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Khaled Diab

Brussels, Belgium
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About Khaled
Khaled Diab is an award-winning freelance journalist, blogger and writer who is currently based in Belgium. He has previously been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. 

Khaled writes for leading publications in Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Asia. He also produces audiovisual content and appears regularly as a commentator and analyst in the media. Khaled blogs at www.chronikler.com, and tweets at @DiabolicalIdea. 

Khaled is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (Gilgamesh, 2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (Guardian, 2014).
Arabic English Dutch
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Fact Checking

Tracking the Evolution of Black Excellence in Arts and Entertainment

03 Jan 2024  |  ashenewsdaily.com
The Global Black Impact Summit in Dubai on February 27, 2024, celebrates the contributions of Black individuals and organizations in various sectors, particularly in the arts and entertainment industry. The article highlights the historical significance of Black creatives, starting with the Harlem Renaissance, and acknowledges the profound impact of Black artists, authors, musicians, and filmmakers on global culture and economy. It emphasizes the role of Black excellence in driving change and inspiration, and the Summit aims to foster unity, collaboration, and empowerment among professionals across industries.

Carbon Market Watch welcomes EU ban on “carbon neutrality” greenwashing

20 Sep 2023  |  Carbon Market Watch
The EU has provisionally agreed to ban claims of carbon or climate neutrality in product advertisements, a move celebrated by Carbon Market Watch and climate campaigners. The decision concludes negotiations on the Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition directive, aiming to update EU consumer protection laws. The ban targets misleading 'carbon neutral' advertising and is expected to influence the voluntary carbon market and upcoming EU legislation, including the Green Claims Directive and the Carbon Removal Certification Framework. Carbon Market Watch representatives Lindsay Otis and Gilles Dufrasne praise the EU's leadership in combating greenwashing and the signal sent to the voluntary carbon market that offsetting cannot compensate for pollution.

Minorities in Belgium: From the margins to the mainstream

14 Sep 2023  |  chronikler.com
Minorities in Belgium have made significant strides in various sectors, including politics, sports, and culture, becoming more visible and influential. Despite this progress, they face a resurgence of racism and nativism, particularly from the radical right. Trailblazers like Meyrem Almaci, the first minority leader of a Flemish political party, have overcome discrimination and societal expectations to achieve success. High-profile figures like footballer Romelu Lukaku and musician Stromae have become symbols of Belgium's diversity. However, the political landscape is shifting, with the far right gaining ground and centrist parties adopting more conservative stances on immigration and minority issues. The upcoming 2024 elections are a source of concern for minorities, who fear the potential rise of extremist right-wing parties.

The precarious future of journalism in the age of AI

29 Jul 2023  |  chronikler.com
Artificial intelligence, particularly large language models, is increasingly influencing journalism, with potential benefits like Big Data journalism and back office automation, but also significant risks such as job losses, fake news proliferation, and the creation of echo chambers. Recent developments, such as Bild's decision to lay off a third of its staff in favor of AI, highlight the urgency of these issues. While AI could democratize media production and enhance investigative journalism, unchecked reliance on AI could exacerbate biases and misinformation. Ethical, social, and environmental considerations must guide AI's integration into media to ensure it complements rather than replaces human journalists.

What future for journalism in the age of AI?

25 Jul 2023  |  weeklycuttingedge.com
Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming the media landscape, directly affecting journalism through Big Data and indirectly through search engine and social media algorithms. The integration of AI into content creation raises questions about the future role of human journalists. While AI can democratize media production and enhance investigative journalism, it also poses risks of job loss, misinformation, and bias. The ethical, social, and environmental implications of AI in media must be carefully considered, and decisions about its role should involve all stakeholders.

