love

I believe

I believe in the power of protests, strikes, in women taking to the streets with pots and ladles. I believe in their daughters, friends, mothers on the streets of every city. I believe in women in factories, in women directors of glam and glossy magazines, in models, students, doctors; I believe in the love of prostitutes. I believe in women with panniers and men with aprons. I believe in guilds, trade associations of arts and crafts and I believe in […]

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our orbits of light

We are near the beginning of everything.  It’s a little under 14 billion years ago. The newly formed universe has been cooling for 380,000 years and something monumental is happening. All light has lain trapped behind an immense and impenetrable particle cloud for almost 4 thousand centuries.  But now, in the cooler temperatures, electrical combinations are occurring, and great bodies of a new gas are forming.  Transparent hydrogen opens passages in the dense particle cloud and, in a sequence of […]

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half

you just made me think of how we share our food how you always try to give me love from your plate how when I say a piece is yours you always break it into two pieces the smallest of which is for you you have the most gorgeous heart and it always feels like the best of the Arab and African world has made it into you, that you know that the largest love is pure simplicity and goodness […]

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A Palestinian refugee and her child caught in sniper fire during the War of Camps. Author: unknown

The purest words. Ever

It was the richest, most avant-garde, secular country of the entire Middle East. One of the smallest nations of the world held the hearts of people from the region and beyond. Its cosmopolitan heyday lasted roughly from the mid-50s to 1975. It was the emblem of liberalism, of how – at least on the surface – differences can unite a coexisting variegated population: Muslims Sunni and Muslim Shi’ite, Christians. All together in that tiny land of mountains and Mediterranean Sea, […]

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sunday

Afternoon. You stir on the soft couch, finding yourself covered by a soft grey blanket its colour toning with the winter gloaming in the garden view The space is kissed with the blush of the kitchen’s light as you sit up, the waft of hearty food surprises lifts comforts Your woolly socked feet, shrouded by the blankets dangle, shuffle into the light into my arms ‘You cooked’, you whisper while your head lays an eternity on my chest You were […]

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pushing september away

I do not like September. It always feels like the closing line of the summer and there is never much to look forward to in autumn and winter. In June you said His poetry was too fragile while I was playing Nick Drake’s Northern Sky against the heavens, the Atlantic Ocean and your chest on my back. You know this song always made me think of you even ‘before us’, even if I did not know it is one of […]

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Ruined photos in a destroyed home of a Muslim family in Shingal (Sinjar) following war with the Islamic State.

Nadia Murad: surviving war and ISIS slavery to become the last girl in the world to tell a story like hers

The third day of September has a softer light. I wake up without alarm nor getting out of bed and pull my tablet closer. I must have fallen asleep reading The Last Girl, My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, A memoir by Nadia Murad. Last night pages rolled on the screen and I was telling myself: This is a dejavu of the worst of humanity. Yet everything again sounds horrendously unprecedented. In August 2014 Nadia […]

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Estefano during the Cook & Shoot Workshop in 2015

Estefano Onatrac: the food and travel photographer in love with people

the only love sentence – ever, above all – is ‘did you eat yet?’ Elsa Morante   Three hours from Utrecht, the night train takes another of the many curves, en route to Innsbruck. Beveled wheels glow briefly as they ride the tracks’ camber. The train had left the Netherlands on time, as could usually be depended. As the train steals through darkened countryside, somewhere in Germany, the outside disappears, and the rattling, glowing train is, for now, all that […]

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man hugging woman by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

know

my beloved girl know I need you know I crave to ease your pain know I will never leave you know I can’t breathe without you know that we are gypsy wed that we are more delicious than mushroom rigatoni know that this very moment light breezes are skipping and playing across the bay in front of our future home passing time until we arrive know that the 100-year cottage awaits us too know that suppliers of lentils, tofu, chickpeas, […]

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fire for blood

We, the unruly, with no fixed time for meals and hearts flowing as freely as our blood, wait in the small, dark, hot room for a different kind of feast. Earlier, you had said, It is no way to live out of suitcases, but words last little. Suitcases are shrugged off as it is suitcases that bring us to each other and cancel the distance between us. Truth is, we are not unruly. We fulfill every sacrosanct working commitment. Our respective […]

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