In a war that remains unfinished, two Syrian-British writers acknowledge and affirm those whose stories and lives may be lost in its course.
Reading the OJ Simpson trial through a novelistic lens.
Even as Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka gets back to normalcy after a deadly siege a month ago, Bangladesh wrestles with the rising specter of extremism.
While neighborhoods are being redeveloped, their histories are being used to advertise their future. History has become a marketing tool. Make use of the past and create the future with it: this is familiar for a country whose national ideology is built on an endless cycle of self-invention.
The future of Beijing? That depends on the many currents running through the political seas of the country, and the world around it. Will it be the capital of the last communist country on earth? Will it be the capital of the wealthiest capitalist economy? Will some semblance of its former beauty return?
On the crowded bus there was an Iraqi woman who was utterly lost; she did not know where her hotel was. With their broken Arabic, the other riders managed to figure out where she was staying and told the driver. The driver, in turn, halted the bus right in front of the Iraqi woman’s hotel— the hotel of a woman from a country Iran had fought a bloody eight-year war with.
Cape Town is blessed in the beauty pageant of luxury tourism. Hotels, swimming pools, golf courses, and gated playgrounds proliferate to pamper the wealthy. No bounty from the seductions of one of the world’s most vibrant, pluralistic cities is shared with the low-waged who make this wealth.
When I go back to Bogotá, I like to share my knowledge of the car bombs that went off in the city in the ’80s and ’90s. I helpfully point out the gory details to cab drivers and friends. I press my finger on the window and point at corners, “That’s the spot where an ATM blew up, seven dead.”
It is already becoming clear that the efficacy of the old imperial strategy of “divide and rule”—caste against caste, religion against religion, temporary worker against permanent—is running out. The ability of India’s rural poor to endure cruelty is admittedly stupendous, but it is not, as their industrial overlords fondly believed, infinite.
The hospital is gone, another going, our clinic is gone, our local supermarket gone and another about to leave; a church, its school and active playground, are gone. Once people could live near where they worked, but now they can’t afford to and, in any case, where they worked no longer exists.