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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.

The Anatomy of David

STORY AND PHOTOS BY TOBI AMOSUN

Physician Tobi Amosun takes us along on her recent trip to Florence, where her science knowledge helps us better understand just how magnificent an accomplishment Michelangelo’s David is.

I had dreamed for years of going to Italy with friends for my 40th birthday.

This past summer, that dream trip happened.

Following the Coffee Trail to La Sierra

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MEGAN FINCK AND MIKE PLUNKETT

La caminata de Megan Finck y Mike Plunkett a una finca de café en Colombia nos sumerge en la historia de las alianzas que han ayudado a una comunidad a transformar su pasado sórdido en un presente floreciente que marca un futuro lleno de esperanza.

Megan Finck and Mike Plunkett’s hike to a Colombian coffee farm plunges us into a story of the partnerships that have helped a community transform its sordid past into a flourishing present that marks out a hopeful future.

Encounters With Generous Hospitality in Iraq

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOEL CARILLET

Joel Carillet’s 2017 travels have included stretches of time in a country that regularly dominates the world’s news cycles. In this photo essay for Culture Keeper, he introduces us to people and stories that don’t make the headlines, but that are just as instructive in creating a true portrait of Iraq as are all the other stories we hear.

MicroView: Kuta, Albania

STORY AND PHOTOS BY NICK ST.OEGGER

In this series, we offer you a little window onto life in one corner of the world or another. Enjoy peeking through the curtains with us!

The late afternoon sun beats down on the open central square of Kuta, where the old men have retreated to the shadows of a café, smoking and quietly chatting. It’s market day, and a woman with her fruit stand braves the heat with her friends. I pick up a few apples and figs, but when I reach for some money, she smiles and waves it away, telling me in Albanian that it is a gift.

Sacred Space: Spirituality in the Public Realm

BY JONATHON GEELS

In recent decades, as churches have fallen into disrepair, their previously significant impact on community development has waned. While they certainly still serve as both social and spiritual centers, they do not dominate the landscape as they once did. The grid of city streets has reduced their hierarchical impact, and often, the Central Business District supports many buildings of much greater scale. Even the megachurches, with their thousands of members and sprawling complexes and campuses, are often sited away from urban centers, isolated on large swaths of land in suburbia.

MicroStories: Premier

By JC Johnson & Kami L. Rice

A real life scene has been turned miniature through the magic of photography. This miniaturized scene inspired a tiny fictional tale that invites you to discover the other stories hiding in this image. We invite you to explore the world with us, letting your imagination play along as you do. The world can always use more play.