Archive for January, 2009

Travel is good training for politics

I’m a big believer in the benefits of spending time abroad. I think it’s pretty much a necessity nowadays for anyone who wants to work at the top echelons of a major corporation, and it really should be a requirement for anyone who aspires to national political office. Here is what I wrote about the topic in my travel memoir: […]

Sufi Muslims and Islam

Could the West gain a foothold in the battle against Islamic terrorism by working to strengthen Islam? Yes, under certain conditions, suggests this intriguing essay in the Boston Globe. According to the author, Philip Jenkins, the West has a natural ally in the Sufi Muslim movement, which is a more mystical branch of Islam that has […]

The canals freeze, the Dutch rejoice

Anyone who is familiar with the Netherlands knows that the Dutch have a unique and special relationship with the water. And in the winter, what they really want to do is to skate on the frozen water of the canals that crisscross their country. Sadly, though, an activity that was once an annual obsession now happens […]

Why reading matters

Today, Barack Obama is being inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. Yesterday, though, there was a fascinating article in the NY Times about Obama’s reading habits. Written by the paper’s book critic, Michiko Kakutani, the piece explores how Obama has been shaped by the books he has read and, by extension, how books […]

Why the mind needs nature

I just came across an interesting article in the Boston Globe’s Ideas section. The main point of the piece is that our brains benefit from time in nature, which is something that fewer of us get these days because a majority of individuals reside in cities. “The mind is a limited machine,”says Marc Berman, a psychologist at […]

The dwindling Zoroastrians

Most people know that Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the world’s three great monotheistic religions, all sprang from the Middle East. But how many are aware that another significant – and even older – monotheistic faith also arose in that region of the world? Zoroastrianism was born in the Persian empire, in what is now Iran, and was […]

    Meet Bob Riel


    Bob Riel is a writer and a traveler. Go here to read more about Bob, his work and the Travels in the Riel World blog.


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