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Issue 2/ Spring 2023 Cover

Issue 2 / Spring 2023

In our second issue, New Lines presents another diverse collection of captivating essays. Explore the intriguing story of a Brooklyn-based crew’s camouflage pattern, worn by U.S. troops, jihadists, and more. Discover the historical significance of pepper and its impact on societies. Engage with personal narratives on topics like unwanted pregnancy, political imprisonment, and the marriage prospects of Indian women. Dive into the crisis of milk powder in Sri Lanka and immerse yourself in an ancient Arabian love story that inspired Romeo and Juliet. These thought-provoking essays illuminate the often overlooked aspects of conflicts and major global events and offer fresh perspectives. Join us in exploring the world through unique storytelling that transcends borders and sheds light on our interconnected reality.

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The Empire’s New Clothes (and Everyone Else’s Too)

Combatants nowadays wear a unique camouflage pattern of muted greens and browns. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops wear it, as do jihadists, Ukrainian troops and Russia’s mercenaries. Called MultiCam, it was devised after the 9/11 attacks by a crew of art- and engineering-school graduates based in Brooklyn.

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As Refugees in Romania, Ukraine’s Jews Re-Create Their World

Like many of the 8 million Ukrainian refugees who have scattered across much of Europe and other parts of the world since the invasion — the largest refugee crisis since World War II — they stuffed their possessions into wheeled suitcases and parted ways with relatives. They also brought with them their culture: Odesa’s historic Jewish community is often synonymous with the city itself.

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In the American West, a Clown Motel and a Cemetery Tell a Story of Kitsch and Carnage

A little over a century ago, Tonopah, Nevada, was a bustling silver mining town of about 3,000 residents. Then a mysterious illness decimated the population. The American West is full of these sad or violent places now polished for tourism and consumption.

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A Syrian-American Searches for Identity in Missouri

I was writing a book about identity and belonging, so coming to St. Louis made sense, even if I barely remembered any of my time there. The issue, I soon realized, was that I didn’t quite know what I was looking for. What would speaking to some old neighbors tell me about myself, anyway?

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Alone and Pregnant at 15, I Had To Choose Between an Abortion and My Faith

The story of how I had a change of heart about abortion is a journey of a thousand miles, 2 million steps, and I am unable to trace from memory what each of those steps were. But now that I am “pro-choice,” I find myself feeling angry about the way liberals ridicule and caricature those living within the conservative paradigms.

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Long Before Shakespeare’s Doomed Youngsters, There Were Majnun and Layla

While the plot of Majnun and Layla is simple enough — boy falls for girl, girl’s father marries her to someone else, boy goes insane with love — the nature and depth of passion at the heart of the story are anything but.

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How Beekeepers Are Experiencing the Effects of Climate Change in Bosnia

The struggles of Bosnia’s local, small-scale beekeepers suggest that conserving wild habitats, fostering biodiversity and regulating the use of pesticides, all of which are worthwhile and much-needed initiatives, are inadequate strategies to keep the bees alive and humming in the face of advancing climate change.

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The Survivor’s Guilt of an Egyptian Ex-Prisoner

Adel hasn’t known what it’s like to travel from one country to another, talk to people from other cultures, learn new skills like diving, enjoy the taste of sushi, smell the warm air or feel the sun.

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Russia’s Orwell Problem

Inscribed in Cyrillic, and in quiet solidarity with Russian objectors to the war, are perhaps 2 million copies of “1984” sitting on Russian bookshelves, whispering the link between the past and the present.

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In Israel, Religious Zionism Keeps Flexing Its Muscles Amid the Ongoing Battle With Liberalism

For more than a century, Religious Zionism has been the designation for a range of movements and figures, many of which would scarcely recognize the party that now bears its name. Religious Zionism’s story is a creative, desperate, moving and scary search for a compass in the exhilarating and terrifying modern world.

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Punjabi Women Are Gaining Leverage in the Marriage Market Through Education

A new immigration trend has emerged in Punjab: Men are marrying young women with English-language skills who can get student visas to study abroad. They enter arrangements in which men fund the women’s education in exchange for spouse visas, marking a huge shift in the marriage and migration trends in the Indian state.

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In Sri Lanka, Economic Crisis Alters the Taste of Tea

If there is one thing that illustrates the story of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, it’s milk powder. Integral to the country’s tea culture, it is unaffordable now, forcing locals to find alternatives.

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A Story of Pepper, the World’s Most Important and Underappreciated Spice

People changed the grand game. Iberians would rediscover old lands and find ones they called new — changing the fates and fortunes of people in Arabia, South Asia and beyond in the process. And they did all of that for, and with, a bit of the black spice.

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