, so did various theories about what caused the pandemic. According to the standard scientific theory, the virus probably originated in bats and then crossed over to humans, probably via another intermediate host. It then spread rapidly across the globe, piggybacking on the international travel network.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries – Part 2

What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? In the first of this two part article  we looked at possible short term disruptions and discussed actions by the private sector and Governments.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries

What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? It is difficult to make predictions, because much will depend on the spread of the disease, especially in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, and the measures various Governments will take in the coming weeks and months. 

Liberalism and Developing Countries

As China rapidly replaces Europe and the USA as the key player in developing countries, the Western press is full of articles about the dangers of dealing with the Chinese.

The Rohingya – The Forgotten Genocide of Our Time

The Rohingya are a minority community living in Rakhine State in Myanmar. The Muslim Rohingya are considered intruders into Buddhist Myanmar - illegal immigrants from bordering Bangladesh. They have been always discriminated against, looked down upon, ostracized, and denied any civil and judicial rights.