Spending our days on the interwebs has its advantages, one being that we come across lots of excellent pieces of journalism. Every week, we'll bring you our favorite online reads that didn't appear on our site. Disagree with the selection? Leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet #bestreads at @HuffPostWorld.
How The Syrian War Is Stoking Sectarian Tensions In Turkey
The Atlantic - Piotr Zalewski
Two and a half years into the war between President Bashar Assad and opposition fighters, Syria's neighboring countries have all been drawn into the chaos. Lebanon has received nearly 700,000 Syrian refugees and violence between Lebanese groups pro and against the Syrian regime regularly rocks the cities of Tripoli and Beirut. More than 500,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan, where they joined the nearly two million Palestinians who sought shelter in the country. Sunni extremist groups regularly cross Syria's porous border with Iraq, contributing to a renewed wave of sectarian attacks in the war-torn nation. Turkey, too, has been caught up in the frenzy, and the combative position of the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is only aggravating the tensions. More than a million Alawites -- members of the sect of Syrian president Assad -- live in Turkey, many of them in the border province of Hatay. When protests against the clearing of an Istanbul park morphed into massive anti-government demonstrations across Turkey last June, the protests caught on in Hatay, too, and gained a sectarian undertone. Relations between government and protesters became increasingly tense in the town of Antakya, 12 miles from the Syrian border. A 22-year-old protester was killed there in September and demonstrators were quick to blame security forces. “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is struggle,” graffiti on an Antakya wall read. “You won’t be forgotten,” another slogan read, referring to the killed young man.
Five Rules To Successfully Debate India
Mondiaal Magazine -- Gie Goris
If you've ever been to India (or have even lost your heart to the country, like this editor) you know words often fail to relate your experiences to friends and family at home. Yes it's busy and yes it's chaotic. It's dirty and it's colorful and fascinating and terribly annoying. "Of everything that is true about India, the opposite is true as well," Mondiaal Magazine's Gie Goris writes. Goris put together a list of five rules you absolutely have to master when discussing India within it's border and abroad. Number 1? India is not a country. It's a continent.*
For Yemen's Few Remaining Jews, Time Has Run Out
Time Magazine -- Tom Finn, Tik Root
Yemen's Jewish community once counted more than 50,000. Today, the 90 remaining members live in a government compound in the capital Sana'a. They raise their cattle within the walls; cook their food behind the closed gates. The government pays the rent, and the Jews rarely venture outside. Frightened by stories of sectarian attacks against Christians in Egypt and Syria, Sana'a' community is wondering whether their time has come, too. Many of the group's younger members are planning to emigrate to Israel. “Saleh was a despot," Habib, an older member of the community, says, referring to Yemen's former president. "He ran Yemen like a fiefdom, he neglected people and stole natural resources, but as a Jew my family and I were protected by him. Who will do that now that he is gone?”
Heaven, Hell And Earth
Guernica Magazine -- Catherine Cooper, Nyani Quarmyne
It takes eight hours on a bad road from the capital Freetown to reach Wellbody, the healthcare alliance of Drs Dan Kelly and Bailor Barrie in Sierra Leone's district of Koidu. In a country that counts just a single psychiatrist and where people believe mental illness is a spiritual disease, the two physicians have entered a peculiar alliance with traditional healers, hoping to treat some of the district's mental ill. The World Health Organization estimates 75 percent of people with psychiatric disorders in the developing world have no access to medical care and Sierra Leone is no exception. Rather than recognizing their illness, many patients see themselves as overcome by or fighting the devil and prefer the care of traditional healers than those of doctors practicing western medicine. The single government-run psychiatric facility in the country -- dubbed "Crazy Yard" -- is regarded with contempt. While proud of their accomplishments, the doctors' fight is not one without challenges. Dealing with the erratic behavior and bizarre treatments of the local traditional healer, Kamara, challenges their patience. And they question some of their decisions. Both prescribe psychiatric medicines without being trained as psychiatrists. "When I feel something isn't my terrain but I do it because there's a need, that affects my conscience," says Dr. Barrie. "The bottom line is that the benefits outweigh the risks," Kelly says.
*Goris' final rule? Queuing is for losers.