In Syria, Kurds Pay The Price Of Driving ISIS Out

Kobane Syria

Battered and bruised during the Syrian Civil War, Kobanî made for a prime ISIL target. In September 2014, Islamic State militants launched a siege of the city, driving out over 250,000 Kurds and capturing 350 surrounding Kurdish villages in the process. With the support of the Free Syrian Army, Kurdish People’s Protection Units and American-Arab airstrikes, Kobanî residents were able to reclaim their city. However, as seen in this photo, that home is largely ruined and its future remains uncertain. It seems that the biggest challenge, more than defeating ISIL, is rebuilding.

What We Love This Week, Volume XCV

21st Century Family Brooklyn

Rina, John, Redding, and Ruby. Bushwick, Brooklyn Source: Slate

The Many Faces Of The 21st Century Family

21st Century Family Maria

Maria with mother, sister, aunt, and cousin. Fort Lee, New Jersey Source: Slate

In the United States, when pundits speak (or shriek, pending where you get your news) of the way the family is changing, they’re usually referring to shifts in demographics and laws. Another way to see it, though, is that these “other” American families who wouldn’t usually appear in a “Leave it to Beaver” episode are becoming more visible to those in positions of power. Someone pushing to bring this truth forward is Michele Crowe, whose photo series “The Universal Family” seeks to “unite the human race through the spirit of family”.

That’s not to say that Crowe is looking solely for multicultural families in her work; to Crowe, the point is that “we’re all coming from the same place; we’re all at home and laughing”. So far, Crowe’s subjects have all been in the United States, but she’s jetting off to Europe to highlight families there. In the meantime, check out some of her work at Slate.

21st Century Family Tea

Bryan and Mia. Levittown, New York Source: Slate

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The Stories Of Central American Immigrants That Most News Sources Won’t Tell You About

death train caught and deported

Being caught by Mexican police almost always means deportation back to Central America. Business Insider

We hear about the “problem” of illegal immigration every day either through news broadcasts or mind-boggling statistics, but what does the process actually look like to those participating in it? Photographer Michelle Frankfurter set out to answer just that, spending five years documenting the sometimes fatal journey that many migrants take from Guatemala to Mexico–all in hopes of landing in the United States.

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Meet Mr. Toilet

40 percent of the world’s population (that’s over two billion people) still lack access to simple toilets, which poses a major problem for solving poverty and reducing the incidence of disease. But given its perceived “grossness”, we don’t really like to talk about it. Businessman-turned-sanitation hero Jack Sim addresses the smelly elephant in the room in this fascinating short.

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