I often wish I was younger. Not significantly younger, because I don’t think that’s reasonable, but maybe just five or six years younger. The reason for this goes beyond that ever-present yearning baked into all our psyches to be sharper, slimmer, quicker, fresher, and more idealistic. I am more or less at peace with this sentiment and have never really minded my age.

No, it’s more so that I feel like I just started to figure things out.

I don’t think I’ve ever lived a life more aligned with my personal aspirations than the one I have now. The job…


Photo taken in Times Square in March 2020

Ever since I graduated from college, I have seen self-fulfillment as the primary road to happiness, holding out for that lifestyle that most aligns with my quest for meaning. But the problem with self-fulfillment is that it often requires you to start over again and again, which can compromise your comfort and stability, leaving you behind your peers in the great game of life. …


Earlier this month, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria hosted former Vice President Al Gore for an interview where the two discussed the choice Americans will be making in the presidential election. During the conversation, Gore retold the Abrahamic story of Solomon, a judge faced with two women claiming the same baby as their own. Initially, Solomon ruled that the baby be split in half between the two women. But when one of them relinquished her claim to save the baby’s life, he reversed his decision and ruled in her favor; it was clear she was the child’s mother.

Gore goes on to…


I was upset when I saw the news that none of the officers responsible for the killing of Breonna Taylor would face any charges. I said as much on my Instagram account when I posted a story saying that the ruling prioritized property over human life. The post was meant to draw fellow users’ attention to yet another example of the systemic racism that continues to oppress Black citizens in America.

Well, that’s what I’d like you to think at least.

The truth is that I held my breath for the next 23 hours and 59 seconds, stressfully counting down…


Revisionist History recently completed a four-part series on Air Force General and Distinguished Service Cross recipient, Curtis LeMay. As with all episodes of Malcolm Gladwell’s truth-telling podcast, the aim of the quadrilogy was to examine the “overlooked and misunderstood.” In LeMay’s case, that meant delving beneath the sheen of his accolades to understand how he got his hardware.

LeMay was what Gladwell termed a “problem solver.” As you listen to the episodes, you learn that the label is a bit of a misnomer. The “problem solver” does not receive this title because of their painstaking efforts to digest the full…


A week ago, I went for a run. It was the same four miles that I run a few times a week. I have been stuck on four miles since January 2020, when I set a goal to comfortably cruise through them at under a seven-minute pace on a regular basis by year’s end. Unfortunately, I have run four miles on over 60 occasions this year and only broken seven minutes twice, and by the skin of my teeth at 6:59 and 6:55. Not exactly the comfort I set my sights on back in January.

The run I went on…


The 2020 US Presidential election is less than 100 days away. As the date draws closer, I have observed an increasing number of politically-inclined friends, activists, scholars, and NGOs emphasize the paramount importance of the election as a potential savior for American democracy. In many ways, this is true. I understand just how high the stakes are and will cast my vote accordingly. But I also keep asking myself something: what kind of mature, institutional democracy, puts all its hopes for great change, the “restoration” of its very essence, in an election? In a person, or a group of people…


New Yorkers love to tell you that they’re tough.

This, of course, is the city that never sleeps. The cultural, economic, and creative capital of the world. The city that survived 9/11, the blackouts, the 2008 recession, and the now-historic events of the American Revolution and Black Tuesday, among countless others, cemented in the annals of history to comprise the bedrock of this tough identity. This is the city indomitable.

So when I moved here in late-February 2020, on the cusp of an unprecedented global pandemic, I wasn’t worried. Certainly, I was concerned for my health and took the threat…


My Brothers’ Burden

I’m Egyptian. Over the years, people, places, and organizations have issued opinions and decrees on my race. Some, like the US Census, and most job applications, say I’m White. Others, Black. My fellow Brown people consider me one of their own. I identify as Arab-American, and Brown….and African, but I typically don’t mind what I’m labeled because it’s kind of a gray area and race/ethnicity is kind of fluid. What is not fluid though, is that I am a person of color, and I am not White.

Yesterday, someone identified me as Black.

I had just hopped…


Questioning parallels and testing institutional democracy

Image via 9gag.com

I recently came across some graffiti in my neighborhood in Washington, DC that read “F*** Trump.” As I pulled my phone out to snap a photo, I stopped and remembered all the “Sisi is a murderer” images I encountered when I lived in Cairo. The parallel troubled me… are we becoming Egypt? A lot of fellow Egyptian-Americans and Middle East analysts have been raising this, and similar, question(s) as of late.

Almost immediately after Donald Trump’s election, I descended into self-criticism, shaming myself for dedicating my career to a dream of an Egypt that…

Amr Kotb

Reflections on government, culture, politics, and society.

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