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Persephone Birthday

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 […]

Categories
International Women's Issues

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 […]

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Travel

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 […]

Categories
Travel

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 […]

Categories
Life

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 […]

Categories
Travel

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 […]

Categories
International Women's Issues

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 […]

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Travel

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 […]

Categories
Travel

Thar She Goes: A Lady in Nairobi

There’s been enough of poetic prose spilt on the languid art of vagabonding. Hemingway, Kerouac, and Frost have the grit, beauty and mystique of the road firmly covered. So without even attempting to add my name to that pile let me just say this: sometimes a lady needs to get the fuck out of town. 

Categories
International Women's Issues

Killing the Revolution: One Woman at a Time

[TW for the discussion of Sexual Assault] “These girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” an unidentified general was quoted as saying while discussing the sexual assault of seven women at a  military prison in Northeast Cairo.

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Perspectives

About A Bomb

When reading Middle Eastern news, one must always ask themselves this question, “Who will get rich and who will get hurt?” The answer, though often predictable, gives a clear and concise way to sort through the muck that can be weighed down by the region’s heavy censorship laws and long-winded official reports.

Categories
Op Ed

We Can’t all be Gandhi: In Support of Violent Resistance

Want to wear out a metaphor with me? The Arab Spring. It’s turned into Fall, or was it Winter? Or is it now raining blood? Were the leaves falling from the trees of the dictatorships or were the good men and women of the Arab world readying for holiday? Maybe it was the one with […]

Categories
Life

The Culture Shock of Coming Home

I believe it was the evening I found myself standing in the middle of the street, yelling obscenities at passing cars, that I realized a fundamental change had taken place. See in France, the country where I’ve taken up residence for the past few years, the drivers have to stop. If they don’t, that’s a […]

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Perspectives

Egypt: Five Months After Mubarak

It has been five months now since the historic evening where Mubarak stepped down. The revolution sent seismic waves through the Arab world and touched off unrest in Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Oman and even Saudi Arabia. Yet for the many young Egyptians who fought through tear gas, government thugs, bullets and mass arrests, change […]

Categories
Op Ed

Actually, Arab

Arabs can be a tricky sort of people. At least if you’re into racial profiling. The trouble lies in the immense spread of geography which contributes to major differences in skin tone and facial features. Go to Sudan and most will assume they are speaking to a black African. But to some Sudanese, they identify […]