Lauren Bohn

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A mock-up of the Statue of Liberty is seen outside a tourist resort in the coastal city of Shengjin, where people evacuated from Afghanistan are sheltered.

The winter sky in Albania is gray and the air is damp. We're living by the sea. It's our first time ever actually seeing a sea, but it's too cold to dip our toes in. It feels expansive and full of possibility, yet devastatingly out of our reach -- just like parts of our new lives.

Throughout the day I check in on the fellow Afghan women sharing a roof with me at our hotel in the Albanian resort town of Shengjin. They joke that I am Albania's new therapist. We play card games and visit Albanian pastry shops where the deserts taste bittersweet, like our exile.…  Seguir leyendo »

Istanbul’s towering Palace of Justice opened in 2011, a gleaming 19-story behemoth and the largest courthouse in Europe.

For more than a week, Emine has camped there with only a handbag in tow, hoping to catch a glimpse of her 22-year-old son, a low-level military conscript, who was detained in the aftermath of Turkey’s coup attempt on July 15. The morning after he rode in a military vehicle outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, he texted her: “I think they’re taking me.”

She hasn’t heard from him since.

“He’s a child, he didn’t do anything,” Emine said, asking for her last name to be withheld.…  Seguir leyendo »

A unos casi 100 kilómetros al norte de la Plaza Tahrir en El Cairo -el epicentro del levantamiento egipcio de 2011- hay una escuela secundaria a la que los estudiantes llaman "la prisión". El edificio, una caja deformada de concreto abarrotada de aulas desvencijadas, muestra las cicatrices que han dejado el paso del tiempo y la negligencia. Un maestro en el adormilado pueblo Nile Delta bromea morbosamente y dice que hace las veces de morgue. "Nunca vimos una revolución aquí", dijo hace unos meses, sin revelar su nombre por miedo a perder su trabajo. "Mucha de la esperanza que teníamos hoy está muerta… la aniquilaron".…  Seguir leyendo »

Through a barbed wire fence, 17-year-old Syrian refugee Asma attempted to tell us about her journey to Greece. We didn’t have much time to listen. Greek police officers were breathing down our necks, threatening to arrest us unless we left.

We learned that Asma traveled alone on a tiny rubber boat from Turkey, and broke her arm — still wrapped in a white bandage — when a building collapsed in her hometown of Daraa, the birthplace of the Syrian uprising. As she started to tell us about her hope for a fresh start in Germany, the policemen issued their final warning before escorting us off Moria camp’s fenced perimeter.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Kidnapping of a Country

The road to Chibok is eerily quiet, lined with checkpoints manned by civilians, many of them teenagers, wielding rusty rifles and serving as added security for an area that has little. In this northeast Nigerian village, where more than 300 teenage schoolgirls were kidnapped by the militant Islamist separatist group Boko Haram on April 14, their stunned families were still waiting this week for them to come home.

Lawan Zanna was still waiting for Aisha, his 18-year-old daughter. “How can I sleep?” Mr. Zanna asked. “Anger is gripping my body.” After the girls were abducted, Mr. Zanna said, he and other parents searched the nearby Sambisa forest for their children, but came back empty-handed.…  Seguir leyendo »