Best of P-Mag: That Hijab Thing

I am a big fan of getting both sides of the story. Likewise, I try very hard not to judge anything I don’t really know about. It is hard for a woman who has never worn one to see a hijab and not judge. Here, Olivia gives us a look “behind the veil.” Do I think women should be forced to cover their faces? No, but this post made me see that the veil in the same light as stay-at-home mothers. There is a very important difference between telling a woman that she doesn’t have to do something because she is a woman, and telling her she can’t do something if she wants to be a feminist. –SaraB Read More Best of P-Mag: That Hijab Thing

Nobody Gives a Shit About Syria

[Trigger warning for discussion of violence, both personal and governmental.] I wish that the UN, and Kofi Annan in particular, would stop wasting everybody’s time. Can we all just move on and announce, officially this time, for the record, that nobody actually cares about what happens to the citizens of Syria? Can we all just please come to a consensus that unless foreign, white journalists are being blown up, all the torture, mass graves, and shelling in the world will illicit little more than a brow furrow and occasional grimace over our morning coffee? Because quite frankly, splashing about in faux social concern is beginning to wear on me. Nope. I take that back. It’s worn on me. And I am done. Read More Nobody Gives a Shit About Syria

Kampala Dance-Off

There comes a point when one must question the series of choices they’ve made in life. Whereas a single innocuous decision, such as accepting an invitation to a friend’s home, seems harmless, it has no doubt put them on a collision course with a formidable fate. A moment such as this came to me as I stood on the side of a road in Uganda stuffed into a short red dress and four inch stilettos. As men leaned out car windows and strangers’ necks snapped in my direction, the situation begged the question, “What is my life, even?” Read More Kampala Dance-Off

Life in Exile

Eritrea, a small, little known country on the Horn of Africa, has a serious press problem. Despite the fact its journalistic freedom index is ranked lower than that of North Korea, and its harsh dictatorship has created one of the largest diasporas in the world, few in the West are actually familiar with this small nation. Something journalist Yonas Embaye, an Eritrean refugee living in exile, is determined to change. Read More Life in Exile

That Kampala Twang

As the sun rises over Kampala, the city begins to pulse with life. Taxi vans, belching out thick black smoke, lurch onto the roadside, picking up and dropping off customers. They speed back into traffic, competing for ever dwindling space with honking motorbikes, overloaded trucks, tilting semis, and droves of pedestrians. Breakfast stands open, shopkeepers start sweeping their stoops, calls to prayer sound off, and this East African capital becomes a thriving, swirling, eclectic mass.

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Kenya’s Last Cowboys

“Now, please, you must believe me when I tell you this,” Roger said, leaning in close off his rickety bar stool. His breath was choked with smoke and his shirt, unbuttoned halfway down his tan, graying chest, billowed in the evening breeze. “However,” he paused for a moment, his face getting somber as he took another sip of his beer, “promise me you won’t tell a soul.”

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Defining Exploitation: New Trends in Sex Tourism

Ida, a German woman in her mid-fifties, strolls down Diani beach on the coast of Kenya. Her hair is dyed blonde, her bikini is blue and she’s eagerly waiting for her new boyfriend to join her for drinks. “He just has a way about him,” she says, and her smile brightens as Faridi, a tall dark man in his mid-twenties strolls up. They embrace and take a seat in front of the Indian Ocean’s white sand and rolling waves. Read More Defining Exploitation: New Trends in Sex Tourism

Thar She Goes: A Farewell to Luck

When people go abroad, they sometimes fail to realize they aren’t the stars of some invisible travel show. A fantastical world where risky endeavors go off without a hitch, save for a few kicky hijinks, imagined out in montage form. This, of course, guarantees that when a wrench is thrown into the works, the world must grind to a halt so the situation can be resolved immediately. For such travelers, I would suggest steering well clear of Africa, where luck exists only on a moment-to-moment basis. Read More Thar She Goes: A Farewell to Luck