Archive - July 11, 2012

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Peter Hessler Writes From Cairo in Latest New Yorker
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A Writer Writes: Bulo Burte Blues

Peter Hessler Writes From Cairo in Latest New Yorker

In the double issue (July 9 & 16) of The New Yorker, Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) weights in with a Talk of the Town item on wasta,  the term for ‘connections’ in the Arab world. Peter tells the story of Mohamed Morsi, not the new president, but ‘another’ Mohamed Morsi (Hessler says is a distinctive name) who Peter met at the headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party in downtown Cario… “Two Sundays ago, ninety minutes after Mohamed Morsi was named the winner of  the first free Presidentail election in Egyptian history. ” In his short piece, Peter tells one man’s story, and at the same time he tells us a lot about what is going on on the ground in Cairo. He takes an incident: this man in nearly a hundred degree heat walked an hour from El Madabegh to the headquarters of the Muslin Brotherhood to cash in on wasta because he didn’t have . . .

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A Writer Writes: Bulo Burte Blues

Bulo Burte Blues by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966-68) From the moment the plane landed in Mogadishu, I was a stranger in a strange land. I was a lame duck, a refugee from Nigeria. Evacuated during the Biafran War with eight months left of my two years, I was given the option of going to another country in Africa. I chose Somalia. After adjusting to the hot and buggy tropics, I arrived in a dry and sterile desert. Just when my Igbo had become serviceable, I had to try to decipher Somali. Ask me anything about the history of Nigeria and I might know the answer. But Somalia?   My first stop was the Peace Corps office where I overheard a Volunteer yelling, threatening to kill himself if they didn’t get him out of “this fucking country” within twenty-four hours. It was jolting. I was told Somalia had the . . .

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