Under Siege, Young Gazans Take Up The Reins

Leaning into the camera on her laptop, Mais Saqqa, a 24-year-old female fixer who has a bachelors degree in English, brims with excitement as she chatters on about her riding lesson earlier that day. Ms. Saqqa speaks with impeccable clarity, despite never having been outside of Gaza, let alone to an English speaking country. Nearly…

Unmapped Issue 37: The Night Watch

The wind whips mercilessly, pushing discarded thermal blankets and empty water bottles down the dirt road and over the edge of the cliffs. The only light comes from the full moon, and the twinkling of civilization 4km across the Aegean in Turkey. As we stand at the highest point on the island of Lesbos, binoculars to our eyes, we wait for…

Unmapped Issue 27: Dubai at Dawn – Part Two

To read the first part of this story, click here. As the sun begins to rise, we unzip our jackets and loosen our scarves, leaving them trailing in the wind behind us. The endurance racing saddle being so light and thin, I can feel each movement of the horse rippling up through my legs and into…

Unmapped Issue 27: Dubai at Dawn – Part One

It’s five o’clock in the morning and we are already on our way into the middle of the Dubai desert, travel mugs of steaming Nescafé in hand. Neither one of us would normally eat much at this hour of day, but since what we are about to embark upon requires endurance and strength, we also…

Unmapped Issue 26: Merry Christmas Mobarak

“It’s going to be a small Christmas this year,” my mother promises, for the fifteenth year in a row: it’s a promise that she and my father can never keep, and no one takes her seriously this year either. It’s not so much the mountain of gifts that make us doubt her promise each year, but…

Unmapped Issue 9: Uneasy In Istanbul

I awoke with a coldness running through my veins and the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. My heartbeat was so loud it left a ringing in my ears and the adrenaline pumping through my body was starting to make my limbs tremble. The sound of choking, which I thought was…