The queen, the princess and the prophet

27 Oct 2022  |  chronikler.com
The theory that Queen Elizabeth II was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, though improbable, highlights the complex post-colonial reality and the intertwined history of Islam and Christendom. The theory originated from a claim by genealogist Harold B. Brooks-Baker in 1986 and suggests a connection through a Muslim princess named Zaida from medieval Spain. The narrative challenges modern Islamist and ultranationalist views by showing the shared history between Britain and Islamic dynasties. The article also discusses the varied reactions to Elizabeth II's death within Muslim communities and the broader implications of the British monarchy's legacy in former colonies, touching on sentiments of nostalgia, admiration, and bitterness towards the British empire.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Prophet: An Enduring Tie

14 Sep 2022  |  New Lines Magazine
The article discusses the theory that Queen Elizabeth II was descended from the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a claim that has circulated in Muslim circles and has historical roots dating back to a 1986 letter to Margaret Thatcher by genealogist Harold Brooks-Baker. The theory connects the British royal family to Islamic dynasties and challenges narratives in both Islamist and ultranationalist thought. The article explores the historical context of the claim, tracing potential lineage through medieval Spain and the figure of Zaida, a princess who may have been related to the prophet. The piece also reflects on the symbolic significance of the claim for British Muslims and the complex postcolonial sentiments towards the British monarchy in former colonies, highlighting the nuanced relationship between Britain and the Islamic world.

FIFA World Cup in Qatar scores own goal with misleading carbon neutrality claim, new report

31 May 2022  |  carbonmarketwatch.org
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar's claim of being the first carbon-neutral tournament is challenged by a new report from Carbon Market Watch. The report, authored by Gilles Dufrasne, suggests that the carbon neutrality claim is based on creative accounting rather than actual carbon footprint reduction to net zero. It highlights the underestimation of emissions from new stadium construction and questions the environmental integrity of carbon credits being purchased for offsetting, indicating that the emissions will likely be higher than organizers expect and the offsets insufficient for a positive climate impact.

The Shifting Cultural Role of Clothes

25 Mar 2022  |  newlinesmag.com
The article explores the evolving cultural role of clothing, examining how traditional attire has given way to more globalized fashion trends while still retaining elements of cultural identity. It discusses the historical exchange of fashion between the East and West, highlighting how many Western styles have Eastern origins. The author reflects on personal experiences with traditional Egyptian clothing and the broader implications of fashion on identity, gender roles, and societal norms. The piece also touches on the politicization of garments like the keffiyeh and the complex relationship between modernity, tradition, and authenticity in clothing.

The thin green line

02 Sep 2021  |  meta.eeb.org
Khaled Diab reflects on his experiences with the European Environmental Bureau and the broader environmental movement, highlighting the dedication of activists and the potential for positive change. He discusses the European Green Deal, the impact of youth activists, and the challenges of implementing sustainable solutions. Diab also addresses the social dimensions of environmental issues, including gender and racial inequalities, and the need for holistic changes to our socioeconomic systems to effectively combat climate change and environmental degradation.

Rare tombs from pre-Pharaonic era discovered in Egypt

29 Apr 2021  |  www.aljazeera.com
Egyptian archaeologists in the Nile Delta uncovered pre-dynastic tombs dating back over 5,000 years, from the Buto period and Naqada III period, as well as tombs from the Hyksos period (1650 to 1500 BC). The discovery in Dakahlia governorate could provide insights into the early periods of Egyptian history and the era of the Hyksos, who migrated into Egypt around 1800 BC. The Buto tombs were oval-shaped with corpses in a foetal position, while the Naqada period tombs contained vessels. The Hyksos tombs were semi-rectangular with extended-position corpses. Artifacts such as ovens, stoves, pottery, and amulets were also found.

Denmark’s white ghetto mindset

16 Apr 2021  |  chronikler.com
Denmark's policy to break up immigrant ghettos by limiting 'non-western' residents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods is critiqued as reflecting a ghetto mentality among the majority rather than minorities. The policy, which includes stripping Syrian refugees of residency permits, is compared to forced assimilation and segregation ideologies. The article argues that the real issue is socioeconomic marginalisation, not identity politics, and warns against Denmark's authoritarian approach potentially leading to fascism. It advocates for policies that combat racism and provide equal opportunities for minorities.

