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Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Souciant about the end of a well-intentioned but otherwise disastrous experiment carried out by the Wu-Tang Clan. At that time, the world renowned rap group was poised to buck virtually every commercial trend in the history of the music industry by releasing just one copy of its top-secret double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. (More…)

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. (More…)

I was ecstatic when I got the opportunity to view an advanced screening for the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Although I’m aware of the novel’s faults — for one thing, the ending drags on too long, full of overwrought imagery — I still love the whole thing, even the “bad” bits. My love doesn’t center on the scares King is famous for, but the coming-of-age story that frames the horror. (More…)

It is hard to get away from the impression that we are epigones. This is not, or not merely, the case due to the carnage wrought by Mr. Trump and his various protégés on the none too august institutions of American liberal democracy. (More…)

Simply writing a personal or family memoir would be an easier task than producing an illustrated graphic memoir. It is not only that the work is more difficult technically, but so much more is at risk in the visualization of the narrative. Emotions about family members and their lives emerge in the pictures. Visual storytelling commits where words can remain ambiguous. (More…)

The argument for nuclear disarmament could not be better expressed than the words: Donald Trump versus Kim Jong-Un. You don’t have to take a side because your side has already taken you. You’ve been conscripted into a potential conflict no one can control. (More…)

President Donald Trump has ordered an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects the nearly 800,000 people in the United States brought illegally into the country from deportation. (More…)

AFTER SIX YEARS of conflict and extended exposure to trauma, Syria is in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to Chicago-based physician Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American trauma specialist and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). (More…)

He never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. So went the Abba Eban-penned 1973 slogan used to describe the late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, who was routinely blamed for failing to secure peace with Israel. (More…)

The further we get into the millennium the more I suspect we’ll soon be looking back on the 1990s with more nostalgia, but to do so would be in bad faith. You might only do so if you think that history and politics ended at some point in the early 90s. The ethos of that decade can be summed up in one phrase: it’s all been done. (More…)

Last week, Moroccan asylum seeker Abderrahman Mechkah appeared in court on video from his hospital bed, where he was recovering after being shot in the leg by Finnish police. Mechkah pled guilty to stabbing two women to death in the coastal city of Turku, but argued that his rampage was not terrorism.  (More…)

With the pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Trump Administration is again using racism as its political guiding light. The language of the pardon cites Arpaio for exemplary “selfless public service” and praises him for “his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.” (More…)