A girl eats on the ground as people line up for food at a camp for refugees near Idomeni, Greece.Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

The Aftermath
Anup Kaphle | BuzzFeed
“For as long as I have known, Nepal had been this way: chaotic, dysfunctional, and, as many international publications like to say, ‘teetering on the brink.’ But no matter what was happening in the country, life went on. I told my friends, ‘Don’t worry, this is normal in Nepal.’ That was probably less reassuring than I meant it to be.”

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The Arab Mukhabarat and Its ‘Stability’: A Case of Misplaced Nostalgia
Brynjar Lia | The New Middle East Blog
“The current nostalgia for deposed Arab dictators betrays a certain degree of amnesia regarding the ‘stability’ of the good old days. Many pundits and politicians seem to have forgotten just how violent Middle Eastern and North African politics have been over the past half century. Let’s for a moment revisit the pre-Arab Spring era of ‘stability.’ For simplicity’s sake we will define stability as low levels of violence and armed conflicts. Typically secondary effects of war such as displacement, underdevelopment, and international terrorism are likely to be lower when stability is high. Importantly, stability should not be equated with ‘leadership continuity.’”

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How Uber Conquered London
Sam Knight | The Guardian
“London was the 11th city that Uber went into, but it was like no other taxi market that the company had attempted to disrupt. London had the scale and mass transit systems of New York, but it also had the medieval, twisting streetscape and complex regulations of other European capitals. It was already served by a formidable private transport market, with one of the world’s most recognisable taxi fleets—the black cabs—and a fragmented scene of some 3,000 licensed ‘private hire’ operators. Just one of these, Addison Lee, had 4,500 cars and revenues of £90m a year. London even had ride-hailing apps, led by Hailo, which had already signed up 9,000 black cab drivers. Kalanick has described London as the ‘Champions League of transportation’ and said that Uber spent two years plotting its approach to the city.”

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Another Dinner in Idomeni
Miriam Berger | Roads & Kingdoms
“Hena stands tall in a red dress and patterned hijab. She has two kids to feed, a husband with a damaged hand, and third child on the way. She’s from Aleppo, one of Syria’s many culinary centers, and has a practical solution to the camp’s food tensions: ‘Let the Syrians cook. We would do it better.’”

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The Faithful
Graciela Mochkofsky | California Sunday Magazine
“There were still many prayers, songs, rituals, holidays, and rules the congregants knew nothing about or were not sure how to practice. Juan Carlos decided he had to get inside a synagogue and see firsthand how Jews did things. It could not be done in Medellín or in any other Colombian city, where synagogues have security guards and visitors are vetted. Juan Carlos had an uncle who lived in Miami, where synagogues are open; he could just walk in. Which is what he did, hiding a tape recorder in his shirt pocket.”

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Masterminds of Terror
Emma Beals | Raconteur
“Firas al-Absi was in Atmeh too. A Saudi-born Syrian jihadist with big ambitions, he came to build his own empire. The power vacuum of the war allowed men who had previously lacked agency in a rigid, hierarchical society to get a taste of power. Hundreds of small katibas—fighting cadres—were created. Their leaders were not strategists, they were farmers or teachers. Each gathered a collection of men and began to fight, becoming the king of his own small domain. Firas was no exception, but his aims were larger.”

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