It has been an incredible year as I lived, worked and traveled to Muscat, Dubai, Ibri, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kuwait City. It has truly been the year of the Khaleej for me. The work and travel reflect in my writing as I wrote a lot based on my travels on my blog as field notes towards a book on the transformation of the Khaleej. Some of my most valuable posts were written after conversations with brilliant cab drivers in Dubai and Doha as a part of my conversations with Cabbie series. I followed these up with conversations with auto drivers in Pune in the past 75 days. I managed to get in a few dozen poems and photo essays as well which I am keen to develop as a narrative artist.
I have written for SAFPO, a boutique research platform focused on the Indo-Pacific this year on migration governance and environmental data politics. In Pune, I am fortunate to have founded an opportunity to write an article weekly for The Tilak Chronicle, a policy think tank here starting this month. I am looking forward to writing more in 2020 as I plan to completing my book project which has been under ‘work in progress’ mode for a while.
I was blessed to speak at a WHO Global Health Histories Seminar 124 at Doha in April and the Sustainable Mining Conference in September. On the technical front as an ESIA practitioner, I co-authored an abstract for the World Desalination Congress 2019 which was accepted and have a paper accepted at the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA 2020) Conference in Spain next year.
I managed to read intensely on the history of the gulf and have started picking up an interest in oral histories and digital archives. Hence, in order to plug in a gap in literature and cultural memory, I have co-founded ‘The Omani Bania Archive’ with a third generation Kutchi Bania Sadiq in Masqat. In this post truth and text era, we need even more thoughtful work in order to build the ‘gyms of the mind’ in the words of Spivak to combat the waste accumulated by mindless constant distractions.
I write therefore I exist has been my working philosophy as the limits of language are the limits of our world.
Wishing all friends, a Blessed Holiday Season.