Sophie McBain is a freelance writer based in Cairo. She was previously an assistant editor at the New Statesman.
There is something unsettling about the western media’s fascination with North Korea, as these two books reveal.
In a new wave of repression under the Sisi regime, Egyptians are being forcibly disappeared.
Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, champions “neurodiversity”.
Three new books explore the modern information assault - and how to survive it.
Sophie McBain reviews Jonathan Littell's Syrian Notebooks and Voices of the Arab Spring by Asaad al-Saleh.
The 2014 Eurovision winner already counts Cher and Lagerfeld among her fans. Now, her message of tolerance is going global.
“A revolution is basically a human change, not a political one,” he says. “People are no longer the Egyptians they were under Mubarak.”
Last year, almost a million free food parcels were handed out. At the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, Sophie McBain meets the people only a pay cheque from crisis.
A long, porous border with Libya puts Egypt at risk. Now it is even harder for president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to provide the security his mandate depends on.
Moazzam Begg was imprisoned as a terror suspect but never tried. Who is he? What does he want? And why are the security services so interested in him?
Twenty years ago, Labour won a landslide on a tide of optimism. Where did it all go wrong?
Find out in this week’s New Statesman. Subscribe now from just £1 an issue.