Shock and awe on a shoestring

January 2009 – An Iraqi journalist expressed his contempt for President Bush in a manner familiar in the Arab world: by throwing his shoes. Read on


The great Santa controversy

January 2009 – It’s the western world’s greatest childhood controversy: does Santa Claus exist? The answer is both comforting and disturbing to the children among us and within us. Read on


What’s the difference between Obama and an Arab?

November 2008 – John McCain has furnished compelling proof that Barack Obama is not an Arab: the Democrat is a family man. Read on


Ramadan for drinkers

November 2008 – With booze in short supply, the month of fasting can be a thirsty wait for some Muslims. Read on


Inverting the pyramids

September  2008 – The world isn’t short on wacky theories about Egypt’s greatest monuments. The reality is less fun, but more illuminating. Read on



August 2008 – If Barack Obama were a pop star, he would be a jazz musician or a rapper, not a Britney Spears. And to prove it, he should release an election rap. Read on


And in other Muslim news

August 2008 – A recent survey found that two-thirds of media coverage of British Muslims was negative. The time is ripe for other news. Read on


Mo-town record

August 2008 – Twenty thousand Muhammads in one place is not a world record, it is an everyday reality. Read on


Why Muslims don’t pig out

July 2008 – Muslims may sing odes to alcohol and even abandon religion, but pigs will fly before most will allow pork to pass their lips. Read on


The Big Sneeze

May 2008 – Hay-fever season is coming early this year. It's time for sufferers to ready for battle - but finding effective relief is no sneezing matter. Read on


Extinguishing old flames

May 2008 – Like someone who hitches up with a despised old flame after years apart, I'm kicking myself for having taken up smoking again. Read on


Ad lib

March 2008 – Want to fulfil your dreams and be happy? Why not ad liberate yourself today? Now available in convenient 30-second doses. Beware of side effects. Read on


Sheikh with laughter

December 2007 – With Osama bin Laden unlikely to branch out into comedy, it’s important to give westerners a taste of Muslim humour. Read on


Inside an American harem

November 2007 – Forget the ‘mystical’ East. In the 21st century, the harem meets the American dream. Read on


Femme caramel

October 2007 – A film set in a Beirut beauty salon holds up a funny and endearing mirror to the love lives of a group of Lebanese women. Read on


X Pat meets Spock’s parents

January 2007 – X Pat is invited to a Star Trek convention but winds up in a maternity ward where he midhusbands an infant half Vulcan. Read on


X Pat: Do not release until Xmas

December 2006 – It’s nearly Xmas and X Pat finds himself in the most delicious quandary of his life. Read on


Virgin vote at the ballot box

October 2006 – Khaled Diab gives up his electoral chastity and gets a taste of political participation. Read on 

X Pat and the chocolate factory
September 2006 – X Pat, the xpat xtraordinaire and xample world citizen, in his quest to come to terms with his first name winds up behind a deranged genius’s chocolate bars. Read on


X Pat: Quantum leaps, beer and knitting

August 2006 – X Pat, the xpat xtraordinaire and xample world citizen, invites Diabolic Digest readers to join him on an absurdist tour of the Belgian sociosphere. Read on


The beautiful game as a political football

July 2006 – Kofi Annan would like the UN to become more like the FIFA World Cup. While there is something to be said for the beautiful game’s potential for uniting people and resolving conflicts bloodlessly, it might be premature to scrap the UN and replace it with a football League of Nations. Read on


From nature to naturalisation

July 2005 – This month, Belgium celebrates its 175th birthday. Khaled Diab, its newest citizen, reflects on his newfound Belgianess and all things Belgian. Read on


Not a love letter to the Egyptian president

January 2005 – Faced with the grim prospects of prolonged political virginity, Khaled Diab decides to make President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak an indecent proposal. Read on


Remembering the Sultan of Style

December 2004 – Ziryab is a name you’re unlikely to have come across. One sensible reason for this is that the guy died over a millennium ago. But his single-handed moulding of modern tastes should earn him a place in fashion’s Hall of Fame. Read on


More Beyoncé for our bucks

October 2004 – Some may regard Beyoncé as a child of destiny, but does she deserve $3 million for a day spent reclining on a sofa? Sex certainly sells, but Khaled Diab thinks the price is getting too high – the time has come to put in place a maximum wage, he argues. Read on


An air of terror

November 2003 – The suggestion that I could strike fear into anyone’s heart would reduce people I know to quivering heaps of uncontrollable laughter. It’s not that – as a regular gym-goer – I’m especially weedy, but even our cat, who has been known to hide in the washing machine to avoid guests, does not find me intimidating enough to get out of my bleary-eyed path on the staircase in the morning. Read on


The threat of depleted geraniums

June 2003 American and British forces have so far failed to find any WMD in Iraq, but Khaled Diab has stumbled across a nightmare cache of biological weapons right on his Brussels' doorstep. The intrepid journalist risks life and limb to report on how stopping to smell the flowers can be a dangerous affair. Read on


A church wedding

November 2002 – Marriage is truly in the air. With Europe’s economic union more or less consummated, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and his Convention on the Future of Europe have been drawing up the prenuptials for a prospective political union. Read on


High noon at the last chance saloon

October 2002 – It’s high noon. The sun is beating down mercilessly on the tin roofs of a generic one-horse town. Inside the smouldering saloon, Dubya the Kid slots the last silver bullet into his patent revolver. Read on


Walking like an Egyptian

May 2002 – The Bangles, a long forgotten 1980s girl band, will always be remembered by an Egyptian teenager who suffered untold playground trauma provoked by their unfounded hit theory on how to identify his fellow countrymen through a peculiar national trait. Read on


The kelabgi

March 2000 – We Egyptians regard meat with a certain intimacy and affection. No dinner table is quite complete without it. We even have a word for a meal that’s missing that essential ingredient: “Urdihey,” many a husband has complained. Read on


Trouble in the Balkans

January 2000 – Indirect flights can be cheaper, but they can also be gruelling. Khaled Diab came from London the hard way. Read on


A severe case of amnesia

I am in my dark office. It is nearing the end of my day. Another long, fruitless day spent waiting for that elusive creature – a case. It has been several months since my last one and that was a simple case of abandonment by a son of a bitch – literally. I was commissioned by this lady to find the dog who walked out on her. Read on



Somewhere in the sprawling metropolis the mob lies in wait. Ready for the ambush. Concealed in the consuming crowds. Unbeknown to the naked eye, but we know they are there – a brooding swarm itching to pounce. Read on



ã2008 – Khaled Diab. Unless otherwise stated, all the content on this website is the copyright of Khaled Diab.

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