'Not From Here,' stories by Nathan Deuel

We're moving from Saudi to Turkey

Hagia Sofia

My new neighbor: Istanbul's Hagia Sofia. (Image by qyphon via Flickr)

Dear readers,

I’m sorry about my infrequent posting lately. Below are two reasons why, and by way of continuing apology, a link to my latest piece — a feature in the Brown Alumni Magazine about being alone in a room in Saudi Arabia with a young woman who wants to attend an ivy league university.

1. As I wrote with some emotion last month, my beloved dad Al Deuel passed away April 13 after a brief battle with cancer. We are all still crushed. And among other things, his passing came just days after my wife and I left Riyadh, which we no longer call home.

2. Instead, Kelly McEvers and I are most likely moving to Istanbul, where I will be based as she looks to rotate into Iraq as National Public Radio’s new Baghdad correspondent.

So over the next weeks and months, my focus will begin shifting from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Gulf, to Turkey, Iraq, and the greater Middle East. If you have any advice, questions, or avenues of research you’d like Kelly or I to pursue, please don’t be shy.

For now, here’s a sample of that BAM piece about interviewing young women in Saudi for undergraduate admission to Brown — and also an appeal for your continued patience. Everything’s different now.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Iraq, Islam, Kelly McEvers, Middle East, NPR, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, World, Writing, , , , , , ,

Building a beautiful arch

Picture showing Armenians killed during the Ar...

Image via Wikipedia

Christopher de Bellaigue, in his new book Rebel Land, describes the “petty and dishonorable” feeling of  interviewing old women in the small town of Varto, where the author is researching a book about painful and sensitive subjects — genocide, Armenians, Turks.

Why not let sleeping dogs lie? Why not leave this poor woman alone, why jog her memories? And then arch of your design starts to fill, and it seems like a beautiful arch, with lessons for us all, and you press greedily on.

Writing in The New York Review of Books several years ago, de Bellaigue wrote  about a period of Turkish history. For his failure to accurately account for the mass killings of Armenians, he was vilified by readers and taken to task by Review editor Robert Silvers.

This new book seems, in part, to be atonement. Words beget words.

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Filed under: Books, Genocide, New York Review of Books, Turkey, World, Writing, , , , , ,