Overcoming the hidden environmental costs of solar energy

08 Apr 2021  |  meta.eeb.org
A new simulation suggests that harnessing solar energy could require up to 5% of some countries' territories, potentially causing significant environmental side effects like habitat loss and deforestation. The study, involving the Basque Centre for Climate Change and the LOCOMOTION project, highlights the land use impact of solar installations, especially in the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and India. It suggests that the expansion of solar energy could indirectly increase global cropland cover and lead to biodiversity loss and unaccounted emissions. The article discusses the challenges of desert solar installations and the importance of integrating solar infrastructure into urban spaces or areas with negligible productive or natural value. It advocates for sustainable harnessing of solar power, including maintaining land's previous functions and reducing energy consumption.

There are grounds for concern about solar power

07 Apr 2021  |  www.aljazeera.com
Solar power, while abundant and clean, faces significant challenges including land use, environmental impacts, and indirect effects such as deforestation and emissions from land use changes. A study by the Basque Centre for Climate Change highlights the substantial land requirements for solar installations in regions like the EU, Japan, and South Korea. The article suggests that integrating solar panels with agricultural land and focusing on demand-side energy reduction are essential for a sustainable renewable energy future.

Europe’s race against time

24 Mar 2021  |  meta.eeb.org
The European Union is intensifying its efforts to combat racism and discrimination, highlighted by the first high-level European Anti-Racism Summit and the EU’s Anti-Racism Action Plan for 2020-2025. Despite these efforts, Roma communities continue to face profound discrimination, and environmental racism pushes marginalized communities to the toxic margins of society. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Roma and other marginalized minorities. The article also discusses the challenges of integrating minorities and the backlash against their growing empowerment, citing examples from France and Britain. It calls for a more critical understanding of historical figures like Napoleon and Churchill and highlights the lack of diversity in EU institutions and the environmental movement. The author, Khaled Diab, reflects on his personal experiences with racism and the structural barriers to diversity in Europe.

Egypt’s military dominates 10 years after revolution

26 Jan 2021  |  aljazeera.com
A decade after the Egyptian revolution, the military continues to exert significant influence over the country's politics and business, with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi consolidating power by placing loyalists in key military and intelligence positions. Despite the military's historical popularity and role in national pride, el-Sisi has taken steps to prevent any potential threats to his rule from within the military, including reshuffling over 130 high-ranking officials since 2017. The military's business interests have grown, and the 2019 constitution acknowledges its supra-constitutional status, allowing it to intervene in politics independently.

Working towards a cure for Europe’s economic burnout

26 Nov 2020  |  meta.eeb.org
The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the flaws of a growth-driven economy, revealing its inadequacies for workers and the environment. A new report, co-authored by the EEB and the European Youth Forum, offers a radical blueprint for post-pandemic Europe, challenging the notion that economic growth is essential for job creation. The report suggests that health should be prioritized over wealth and proposes solutions like universal basic incomes, shorter working weeks, and job sharing to ensure wellbeing without economic growth. The pandemic has exposed the economic system's shortcomings and the need for systemic change, emphasizing that the economy should serve life, not vice versa.

This link contains information on my book, 'Islam for the Politically Incorrect'.

My Al Jazeera op-eds are available here.

The Chronikler

10 Apr 2018  |  The Chronikler - The annals of history in the making
The article discusses the success of minorities in various sectors in Belgium, highlighting their achievements across different fields. Despite their success, there is a growing concern among these communities about the rise of a radical racist right-wing movement. This concern is particularly acute as the country approaches its election period, which adds to the sense of urgency and apprehension among minority groups who fear the potential implications of a political shift towards the right.

The Egyptian roots of feminism

03 Feb 2017  |  aljazeera.com
The article discusses the often overlooked contributions of ancient Egypt to gender equality, contrasting it with the status of women in ancient Greece. Egyptian women enjoyed legal equality with men, including the right to work, own property, and divorce. The author, Khaled Diab, highlights that despite this legal equality, Egyptian women still faced a glass ceiling. The article aims to provide a historical perspective that challenges the notion that gender equality is a Western concept, offering inspiration for feminists in non-Western societies.

