The Stranger by Albert Camus.
The Stranger by Albert Camus.

My favourite reads: Kevin Jeffers

Three years ago I brought over four suitcases from Alabama – three filled with clothes, one with books. Although now I read mostly eBooks, when picking these I stuck with books whose paper versions always have a place on my shelf, no matter where home is.

Kevin Jeffers is a multimedia editor at The National

The Complete Stories

by Bernard Malamud

Better known for The Natural and the Pulitzer-winning The Fixer, it is his short stories that make Malamud one of my favourite authors. My copy of Stories is beaten up and stained from so many plane trips and lunch breaks spent checking off another story in the index. Although I have admittedly never finished the entire 55-piece collection, I regularly go back and read The Magic Barrel.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Mark Haddon

The best fiction transports and teaches at the same time. Haddon’s crime caper through the eyes of a high-functioning autistic trying to solve the murder of a neighbour’s dog, shows just how difficult the daily life of someone with a social disability can be. Empathy is one of our most important social skills, and this book does an amazing job.

The Stranger

by Albert Camus

I’m realising that three of the books I have chosen came from the same 20th-century fiction course with my favourite university professor, and this was the first on the syllabus. Existentialism is a bit too dark for me to embrace as a full-stop world view, but for a spiritually curious 20-something, discovering Camus – and the option of the lack of spirituality as a counterpoint – was enlightening.

Tiny Beautiful Things

by Cheryl Strayed

Before Wild became a bestseller for Strayed, she wrote for literary website The Rumpus for a few years under the guise of Dear Sugar, answering letters in the vein of Dear Abby. Part-self-help, part-memoir, and fully a showcase of astonishing writing ability, this is the book I tend to recommend more than any others for its universally useful advice, to say nothing of how entertaining it is.


by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

The loud and awful film has killed some its lustre, but this classic graphic novel is still the model for an entire artform. This masterpiece of world and character-building, along with Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, proved the literary worth and potential of comics. Time magazine agreed, putting Watchmen on its list of its all-time 100 Novels.

England squad

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Lewis Gregory, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Amar Virdi, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

About Seez

Company name/date started: Seez, set up in September 2015 and the app was released in August 2017  

Founder/CEO name(s): Tarek Kabrit, co-founder and chief executive, and Andrew Kabrit, co-founder and chief operating officer

Based in: Dubai, with operations also in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon 

Sector:  Search engine for car buying, selling and leasing

Size: (employees/revenue): 11; undisclosed

Stage of funding: $1.8 million in seed funding; followed by another $1.5m bridge round - in the process of closing Series A 

Investors: Wamda Capital, B&Y and Phoenician Funds 

US households add $601bn of debt in 2019

American households borrowed another $601 billion (Dh2.2bn) in 2019, the largest yearly gain since 2007, just before the global financial crisis, according to February data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Fuelled by rising mortgage debt as homebuyers continued to take advantage of low interest rates, the increase last year brought total household debt to a record high, surpassing the previous peak reached in 2008 just before the market crash, according to the report.

Following the 22nd straight quarter of growth, American household debt swelled to $14.15 trillion by the end of 2019, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report.

In the final three months of the year, new home loans jumped to their highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2005, while credit cards and auto loans also added to the increase.

The bad debt load is taking its toll on some households, and the New York Fed warned that more and more credit card borrowers — particularly young people — were falling behind on their payments.

"Younger borrowers, who are disproportionately likely to have credit cards and student loans as their primary form of debt, struggle more than others with on-time repayment," New York Fed researchers said.


Punjabi Legends Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi

Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag

Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC

Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC

Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes

Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5


Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Zeno Debast, Arthur Theate, Wout Faes

Midfielders: Hans Vanaken, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Timothy Castagne, Thomas Meunier

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Loïs Openda, Charles De Ketelaere, Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku, Dries Mertens, Leandro Trossard

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