At a Loss in the Land of Nimrod

The prostitute fidgeted uncomfortably beside me, her knee brushing mine, a glass of tea, and a cigarette in the same hand. The sound of the police radio a constant crackle of an unintelligible code, the chaotic room bathed in neon blue as another squad car passed the tiny window. I took another deep breath and…

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Abandoned in Idlib

Atmeh camp clings to the side of a hill on the edge of the Syrian-Turkish border. Colored plastic bags flap like flags trapped in the rolls of razor wire that separate the two countries. Turkish soldiers watch from a guard post on the hill above. And just to be clear, Atmeh camp is on the…

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Syrian Literary List

14 Books to help understand more about Syria, its war and much more.

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Day Trip to Basra

We had visas and letters of introduction and were quickly ushered towards the diplomatic booth, the guard look at the ink smudged pages of my passport with a bemused smirk and called to his colleague for guidance, the advice was simple, just stamp them in. He did and we were. As frontiers go Basra international…

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Faith and Fear in Istanbul-Turkey’s Alevi Minority

It was one of those grey Istanbul days that gives the Bosporus a melancholic look and sets you in a thoughtful mood, the Bosporus though was nowhere in sight, I was though in thoughtful mood, mostly thinking about what the hell I was doing standing on the side of a busy highway directly opposite a…

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Syrian Christians may get pulled into war

Syrian Christians may get pulled into war


A huge statue of the Virgin Mary towers over churches, monasteries and mosques in the Syrian city of Maaloula, where a dialect of the Aramaic language of Jesus is still spoken.

The town has managed to stay out of the Syrian conflict between Sunni Muslim rebels and the regime of dictator Bashar Assad, as have most of Syria’s 2 million Christians.

But worsening violence has forced the community into a corner: Continuous clashes between the rebels and the regime in this isolated town of 2,000 people as well as other Christian towns over the past two weeks have many Christians worried that they will no longer be allowed to stay neutral.

Uncertain times for Istanbul’s Christians during Turkey’s ‘modernisation’ drive

Recent work with writer Stephen Starr for the Irish Times

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