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.
COLLABORATION BY KAMI L. RICE, OLIVIER PEYROUS, AND JC JOHNSON
Since part of our Culture Keeper team is based in France, it seems appropriate to bring you a Culture Keeper take on one of France’s biggest news stories in the waning weeks of 2018: the Gilets Jaunes (“Yellow Vests” or “Yellow Jackets”) movement that made it into foreign news outlets when the protests turned violent in Paris. We’re not a breaking news outlet by any stretch of the imagination, but we are in the business of offering a bit of cultural context where we can. Which is what we seek to do here as we experiment with a new-to-us storytelling format that we hope to perfect over time.
This week we’re joining the ranks of media outlets offering longer-read stories, because sometimes we all need a break from the sound-bite version of the world. So lean back, kick off your shoes, and tuck into this reminder of the less flashy ways the world’s countries interact with each other. No need to wait to be appointed as an ambassador, for you already are one.
One recent Friday, Kori Winter Hutchinson, an American who has by now lived half her life in southeast London, was so struck by just how beautiful and fascinating her normal commute is that she made note of it. As a result, we all get to step inside this little slice of London life, and with Kori, we find hope there.
STORY BY HÉLÈNE SCHWITZER-BORGIALLO ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KAMI L. RICE
French academic Hélène Schwitzer-Borgiallo reports for us this week on innovative projects undertaken by a duo of English playwrights who are bringing together groups of people who don’t normally get to meet each other.
Mettre sa créativité au service de la rencontre des cultures : voilà l’objectif du duo de dramaturges anglais dont nous parle cette semaine Hélène Schwitzer-Borgiallo, enseignante à l’Université Paris 8.
With this article from Joel Carillet, we wrap up a four-article series from contributors who have entered in various ways into the lives of the Rohingya people who have sought refuge in Bangladesh. In the height of their crisis last fall, Joel spent time photographing and listening to people living in several refugee camps in Bangladesh, specifically Jamtoli, Kutupalong, Shamlapur, Chakmarkul, and Balukhali. He shares with us one of the questions that has persisted for him since then.
With the photo essay this week from Nihab Rahman, you may begin to notice that we’re spending several weeks of our once-per-week publishing schedule on stories connected to the lives of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar (also called Burma) who have fled to Bangladesh, where they are living in refugee camps.
Physician assistant Scott Will recently spent a month providing medical care to Rohingya people from Myanmar living in a large refugee camp outside Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This week we bring you Part 2 of his camp journal. Check out Part 1 here!