As for the toymakers of Varanasi, they seem to acknowledge their advantage. Carving wonders out of wood, they continue the legacy of making their wooden toys in various colors and sizes; a metaphor, perhaps, for the varying levels of hopes that continue shaping the talented community.
Wildfires last month on Greece’s second-largest island have destroyed homes and livelihoods. For many parts of the country, climate change is not a problem of the future; it is here and now. Yet the response from those on the island has not been to seek help from the government, but to turn to the local community.
In the final years of Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, tensions between the autocrat’s two most prominent sons embodied the key ideological question of how — and if — governance ought to be reformed. The ferocious rivalry contributed to the regime’s disjointed response to the 2011 uprisings — and helped bring about its end.
The Taliban’s advances in the north near Tajikistan were a critical part of the story of how Afghanistan fell to the group. Fazelminallah Qazizai speaks to the drone unit that decapitated rival forces and enabled the insurgents rapid advance.
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.
The Taliban’s newly formed interim cabinet doesn’t include any women. They have banned unauthorized protests and attacked journalists for reporting on them. Yet the protests have continued. The women are fierce. They are not content with simply preserving their rights, they are demanding leadership positions in any new government.
Nineteen men, driven by the manufactured rage of a whole generation of preachers of violence and armed with a budget of less than half a million dollars, shattered the thin veneer of our civilization and the brittle foundations of our democracy. We flailed violently.