Everyone's President

Everyone’s President

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. More»

Same As It Ever Is

Same As It Ever Is

The crowd at Club Congress is sparse. A few true believers and some people who are only here because they happened to be here already. My friend and I don’t fall into either category. I told him we had to see this show because it’s important, because I respect tradition, because it’s Dead Moon. They’re setting up right in front of us, out on the floor. More»

Weak and Stable

Weak and Stable

It’s hard to keep up with all the screw-ups and psychodramas of the Conservative government these days. You’re afraid you’ll miss one if you as much as blink. More»

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My Family

My Family

My father’s birth certificate tells us that he was born in Germany in the Westphalian town of Hörde, on the 15th of December 1877, the son of Herz Weinberg, and of  Johanna Weinberg née Alsberg both of the “Israelitisch”  faith. More»

Shipwreck Survivors Stranded by a Faltering Deal

Shipwreck Survivors Stranded by a Faltering Deal

As an EU–Turkey agreement on refugees nears collapse, Preethi Nallu and Iason Athanasiadis report from the Greek island of Lesbos on how the deal never fully stopped the deadly voyages and has left survivors of such tragedies in agonizing limbo. More»

Re-empowering Iran

Re-empowering Iran

Following the first Gulf War, the United States focused on preventing security and economic disruptions by Iran and Iraq, as their bitter rivalry throughout the 1980s shook the Persian Gulf region, threatening global energy supplies, and international shipping lanes.   More»

My Days in Damascus: Letter to a Friend

My Days in Damascus: Letter to a Friend

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»

‘Burn it to the Ground’

‘Burn it to the Ground’

It is well-known that there are currently 2.4 million people in US prisons and jails. What is less-known is that they write and are producing a new wave of American literature. More»

Splendid Isolation

Splendid Isolation

The British media was gripped by the image of Russian warships passing the UK coast on Friday. The flotilla was making its way through international waters to Syria. More»

Turkey in Berlin

Turkey in Berlin

You might as well be in Istanbul. So thick is Berlin’s Turkish cultural overlay, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nothing separating the Bosphorous from east Germany. In spite of its critics, Berlin’s decidedly Middle Eastern public sphere helps ward off what would otherwise be a more provincial, poverty stricken city still struggling to overcome the legacy of Communism, and the Nazi era. More»

Green Gold: How ISIS Is Making as Much Money From Wheat as From Oil

Green Gold: How ISIS Is Making as Much Money From Wheat as From Oil

As ISIS comes under increased attack in some of the region’s most fertile lands, Middle East agriculture researcher Eckart Woertz discusses how the militant group shrewdly chose to export a renewable resource. More»

Konsumterror

Konsumterror

I’ve been reading Alexander Sedlmaier’s Consumption and Violence: Radical Protest in Cold War West Germany. I picked it up after seeing it in the Cambridge University Press catalog, and only subsequently did I realize that I’d seen Sedlmaier give quite an interesting presentation at a German Studies Association conference in New Orleans long ago. More»

Breaking Up the UK

Breaking Up the UK

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear she wants to hold a second independence referendum. The prospect of Scotland breaking away from the Union was predicted by many Remain commentators. Ironically, the nationalist core of the Leave vote could be responsible for the end of the United Kingdom. More»

The Balcony

The Balcony

There was no real living room in our no. 14 Nahmani home.  On the left side of the dining room with its round table, buffet and gramophone,  there was the master bedroom. On its right, a wide folding door opened to father’s study. There was, however,  a  comfortably sized balcony, overlooking the garden. It  stretched along the dining room with its large windows on either side of a glass paneled double door, letting in a  great deal of light. More»

Aid Delivery Delays to Madaya Worsen Infectious Diseases, Malnutrition

Aid Delivery Delays to Madaya Worsen Infectious Diseases, Malnutrition

Cases of meningitis and malnutrition-related growth deficiencies are increasing in the besieged town of Madaya, where humanitarian aid deliveries are sporadic and insufficient. More»