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“We’re all scattered now”

Kristianstad, Sweden — He waves as I get off the train, red gym bag slung over his shoulder. It’s Jamal, one of the Syrians who inspired this trip through Jordan, Turkey, and Sweden. We’d met on a former detainees’ support group in 2012. The online forum provided Syrians detained by the government after the social uprising…

Pushed Across The Border: When Europe Is Not a Choice

Jordan — She was one of the first welcoming faces I met in Jordan, and the only familiar one. We had met five years ago in Damascus, on the streets of what was then a peaceful uprising against the Assad regime. We would discuss locations for protests, and meet before dawn to hang the anti-government flag in…

For Syrians, There Is No Such Thing as an Open Border

Kilis, Izmir – Turkey —  “I am suffocating.” It’s the sentence I hear the most when interviewing Syrians. Traveling throughout several Turkish cities in the past few weeks, it is now visibly clear that the noose is indeed tightening on Syrians in bordering countries. However, these new limitations may be driving more Syrians to head to Europe…

He Bought Them Lunch. They Learned How To Read.

Reyhanli, Turkey — Early in the morning and late at night, sounds of shelling from across the mountain disrupt the seemingly tranquil border town. “If you’d been here a few nights earlier, when the Russians were bombing, you would have felt the whole ground shake,” Waled Dabak tells me inside his Reyhanli home. “The entire city…

Why Are Syrian Aid Workers Leaving for Europe?

Gaziantep, Turkey — Frustration. In a city that has become known for its dynamic activist community, weariness is starting to show in a network that has been stretched by donor fatigue, occupational burnout, and the opportunity of starting over far away. Located only 50 kilometers away from the Syrian border and home to more than 200,000 refugees, Gaziantep has…

For Syrians, Turkey Can Be a Station, or Home

Turkey–I can’t help but smile when the plane lands in Istanbul. I have a layover before heading south to Gaziantep, and one of the first things I always do is go to my favorite Syrian restaurant in Taksim. You can get a decently sized fresh juice there for less than $2, and the ritual reminds me of…

Food Fight! (or, Will Russia Let the Tomatoes Fly?)

Which has more firepower: an air-to-air missile or a Roma tomato? One can down an aircraft, but the other can cripple a food industry. When Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet, President Vladimir Putin said he felt “stabbed in the back.” There would be consequences, he promised, for the attack that ultimately killed two…

Using UAVs to Map an Ancient Wonder of the World

Getting a broad vantage of the layout of ruins used to be difficult, but using peaceful UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), archaeologists like Patrick Meier are uncovering new structures and history from the air. Patrick is applying his new “airchaeology” to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Temple of Artemis in Turkey.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #70

Wow! The 70th edition of the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” demonstrates just how far we have come. This can only be described as an astonishing collection of wild bird photographs. 1750 amazing photographs of birds living free and wild published so far. We are looking for new ways to deliver all…

International Relations in the Ancient and Modern Worlds

After a week of archaeological site visits and presentations, lessons arise from stories of the past to help shape the world of the future.

Animal Burials, Early Ruler, and Ivory Statue Unearthed in Egyptian Tomb Complex

Learn more about beautiful artifacts from a newly discovered very early Egyptian tomb.

Faces of the Past, Reflections of the Present at Archaeology Conference

We can find reflections of ourselves in ancient cultures if we know how to look. Explore top archaeologists’ latest ideas from the 2014 Dialogue of Civilizations, and share your thoughts as well.

2014 Dialogue of Civilizations Opens in Istanbul

What can the ancient world teach us about today’s world? Join the conversation with archaeologists and other experts gathered in Turkey this week.

February 23, 2014: Cycling to the South Pole, Saving India’s Killer Tigers and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they endure a 750-mile bike ride from Antarctica’s coast to the South Pole, explore the sonic wonders of the world, explain the Yukon’s modern-day gold rush, fly south for the winter with snowy owls, empower Bolivia’s rural citizens to protect their corner of the world, kayak the length of the Colorado and Green Rivers, recover from unpleasant tropical parasites, advocate for tigers and humans when species clash in India, track Turkey’s bears by cellphone.

December 1, 2013: Running the Amazon from New Source to Sea, Fact Checking Thanksgiving and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio show, join host Boyd Matson, as he and his guests paddle the length of the Amazon River, see Jerusalem through the eyes of its citizens, debunk Thanksgiving’s creation myths, and taking selfies with tigers.