Review of “From the Ruins of Empire” by Pankaj Mishra

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My first thought after reading this book was to be mad at myself for not having read this earlier. As someone who follows world politics very closely, especially the regions whose history is covered in this book (which can broadly be described as “Asia”), knowing the history of this region is essential. There’s no way to understand what’s happening in the world today without understanding “how we got here” – and that’s this book’s #1 contribution and why I think it’s a must-read.

The book starts out with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, which is often given as the moment when modernity arrived to the Muslim world. It then talks about India & China, before pivoting to Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani and giving a detailed picture of his life and evolution. Continue reading “Review of “From the Ruins of Empire” by Pankaj Mishra”

Review of Ertugrul Season 1

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EDIT: March 24th, 2019

Welcome to my blog! This review has become popular and is bringing lots of visitors. After you’re done reading this post, I’d recommend also checking out one of the following:

  • Thoughts after reading The Brothers Karamazov (link)
  • Artificial Intelligence and What It Means To Be Human (written for Traversing Tradition – link here)
  • My series on human evolution – starting with part 1

Anyway, continue with the Ertugrul review for now!


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I just finished watching the first season of the Turkish TV series Dirilis: Ertugrul, which is available on Netflix with English subtitles. In this post, I’ll summarize what this series is about, who the main characters are, what I liked and what I didn’t like. I’ll end with my overall thoughts about the show and its role in the media landscape, especially for Muslims, and then I’ll list other shows people who like Ertugrul might also like.

Please note that while I will attempt to keep spoilers to a minimum, there will naturally be some spoilers in this post. If you’re going to read it, don’t complain about spoilers later. You were warned.

Continue reading “Review of Ertugrul Season 1”

Olaudah Equiano on the Ottomans

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Islamic history is a fascinating subject. And one of the most interesting things to read is an account of a foreign land written by a traveler. This book excerpt combines both of those elements.

The book is called The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. It’s an autobiography first published in 1789 by a former slave. He traveled and experienced a lot in his life, but here I want to focus on Equanio’s visit to the Ottoman Empire.

The source for this excerpt is courtesy of Project Gutenberg. A link can be found here.

Instead of using the block-quote feature, which would become inefficient for a very long excerpt, I just added lines before and after the quote. I also added my notes using a superscript (like this0) which you can read at the bottom. And I split up some long paragraphs as well. Enjoy! Continue reading “Olaudah Equiano on the Ottomans”