Leaving Aleppo

Pauls Toutonghi lovingly recalls his grandfather, Philippe Elias Tütünji, a writer, poet, and translator from Aleppo, Syria. Tütünji immigrated to America during World War II and never gave up his dream to achieve success as a poet in his adopted homeland. Working menial and low-paying jobs to support his family, and “full of immigrant ambition,” he once visited actor Danny Thomas (who was born Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in 1912, in Lebanon) in a bid to entice Thomas to record the poem as a song — a feat Tütünji felt would make him a star.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 28, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,297 words)

The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility

Armed with a drawerful of butterscotch candy and a charge to safeguard America’s past, Carla Hayden may be the last person left in Washington with a hopeful eye to future.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,600 words)

When Things Go Missing

On two forms of loss: grief and the misplacement of everyday objects.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,996 words)

The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS

The Nineveh Province swat team are part of the multi-agency effort to take Mosul back from ISIS, but their approach differs from other groups. The elite force is composed entirely of Iraqis who ISIS has physically or personally injured, and who want revenge. Their war is personal, and they will not back down.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 77 minutes (19,470 words)

How Jokes Won the Election

“It’s the thrill of hyperbole, of treating the extreme as normal, the shock (and the joy) of seeing the normal get violated, fast. “Buh-leeve me, buh-leeve me!” Trump said in his act, again and again. Lying about telling the truth is part of the joke.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 17, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,050 words)

How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary

A profile of Albert Woodfox, a man originally sentenced to 50 years in prison for robbery. A member of the Black Panthers and the Angola 3, Woodfox spent over four decades in solitary confinement, despite a stunning lack of evidence against him in a prison murder.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 16, 2017
Length: 45 minutes (11,296 words)

On Coming of Age and Sexual Identity: Darling Nikki

“How does a girl figure out, amidst the crushing misogyny all around her, how to pick out the avenues that will prove most emancipatory, pleasure-giving, and life-sustaining? I’m sorry to say that this skill remains as urgent now as it ever was, so maybe I have “Purple Rain” to thank for that, too.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 2, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,645 words)

Rewriting the Code of Life

Can we eliminate diseases like Lyme and malaria by rewriting DNA? Specter walks us through a powerful new biological tool capable of altering the genetic destiny of a species.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Dec 26, 2016
Length: 28 minutes (7,159 words)

Fighting for the Poor Under Trump

A profile of 28-year-old New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres, the first openly gay elected official in the Bronx and the youngest elected official in the city. Torres—who grew up in a Bronx housing project across the street from a former garbage dump that is now a Trump-owned golf course—has been fighting for the poor as chair of the Committee on Public Housing.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Dec 9, 2016
Length: 18 minutes (4,699 words)

The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn

A profile of Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who, after being harassed online by an ex, became inspired to become exactly the lawyer she—and other women who fall victim to “revenge porn”—needed.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Nov 28, 2016
Length: 33 minutes (8,289 words)