Geographies
My Days in Damascus: Leaving the Belly of the Whale, Part 1

My Days in Damascus: Leaving the Belly of the Whale, Part 1

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital city, where she faces the daily struggles of trying to maintain a normal social and professional life in a country being ripped apart by war. More»

Can We Avoid Losing More Generations?

Can We Avoid Losing More Generations?

As President Obama headed to the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, his last planned visit in his current capacity as head of state, he was highly cognizant of the meeting’s significance. More»

The School Years

The School Years

It is a leisurely  five-minute walk from where I lived to the Gymnasia on Tel Aviv’s Jabotinsky street, and many long years since I dropped out in disgrace at the age of fifteen and a half. More»

ISIS in Crisis

ISIS in Crisis

Islamic State’s retreat from the Turkish border, and the arrest of multiple suicide bombers trying to cross over to hit Turkish targets this weekend, shows that the group’s strategy is changing rapidly. With Turkey still a source of illegal funds and recruits, ISIS nonetheless appears much less concerned with maintaining a “live and let live” approach with the security forces.  More»

Long Read: Game of Shrines and the Road to Darayya

Long Read: Game of Shrines and the Road to Darayya

As the Syrian government and its allied militias evacuate mostly Sunni populations from rebel-held areas, sectarian narratives are filling the vacuum. More»

Down with NATO

Down with NATO

In his latest speech, President Jean-Claude Juncker talked up the necessity of the EU creating its own military headquarters and work towards a common military force. Juncker claimed this new force would be complementary to NATO. He clearly wanted to reassure the Americans that the EU does not wish to usurp them. Yet its hard not to see the potential for a realignment here. More»

Open Letter: ‘Resettlement, My Only Option to Live as a Gay Man’

Open Letter: ‘Resettlement, My Only Option to Live as a Gay Man’

In this open letter, a Ugandan man who has been assaulted for being gay pleads to be resettled to a safe country. As in many African countries, homosexuality has been legislated against in Uganda; in 2009, one politician even attempted to introduce the death penalty. More»

Analysis: How Evacuating al-Waer and ‘Other Darayyas’ Will Help Assad

Analysis: How Evacuating al-Waer and ‘Other Darayyas’ Will Help Assad

The recent ultimatum directed at the besieged city of Darayya is just one example of a larger strategy of brutal population displacement that Assad’s government will use to regain control of opposition-held Syria. More»

Progress Sucks

Progress Sucks

Progress has a bad name these days. There is a certain degree of justice in this. For the vast majority of human history, things were seen to be static. What would be was what had been, at least until some sort of apocalypse brought matters to a close. Progress as a historical motif gained its greatest prominence during the Enlightenment, although it was not really new then. More»

Mining the Miners

Mining the Miners

The notion of the gem or ore prospector occupies a certain romanticism in literature, and even historical non-fiction of gold rushes past. For American audiences, a rugged individualism is the norm, and even during the heyday of Soviet extractive resource development in Siberia, concessions were made to individual initiative to encourage the miners (the ones who weren’t forced labor, anyway). More»

Starve the Trolls

Starve the Trolls

In singling out the alt-right, Hillary Clinton has done more for rebranded extremists than any amount of tweeting or memes could ever do. ‘Do not feed the trolls’ was always a sensible adage. Yet we find Hillary can’t resist giving them a rhetorical thumping. Perhaps the Democrats have a stake in provoking right-wing abuse. More»

Experts Weigh In: How to End the Stalemate in Aleppo

Experts Weigh In: How to End the Stalemate in Aleppo

Five years on and the Syrian army and rebel fighters continue to battle for Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. We asked three experts what needs to happen for the stalemate to end. More»