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In Kandahar, It’s a Dangerous Time for Women

Kandahar Underground

We don’t want our country to be a playing field for games, great or small, by meddling neighbors or distant hegemons. You can instead respect our rights and sovereignty and see us as empowered people capable of helping ourselves, and the people around us, given a chance.

An Elegy for Afghanistan

An Elegy for Afghanistan

When I looked at that picture, I couldn’t help but compare the tragedy of my generation with that of our future children: We were born in war, but we had an Afghanistan, whereas our children will be born in peace, but they won’t have an Afghanistan. They will be strangers to the country of their parents’ birth.

On Being a ‘Muslim’ Atheist

On Being a ‘Muslim’ Atheist

To disbelieve in the existence of God in the Arab world is no easy thing. In countries where atheism is outlawed — it’s punishable by death in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia — many must keep their skepticism secret not just from family but also from society. Yet more and more of us are coming out of the closet.

Khaled Diab
When Nature’s Force Turns Into Political Intrigue

When Nature’s Force Turns Into Political Intrigue

We passed 10 firetrucks and other groups in helmets, some in bikinis and without masks. Half of us stayed put, and the other half rushed to help tug at a hose that slithered up a dirt slope and to deliver water bottles to those up there working.

Naomi Cohen
A Red Staircase of Imagination?

A Red Staircase of Imagination?

The Lebanon we loved was a palace of myths, legends and lies. But it was, and is, the home we chase. In the Beirut blast, we all lost something. Some of us lost everything. Since then, overcome by loss and lostness, people have just fallen into sudden silences from time to time.

Anthony Elghossain
In Cracking Jokes, a Satire Publication Takes Aim at Authoritarians’ Grip

In Cracking Jokes, a Satire Publication Takes Aim at Authoritarians’ Grip

Satire won’t change anyone’s mind, but it might get someone sitting on the fence to consider another perspective. Satire won’t topple thrones, but it will unsettle their occupants. It won’t change rules on freedom of speech (except maybe in the wrong direction), but it will remind people what freedom of speech looks like.

Isam Uraiqat
Walking Through Beirut’s Emotions

Walking Through Beirut’s Emotions

I think of the Lebanese lords, whose own generals now call “cruel, dishonorable, and shameless”; whose own advisers describe as “too stupid to understand or too selfish to care, or both”; and whose own intelligence hands believe are crooks who will only liberate Lebanon, and even then not certainly, when they die.

Anthony Elghossain