Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

Refugees
Pakistan: Mortenson lessons
Pakistan: Mortenson lessons

Greg Mortenson certainly told a good story. When I was on the road for two months last year speaking about my work, I repeatedly encountered people who had read his books and were inspired by what he had experienced and accomplished. Yet there was always something about his story that bothered me, and now we […]

Gaza: Life blockaded
Gaza: Life blockaded

It’s like a prison in many ways, surrounded by high walls on three sides, gun towers overseeing the free-fire stretch of scorched earth and rubble warning anyone, including farmers who once tilled the land, from getting close. On the fourth side, the west, the Mediterranean inexorably draws the eye to the horizon, but it, too, […]

Washington: Moms not criminals
Washington: Moms not criminals

No one in the trailer park would have opened their door if I’d been there on my own. People were clearly afraid, so they were either long gone or laying low. After all that had happened, opening their door to one more gabacho wasn’t a great idea. Fortunately I had a Latina with me from […]

Southern Sudan: Advent waiting
Southern Sudan: Advent waiting

It’s the first Sunday of Advent, and I’m somewhere over the west coast of Africa, sitting in a cramped economy class seat on a 17-hour flight from Johannesburg to Washington. I’m trying to get into the zen of waiting, if for no other reason than I have no choice but to just sit here. And […]

Southern Sudan: voting excitement
Southern Sudan: voting excitement

I’m in Southern Sudan for a couple of weeks, writing about the work of the church in the lead up to January’s referendum on independence. These are heady times in some ways, as people long oppressed by the government in the north feel their way toward nationhood. There’s a rocky road on the other side […]

Sudan: New genocide charges
Sudan: New genocide charges

Judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague today issued a second arrest warrant against Sudan’s Preident Omar Al Bashir, charging him with three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur. The three specific charges are genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm, and […]

Sleepless in South Africa
Sleepless in South Africa

I have acquired some penpals. Let me tell you how that happened. Last year I was in South Africa to work on a couple of stories, one of them on the plight of Zimbabwean refugees who have been exploited, abused and even murdered. In the middle of this depressing story–as are many stories of immigration–I […]