The events of the last few weeks – in Paris, Beirut, Mali and the ongoing mass exodus of refugees from Syria are horrifying and heartbreaking. Reactions to these events have been forceful and widespread and each one of us feels the need to do something – even if its just to express solidarity on social media. We do what feels right, of course. At ThinkFiend, it feels like getting educated and informed about the forces behind these events is one of the things we can do.
So, here are some articles that I’ve been reading – not to make sense of the current situation, but to get context.
The Smithsonian magazine published this account of a historical treaty that created the boundaries of the current Middle East
The origins of the World War I agreement that carved up the Middle East
Understanding ISIS – If you haven’t already, Graeme Wood’s in depth reporting in The Atlantic on ISIS and their ideology is a thorough but chilling report
What ISIS really wants
The New Yorker did this piece in June exploring one Belgian teenager’s journey to Syria and back
From Belgium to ISIS
And what now? How do we react in the face of this horror? Do we hunker down or open up?
The New York Review of Book carried this piece on refugees and how the West should treat them
The Refugees and the New War
And the Politico had this one on the treatment of French Muslims in the wake of the attack.
Words seem small and trite, but if words are all we have, lets make them count.