"Globalisation is happening. It is driven by economics, ideology and communications. But does this have to entail the annexation of chunks of the world by the Great Power of any given moment? Surely that is the path to constant conflict, to grief and misery. There is another way: to inhabit and broaden the common ground. This is the ground where everybody is welcome, the ground we need to defend and to expand. It is in Mezzaterra that every responsible person on this planet now needs to pitch their tent. This is the ground from which this book is calling." Ahdaf Soueif is one of the finest commentators of our time. Her clear-eyed reporting is syndicated throughout the world, and these essays, written between 1981 and the present, are collected here for the first time. They are the direct result of Soueif's own circumstances of being, as she puts it, "like hundreds of thousands of others: people with an Arab or a Muslim background doing daily double-takes when faced with their reflection in a western mirror". From visiting Palestine and entering the Noble Sanctuary for the first time, to interpretations of women who choose to wear the veil, and to post-September 11th commentary, these selected essays are always perceptive, fearless, intelligent and necessary.