Poet Dunya Mikhail fled her homeland, Iraq, a few years after the first Gulf War. She had been questioned by Saddam Hussein's government, and state media had labeled her writing and poetry subversive. Mikhail escaped to Jordan and eventually reached the United States, where she made a home for herself — marrying, raising a daughter and becoming a U.S. citizen.
Mikhail never physically returned to Iraq. But she revisits her homeland again and again in her poetry — line by line, stanza by stanza.
George Butler lives between two worlds. One is his apartment in London, and the other consists of conflict-ravaged places like West Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Syria.
The British illustrator recently returned from his second trip to Syria, and his reportage illustrations are a powerful account of life in the country's north, where the fighting is heavy and rebels now control many areas.
The illustrations are not just about the sorrows and pain of Syrian refugees and the wounded, but often about Syrians' stubborn insistence that life will carry on despite the pain.
"I know of young women who have been returned to their families by their husbands because, as you say, they did not bleed on defloweration," Shereen El Feki tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
El Feki, the author of the new book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, spent five years traveling across the Arab region asking people about sex: what they do, what they don't, what they think and why.
You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:37 am
When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).