Short Takes

  • Corona Affairs, Iranian Style

    Corona Affairs, Iranian Style

    On Friday, March 20, I called my father to congratulate him on the Persian New Year. It felt gloomy, to put it mildly. We used to do it in person...

    Mar 29, 2020

  • My Fulbright and COVID-19

    My Fulbright and COVID-19

    On March 13, after three months in Spain on a seven-month Fulbright scholarship, I was informed by the Spanish Fulbright Commission that the State...

    Mar 27, 2020

  • On Fear

    On Fear

    In Jose Saramago’s novel Blindness, a pandemic sweeping the globe deprives people of sight. It simply happens; no explanation is given. Not unexpected...

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Immigration’s “Malaise”

    Immigration’s “Malaise”

    Today […] as never before, a sound immigration and naturalization system is essential to the preservation of our way of life, because that system is...

    Mar 25, 2020

  • Orientalism in the Age of COVID-19

    Orientalism in the Age of COVID-19

    When coronavirus became a thing, I remember thinking first, narcissistically, Oh, f**k, here come the racist taunts and slurs. My hindsight was not...

    Mar 24, 2020

  • Contagion: Before and Beyond COVID-19

    Contagion: Before and Beyond COVID-19

    This is the first of a series of essays on the pandemic, the rest of which will appear regularly in The Philosophical Salon, edited by Michael...

    Mar 19, 2020

  • Coronavirus, Welcome to America!

    Coronavirus, Welcome to America!

    Anyone who has ever stood in a long line at an airport can sympathize with the plight of the travelers returning from abroad, when they found...

    Mar 18, 2020

  • Is the End Nigh?

    Is the End Nigh?

    Is the coronavirus the end of the world as we know it? I was always told the world was going to end. In 1971, when I was a kid, George, the leader of...

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Social Distancing in the Age of Gigging

    Social Distancing in the Age of Gigging

    It feels like just yesterday that we began to hear the ominous term, “social distancing,” with its quasi-public health connotation — stay away from...

    Mar 15, 2020

  • The Bullet: A Poem from Rojava

    The Bullet: A Poem from Rojava

    The same bullet that they use to kill us, they make into a necklace and sell at the market. The bullet is not blind; the wind makes it blind...

    Oct 7, 2019