Mark MacKinnon tells the story of Naief Abazid — who, at the urging of some older boys, graffitied a school wall on a lark in Daraa, Syria, at age 14. The “writing on the wall” enraged Syria’s Baathist dictatorship, and became the source of ignition in the Syrian war.
In her essay in Pacific Standard, Rahawa Haile writes about identity, the anxiety of origins, and the search for a grounded life in unstable, isolating locales. Born to Eritrean parents, Haile grew up in Miami, Florida, speaking English and Tigrinya in a low land of built of hurricane deposits that felt doomed to rising sea levels. […]
The intensification of the War for the Greater Middle East after 9/11 revealed unsuspected defects in America’s basic approach to raising its military forces. Notwithstanding the considerable virtues of our professional military, notably durability and tactical prowess, the existing system rates as a failure. The All-Volunteer Force is like a burger from a fast-food joint: […]
Nathan Deuel | Friday Was the Bomb | May 2014 | 21 minutes (5,178 words) For our latest Longreads Member Pick, we’re thrilled to share a full chapter from Friday Was the Bomb, the new book by Nathan Deuel about moving to the Middle East with his wife in 2008. Deuel has been featured […]