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What Happened to That Weird Bear at Sochi That Everyone Loved?

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With the Sochi Olympics over and Russian aggression in Ukraine underway, it’s worth pondering what happened to that cuddly bear waving, tearfully, goodbye to the crowds of useful idiots waving back at him. Recall that the opening and closing ceremonies … read more →

A Woman in Qatar Wrote a Book About Love, and It Was Banned

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Love Comes Later is the the first novel in English that is set in Qatar. I wrote it. On February 9, I sent the manuscript to the Ministry of Culture so I could get approval for it to be sold … read more →

We Biked From England to Cape Town and Wrote a Cookbook About the Amazing Food We Ate

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First came the journey. Then the cookbook, which was like a map showing all the places we’d been. (See the trailer for more on that.) Where the whole idea came from is still a fuzzy memory. Bravado, inebriation and an … read more →

It’s Hard to Distinguish Between Bombs and Traffic in Cairo

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Cairo is famously loud. Sometimes, you confuse the fireworks that people set off at weddings for a gun battle. But usually, I find, when there’s something that’s really important, you know what it is immediately. There’s no doubt. That’s why … read more →

Indie Rock Stars in Omaha Lose Their Indie-ness

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When I was in high school, if you were going to a concert in Omaha it was pretty much always at Sokol. Bright Eyes, a k a Conor Obsert, was the king of the local indie scene back then, and … read more →

Six Questions for Filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer

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AARON: Why was Ballistic important for you to write, and what are you hoping audiences get from it? ADAM: I’m trying to translate a certain feeling or set of feelings about being in our present moment – a moment which … read more →

You Cannot Be Gay in Morocco Because There Is No Such Thing as Gay

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We had just finished bargaining down the price of a djellaba to three to four times the market price at the souk in Rissani on a very busy day. I couldn’t help but think, “This is what the real Mediterranean … read more →

I Am Not a Sea Turtle. From Wuhan to Toronto. And Back

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I was born in Wuhan, a gritty and industrial provincial capital of 10 million people on the Yangtze River in China’s heartland. A day before I turned 9, my parents took me with them to begin life anew in Toronto, … read more →