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Laura Kasinof

Laura Kasinof is a freelance journalist and author of the memoir Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen (Arcade, 2014), about reporting for the New York Times during the Arab Spring. She has also written for Harper’s, the Atlantic, Newsweek, and Foreign Policy.

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Photo by Alex Potter

The New Berliners

Spring 2017 | Reporting

On a chilly April morning in 2016, at a newly converted shelter in southern Berlin, Om Belal struggled as she maneuvered her ten-year-old son, Jad, in his wheelchair out the building’s front door. They were on their way to see a pediatrician, to begin the process of assessing whether Jad would ever walk again. Once outside, she carefully eased Jad backward down the front steps, then hurried awkwardly across the street, the wheelchair rattling along: One of its back wheels was leaking air. Om Belal had meant to have it fixed that morning, but she didn’t speak German or English, and she couldn’t find any of the shelter’s Arabic-speaking staffers to ask for help. Communicating with them was pointless otherwise.

Alex Potter

Farhad

Winter 2017 | Essays

Ahlam, twenty-seven, was visiting Germany for a conference in the spring of 2015 when war broke out in Yemen, her home country. Her family urged her to stay, so she applied for asylum. “For me, it’s a new life,” she said. “This is what I really want. Most of us, we just came for a safe place, a place we can really do something that we can’t do in our countries—maybe because of the war, maybe because of society, maybe because we don’t have freedoms. I never felt freedom and I never knew what independence meant until I came to this country. As a woman in Yemen, we can’t do anything. Independence is for the men.”

Photographs by Laura Kasinof

Hope for Sale

January 4, 2016

1. Maseits’iro Seits’iro sits down at a table in her small office and lights four tall candles so she can receive prophecies from the ancestors. A seashell beside the candles helps her see evil spirits, the “heathens.” As a child, she foug [...]