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Devin Murphy

Learning Arabic – Al Humdulillah!!!

Introduction Arabic is one of the more difficult languages for a native English speaker to learn. The US military considers it a class IV language, along with Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, and requires that servicemembers score at least a 100 on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) to qualify for training. In comparison, a score…

Nagorno Karabagh – Postcards From Nowhere

A small monument to the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabagh. There has been a cease-fire since 1994, but no permanent treaty has been signed Sergei showing me one of the gorges outside Shushi. This area was used as a helicopter landing zone during the war. Steel cables stretch across the gorge, presumably to…

Boomtown Basra

Most of the products Munkith and Munthir Abbas sell were either illegal for ordinary Iraqis to own or too expensive for them to buy. Now, the twin brothers manage just one of many import shops that offer a range of electronic goods, from hand irons to satellite television receivers. “Whenever the people can buy, they…