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Adam Valen Levinson
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Adam Valen Levinson is an American writer and the founder of the online travelogue He has reported for Al Jazeera English, VICE, Haaretz, and worked for The Onion and The Colbert Report. His writing and photography have appeared in publications around the world, with a focus on daily life, people, and cross-cultural interaction in the Middle East, most recently in contributions to Neue Zürcher Zeitung in German. He may have written the flyers outside your local supermarket.

His current project is The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah, a chronicle of a young American's travels into warzones and the forgotten corners of the Middle East, a quest to reintroduce the region his generation first met on September 11th, 2001. With the Arab Spring bursting in the background, the traveler finds welcome and common ground, love and hope and bros, and new secrets within his own thick head.

With interest in representation or publication, or for further writing samples, contact here.

Entries by Adam Valen Levinson

Women Go Skiing in Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 1:26 PM

ONE MORNING IN FINLAND, Sima Haidary was searching for music in her mother tongue, Hazaraki. In one video, she saw pictures of snowboarders on the bare mountains of Afghanistan, a country she fled as...

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Outrageous Fortune: The Response to an American Tragedy

(5) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 8:45 AM

There are tragedies in the world that make the mind shut down. Shock to the heart has a way of making discussion impossible, anger uncouth: there will be those who say it is impossible to feel grief and rage at the same time. But you contain multitudes, dammit, and...

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How To Get To Somalia Without Getting Killed By Pirates (VIDEO)

(24) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 7:00 AM

The Gulf of Aden is nicknamed "Pirate Alley" for the unfortunate amount of piracy in the area. Attacks are unlikely on Somali ships, and for a fee (and with a little luck), tourists can hitch a ride from Yemen with some cargo. In my case, there were a lot of...

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Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah: A Christmas Story

(9) Comments | Posted December 25, 2011 | 8:09 AM

They both took off their baseball caps, and under them -- yarmulkes. Dressed and bearded to the nines of Hasidic custom, these two Chabad rabbis had come via Dubai from Brooklyn to light...

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Exploring Iran's Dead Sea And Qeshm Island

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 7:00 AM

Iran and Israel have more in common than you might think. Enter the world's saltiest bodies of water -- this one is on Qeshm Island.

Qeshm lays 75 miles along Iran's southern coast at the mouth of the Straight of Hormuz. Every day, more than 15 million barrels of oil...

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Finding the Persian Gulf's Only Synagogue

(7) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 2:47 PM

As rumor had it, the one synagogue on the Arabian Peninsula was in Bahrain. It seemed like an easy find -- a sore thumb somewhere in two mile-wide downtown Manama. Earlier in the day the address I had plucked from an online forum, "Sasa'ah street," seemed to get vague grunts...

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Understanding and Butt Jokes in Afghanistan (PHOTOS)

(6) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 8:37 AM

I saw all fourteen of their eyes on me. Most gazed out from above noses wrinkled by smiles and even the expressionless ones seemed open to my whimsical appearance in a small room full of mattresses off a lonely backstreet in central Afghanistan. A single lightbulb hung from the ceiling,...

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An Afghan Road Trip From Kabul To Bamiyan (PHOTOS)

(2) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 6:49 PM

The road from Kabul to the town of Bamiyan, nestled among sandstone cliffs 240 kilometers to the northwest, was far from busy. Despite the roadwork that had made it one of the smoother routes in the country, the drive from the capital through the 10,000-foot-high Shibar pass was less than...

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After Abbottabad: To Visit or Not to Visit Osama's Death House

(9) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 6:25 PM

I had planned to ride over the river (a narrow offshoot of the Indus) and through the woods north of Islamabad to my friend's grandmother's house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The wolf would've been Osama bin Laden -- and he was already dead.  

I landed in the Islamabad airport, only two hours...

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