HOW ARABIC MADE IT NEW, on the modernist poets of Beirut. In The New York Review of Books, November 7, 2019.
GOD, THE EDITOR, on Jack Miles’ theography and the attempt to read the Bible and Qur’an as divine memoir.
In Harper’s, November 2018.
IF THE HARE SEES THE SEA, on a 14th century Egyptian attempt to capture the entire universe inside a book.
In the London Review of Books, November 30, 2017.
THE EGYPTIAN SATIRIST WHO INSPIRED A REVOLUTION, on the late 19th century newspaper Abou Naddara & prophecies of today's Egypt.
With Hussein Omar in The New Yorker, June 6, 2016.
IT HAS BURNED MY HEART, on the many retellings & manipulations of the Prophet Muhammad's life story.
In the London Review of Books, October 22, 2015.
PHILIP'S PEOPLE, on the apotheosis of Prince Philip in Vanuatu.
In the London Review of Books, May 8, 2014.
HOW TO STOP TIME, a reverie on procrastination as resistance and reclaiming the right to idleness.
Cover story of The New York Times Sunday Review, September 26, 2014.
A GOD IN SPITE OF HIS NOSE, on Nasser, Nehru and Gandhi— and the Egyptian playwright who made them into gods.
In The White Review, September 2013.
FIRST AS SHADOW, THEN AS FARCE, on a night spent with the thirteenth-century Cairene playwright, Ibn Daniyal.
With Hussein Omar in Jadaliyya, April 30, 2013.
SANDY AND THE SANDMAN, on New Yorkers’ dreams of a great flood.
In Harper’s, December 21, 2012.
WAIT A WHILE, on the Beatles, the Six-Day War, and the Palestinian rock band Sabreen.
Essay commissioned for Michael Rakowitz’s project The Breakup, produced by Lombard Freid and Bidoun Projects, September 2012.
A VERY STILL LIFE, on Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s forgotten painting career.
In Bidoun #27: Diaspora, July 2012. Mentioned in Dave Eggers' The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. PDF
OCCUPY GODHEAD, on people who have been involuntarily deified.
in Bidoun #26: Soft Power. Published online as ACCIDENTAL GODS in Killing the Buddha, May 2012.
THWACK! on the Bollywoodization of cricket.
In Bidoun #24: Sports, February 2011.
GROUND ZERO DREAMS, on dreaming about 9/11.
In Cult/ure: The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School, Spring 2010.