Read My Work

I Never Want to Leave Here

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(Published in The Manifest-Station) At 21, it was stomping through the streets of Bath under a perpetual pissing of rain, reading the obscure poetry of Anne Finch and Lady Mary Montagu, hanging around pubs in between class waiting for English men to talk to me. It was liking myself more than I ever had before. […] Read more…

A Good Swiss Name

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(Published in Eclectica Magazine) When I noticed the old man looking out onto the Sea of Gibraltar from our riad rooftop in Tangier, I wanted him to like me in that gushy, breathless way that people like you. I wanted him to be impressed by the off-handed way I might mention all the languages I […] Read more…

I Heart Yogyakarta

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(Published in Two Cities Review) One hazy morning in Yogyakarta, I stumbled out of bed and into the shared bathroom— fairly confident that the cockroaches had vacated the premises by daylight. I looked in the mirror and let out a sharp gasp. My right eyelid was completely swollen. I had been exhausted for days, pinned […] Read more…

City of Promise

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(Published in FUSION) Every Tuesday and Thursday at dawn, I rode the 57 Bus into Kenmore Square–home of Fenway Park, the Citgo Sign, and Landsdowne Street, the center of Boston’s nightlife. By the time the sun peaked through the gray buildings on Commonwealth Avenue, I’d persuaded myself into believing I’d made the right decision moving […] Read more…

Chelsea Girl

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(Published in The Summerset Review) I watched the Chelsea girls stalk down Kings Road. The street was hard and gritty under my feet, but the cement became gray velvet under their high-heeled shoes. I saw their packages from Harrods on Old Brompton Road. I imagined their walk down Sloane Street, chitchat in between the swish […] Read more…

The Female Side

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(Published in Redivider Journal) The male and female sides of Abu Dhabi University were mirror images: both pristine and starkly white, with South Asian security men guarding the connecting passageways. The male lobby was typically quiet, often witness to solemn greetings of salaamu alaykum, or the secrets of young men rushing to the computer lab […] Read more…

A Chapter Called ‘Women’

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(Published in The Lifted Brow) Yasmina tells me that in Dubai, the women’s effort came first, and then the government decided to give them support. I meet her one evening in the Dubai Women’s Club during Ramadan, after her fast has ended. She possesses a loose sort of beauty, with wide eyes and mouth. Her […] Read more…

Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights

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(Chapter One of my travel memoir, Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights, published by Pan Macmillan in 2012.) That first night in Abu Dhabi, I dreamed of a woman wearing a dazzling black headscarf hurrying through a maze of clay-coloured alleyways. She disappeared among the shadows cast by the domes of a nearby mosque and then […] Read more…