Israel’s war on peaceful activism

29 Sep 2016  |  www.aljazeera.com
Belgian peace activist Brigitte Herremans was deported from Israel and banned for ten years due to her refusal to divulge contacts to authorities, highlighting Israel's growing animosity towards NGOs. NGO Monitor has targeted Herremans and her affiliated charities, Broederlijk Delen and Pax Christi, for their work in promoting human rights and allegedly supporting BDS, which Herremans denies. The Israeli government's fear of civil society and rights groups is evident in its legislative actions, such as the controversial NGO law. Despite threats, Palestinian and Israeli activists continue to oppose the occupation and work towards peace.

Egypt’s nuclear energy folly

04 Jun 2016  |  www.aljazeera.com
Khaled Diab critiques Egypt's decision to invest $25bn in a nuclear power plant, arguing that it is a folly given the risks, high costs, and Egypt's lack of scientific and technological expertise. He points out the environmental costs, the potential for dependence on foreign technology and fuel, and the opportunity costs compared to renewable energy sources. Diab suggests that Egypt's future lies in renewables, which offer job creation, business opportunities, and energy scalability, rather than in nuclear energy.

Egypt’s pharaoh illusion

19 May 2016  |  www.aljazeera.com
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's claim of not being a pharaoh is contrasted with the ongoing crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression, including the arrest of satirical group 'Street Children'. The article discusses the historical myth of Egyptian leaders as pharaohs, tracing it back to Gamal Abdel-Nasser's era, and argues that despite Nasser's initial commitment to democracy, he established a personal fiefdom. The piece suggests that the current regime's tactics of coercion and co-option are unlikely to succeed in the face of a population that no longer accepts the old myths, implying that Sisi's regime may be doomed.

Diversity in disunity in the Middle East

12 Apr 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The Ottoman Empire's 'millet' system, which granted autonomy to recognized religious or sects, is still influencing the Middle East today, shaping personal status and family laws. This system, which once allowed for a diverse empire, now contributes to social rigidity and identity politics, making it difficult to form hybrid identities. It also leads to institutionalized discrimination and, in extreme cases, persecution, as seen with ISIL's misuse of the religion field on Iraqi ID cards. However, reformers are pushing for change, with successes like civil marriages in Lebanon and the removal of the religion field from Turkish ID cards. The author, Khaled Diab, argues for the removal of religious and sectarian affiliation from official documents to promote freedom of belief and a unified national identity.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali: Make diplomacy, not war

17 Feb 2016  |  www.aljazeera.com
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a distinguished Egyptian diplomat and former UN Secretary-General, passed away at 93. He was known for his academic prowess, service in the Egyptian government, and efforts in international diplomacy, including peace negotiations with Israel and the release of Nelson Mandela. Despite challenges such as the Rwandan genocide, Boutros-Ghali's legacy includes his innovative Agenda for Peace and contributions to multilateralism and multiculturalism. His career reflects the complexities of international relations and the need for reform in global governance.

ISIS and the mash of civilisations

26 Nov 2015  |  The Chronikler - The annals of history in the making
ISIS's claim of responsibility for the Paris attacks and its rhetoric of a clash of civilizations is contradicted by its actions, which are driven by territorial and resource interests rather than ideology. The group's primary victims are Muslims, and its conflicts are more about power and influence than religious belief. The article argues that internal clashes within civilizations are more intense and destructive than those between them, as seen in the history of Europe and the schisms within Christianity. The author, Khaled Diab, suggests that recognizing the shared influences among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can help combat extremist ideologies.

The Middle East’s century to come

02 Nov 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
A century after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East continues to grapple with the legacy of European imperialism, post-colonial despotism, and neo-colonialism. Despite the initial optimism of the Arab Spring, the region faces extreme violence and instability, with countries like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya in turmoil. The Gulf states, despite their wealth, are vulnerable due to falling oil prices and the war in Yemen. The Middle East is at risk of a regional 'world war' with the involvement of global powers and the Saudi-Iran conflict. However, there are signs of hope with the potential for secularization, a redefined role of religion in politics, and a gender revolution. The end of the oil era may provide the opportunity for the region to build a future of prosperity and justice.

