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A Fine Journalist Vanishes Into Egypt’s Gulag

There are not many Egyptian journalists like Ismail Alexandrani. A sociologist by training, he was always drawn as a writer and journalist to those who are marginalized in the excitable hurly burly of Egypt’s press and popular culture: Nubians, disabled people, the Sinai Bedouins. This week, his expertise and erudition have dealt him a grim fate: he has been arrested and is being held incognito on improbable charges of supporting terrorism.

Forced to live abroad since last year, Alexandrani tried to slip into Egypt under the radar this week to visit his ailing mother.

There Is No Light to Lead Us Out of this Dark Place

Saint John Chrysostom in Damascus, 2013. Youssef Abdelke.

Freed from prison, prominent Syrian artist and opposition figure Youssef Abdelke has little hope for the future of his country. In this interview with Lebanon’s Al-Safir, he remains convinced that the first mistake of the opposition was its eagerness to take up arms, and suggests that the foreign backing of the armed factions is at the root of the divisions among the Assad regime’s armed opponents.

After 36 days in prison, Syrian artist Youssef Abdelke was released by Syrian authorities last month.