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The shadows we live in | Casey Karaman

Casey Karaman never expected the biography of an urban planner to change the way he saw the world. But the nearly five years it took to work his way through that one massive biography changed his view of himself, those around him, and the way our lives are dictated by decisions made by people we […]

Laughter is healing | Nathan Timmel

In October of 2005, comedian Nathan Timmel was in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to perform for American forces stationed far from home. While there, he was invited to attend a Ramp Ceremony to witness the loading of a fallen soldier onto a plane to return home for burial. Two days later, he had to perform for that […]

Sahra’s last message | Ashkan Mehr Roshan

Before the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, an Iranian activist, blogger, and translator who goes by the pseudonym Ashkan Mehr Roshan connected with an Afghan woman and freethinker. Together, they formed one of the biggest and most effective underground support communities for nonbelievers and religious minorities in the region. But shortly after the Taliban […]

My tangled feelings at Ramadan | Eiynah

Raised in Saudi Arabia in a Muslim family of Pakistani background, and now an atheist living in Canada, Eiynah knows something about displacement, and disorientation, and the yearning for the lost familiar. Although she left Islam under her own power and is a strong critic of religion, her childhood and culture are intertwined in Islam. […]

How an Indian film changed my son’s life | Jennifer Hancock

Learning that she didn’t know the name or work of the most famous actor in the world sent lifelong movie enthusiast Jennifer Hancock down a rabbit hole into the massive film industry of India. In the process, she found insights about love that are rarely touched in Western cinema—and solved a puzzle about her own […]

For which it stands | Adam Lee

Most Americans don’t give a lot of thought to the Pledge of Allegiance. You were taught to say it when you were four or five, and you said it, probably in a droning voice, surrounded by 20 other droning children who likewise hadn’t thought much about it. Whether or not he started off droning like […]

The apple and the river | Jonathan MS Pearce

People are different. That’s a good thing. But in recent years, it feels like some differences have deepened to the point that we look at friends and family on social media, or even across the dinner table, saying and believing things that are just baffling to us. And we wonder: how did you get that […]

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