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Issue 4/ Fall 2023


The fourth print issue of New Lines introduces a series called “Peripheries,” exploring often overlooked geographic and cultural stories. It includes narratives about the survival of Jesus’s language in remote regions, herders in Morocco, and connections between Whitman and Shidyaq. This series delves into areas and concepts not well represented globally and challenges narratives perpetuated by outsiders. Just as New Lines seeks to be a “local magazine for the world,” this initiative aims to elevate voices that are typically marginalized and encourage fresh viewpoints from insiders and outsiders alike, all while reshaping global understanding through influential journalism.

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How America's War Devastated Afghanistan's Environment

Afghans raised children, went to work and gave birth for two decades next to America's vast military bases and burn pits, and their prolonged exposure to the air, soil and water pollution continues to this day. Dealing with the consequences of the war’s contamination will take generations.

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The Dirty Secrets of the Global North’s Old Clothes

What I discovered in Kantamanto was not just the waste produced by the so-called democratization of fashion but a more complex tangle of creativity and constraint. Like the bales of secondhand clothing the vendors cut open each morning, Kantamanto is a place made of equal parts human potential and suffering.

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The Quest To Make Big Oil Pay for Climate Change

A growing number of lawsuits in cities, counties and states across the U.S. allege that fossil fuel companies are responsible for damages caused by climate change. A win in just one case could lead to a nationwide, or global, wave of similar litigation.

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The Politics of Remembrance

Nearly 80 years on, Lewkowicz can’t get the stench of the bodies burned at Auschwitz out of his nostrils. No display of bronze fins, however well intentioned, can make you confront history like hearing that.

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Recovering a Lost Language From the Mountains of Mesopotamia

The history of Jews in Iraq’s Kurdish region is both ancient and largely undocumented as the communities themselves have produced few written records, relying primarily on storytelling in their ancestral Aramaic tongue as the mode of cultural transmission from generation to generation.

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A Model for Land Management, Morocco’s Agdals Are at Risk of Disappearing

Each year, fewer families are making the seasonal migration to Morocco’s communal mountain pastures, breaking with an ancient and sustainable way of life that has characterized the High Atlas for centuries, if not millennia. The decline of transhumance is pushing pastoral agdals to the precipice at a time when scientists say sustainable land-use systems are needed more than ever.

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In France, Aging Migrants Confront the Myth of Returning Home

Immigrants from France’s colonial empire, especially from Algeria, arrived in great numbers during the period following World War II when France needed cheap labor. But in the minds of both the immigrants themselves and the French government, they were never supposed to stay this long.

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How War in Ukraine Has Shifted Fault Lines Across ‘Russia’s Backyard’

Across Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan, the war in Ukraine has pitted states against their people, stoked long-standing border tensions and thrown historic alliances into sharp relief.

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Born a Sin in Africa: Belgium’s Lost Children

Perhaps Monique, the illegitimate child of a Congolese mother and French father in a village ruled by the Belgians since the turn of the 19th century, was abducted by the Catholic Church. Premarital sex remains a sin in the eyes of the religion that still dominates the country today, but back then it was also against the law for Congolese men and women to sleep with white people. Her quest to find some answers led to me.

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How Rural Music in the Middle East Bypassed Cultural Gatekeepers Using Tech and Weddings

The rise of Middle Eastern rural and folk music in the late 1990s is a fascinating story of a subculture reclaiming its prominence after being marginalized and policed by cultural gatekeepers for decades. This “creeping ruralism” also tracks with significant socioeconomic shifts in rural and suburban areas, reshaping the cultural landscape in unexpected ways.

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