One billionaire’s dream to build a refugee utopia

07 Sep 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris proposed buying a Mediterranean island to create a refuge for Syrian and other refugees, naming it Ilan in honor of the drowned Syrian child Aylan Kurdi. The plan includes self-sufficiency with refugees building their own infrastructure, challenging European anti-immigrant sentiment. Despite the appeal, issues of sovereignty and practicality pose significant challenges. The article also discusses the broader context of Arab billionaires' philanthropy and the need for systemic change in the Arab world, rather than relying on individual efforts of the wealthy.

Omar Sharif: Actor without borders

11 Jul 2015  |  Al Jazeera
Omar Sharif, an Egyptian actor known for his roles in films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, is remembered for his ability to transcend cultural barriers and challenge Western and Arab stereotypes. Born Michel Chalhoub, he changed his name and converted to Islam to marry Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. Despite his varied roles and international fame, Sharif avoided political art and activism, living a cosmopolitan life. His later years saw a return to quality cinema, but it is his persona, rather than his artistic legacy, that is most missed in an era of cultural polarization.

The empire must not strike back

29 May 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
Khaled Diab critiques the nostalgia for empire in Middle East politics, particularly the admiration for historical empires' supposed benefits. He dissects the flawed logic of Robert Kaplan's admiration for imperialism, highlighting the chaos and instability it brought, including the arbitrary Sykes-Picot borders and the rise of autocratic post-colonial leaders. Diab argues that the U.S. has continued this legacy of destabilization through support of dictators and military interventions. He suggests that, instead of longing for past empires, the Middle East could benefit from a voluntary, democratic union similar to the European Union, although he acknowledges the current geopolitical challenges to such a vision.

Egypt’s justice minister tells it like it is

12 May 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
Former Egyptian Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber resigned following public outrage over his televised remarks suggesting that children of modest occupations, such as rubbish collectors, are unsuitable for judicial careers. Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and others criticized the elitist sentiment, which contradicts Egypt's constitutional guarantees of equal opportunity. The incident highlighted the persistent issues of nepotism and classism in Egypt, despite the social mobility aspirations of the 1952 and 2011 revolutions. The author, Khaled Diab, reflects on the social divisions and the fleeting unity during the Republic of Tahrir, hoping for a renewed focus on social justice.

Slaves to history

08 May 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
The article connects the unrest in Baltimore to the legacy of slavery, emphasizing that slavery's impact is not unique to America but a global issue. It highlights the diverse reality of slavery, including the enslavement of various races and nationalities throughout history. The piece discusses the often-overlooked history of white slavery, including Irish slaves sent to the Caribbean and Europeans captured by Barbary pirates. It contrasts slavery in the Arab and Muslim world with that in the Americas, noting the different roles slaves held and the noble act of freeing slaves in Islam. The article criticizes the Arab world's lack of attention to the legacy of slavery, which affects attitudes towards Africans and migrant workers. It concludes that failing to address the impact of slavery allows the past to unduly shape the present.

The jihadist selfie is changing the image of holy war

11 Mar 2015  |  www.aljazeera.com
The phenomenon of selfies has permeated various aspects of society, including jihadist groups who use them for recruitment and image transformation. This trend contrasts with traditional conservative views in Muslim societies, where selfies are sometimes seen as haram. The article explores the historical context of self-portraits and argues that modern technology has democratized self-expression rather than making society more self-centered.

How Belgians Agree to Differ

19 May 2014  |  www.nytimes.com
Belgium, currently experiencing soccer mania due to the World Cup, is facing a national divide that is likely to be highlighted in the upcoming regional, federal, and European Parliament elections. The Dutch-speaking Flanders region leans towards the neoliberal, secessionist Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, while the Francophone Wallonia region supports the leftist Parti Socialiste. The linguistic divide, absence of national parties and media, and regionalized education contribute to the country's fragmentation. Brussels, officially bilingual, is now predominantly Francophone with a minority of Dutch speakers. The author, a naturalized citizen, laments the disintegration of Belgian unity, noting that for immigrants, identifying as Belgian is easier due to less ethnic baggage. The ethnic diversity of Brussels is reflected in the national soccer team, with players like Vincent Kompany serving as unifying figures.

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