Anthrow Circus

The Conundrum of Return to Syria

STORY BY
HEATHER M. SURLS

ILLUSTRATIONS
BY RAHAF ADNAN OUDAH

From afar, the plight of refugees can be hard to understand. Why did they leave their homeland in the first place? What is daily life like in the place in which they’ve tried to find safety? Will they return home one day? Our correspondent in Jordan takes us deep into the lives of two Syrian families who fled to neighboring Jordan and now long to return home as most of Syria regains a level of calm. Learn why the question of whether to return to Syria has no straightforward answer.

*All names of families interviewed for this article have been changed to protect them.

Books Are Like Water: The 24-Hour Bookshop

STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS, WITH TRANSLATION HELP BY MARADI AYED ALHAWARI
PHOTOS BY HALA MAHMOUD

Our resident correspondent in Amman has been working on this story for ages. As she ran into road block after road block, we thought we might have a mysterious mini-series on our hands, complete with legends, cracked-open doorways, and classical Arabic to decipher. But our intrepid writer persisted and now brings you a delicious story of the power of a multi-generational love affair with books.

A Painted Street in Jabal Amman

STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS

Heather Surls introduces us to two young artists adding paint to public walls for an annual street art festival in Amman, Jordan. Check here for more of Heather’s reports from life in Amman.

Returning Home to Inspiration

STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS

Heather Surls introduces us to a young designer who has found unexpected inspiration back home in Jordan—both design inspiration and inspiration in terms of whom she employs.

#HijabFashion

ARTICLE BY HEATHER M. SURLS

Our resident contributor in Amman, Jordan, takes us into the world of #hijabfashion, a commonly used hashtag for this burgeoning corner of the fashion world in which social media is a large part of the marketing strategy.

On Choosing One’s Neighbors

STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS

Who are the characters who would give life to a story about your neighborhood? Here, Heather Surls answers that question about her own neighborhood by introducing us to those who inhabit its daily comings and goings in Amman, Jordan.