What Can I Do? —Gündüz Vassaf’s Call to Action in a Time of Rampant Pessimism, Part 2

by Humera Afridi Gündüz Vassaf's latest book, What Can I Do, arrived like manna this past summer, a panacea for our times, urging action as an antidote to pessimism. The book's publication in Turkey coincided with the heightened and volatile political climate in the country in the immediate aftermath of the failed coup attempt. Its…

The Price of Freedom

by Humera Afridi I have just finished reading The Morning They Came for Us by Janine Di Giovanni and, in its wake, Dreaming of Baghdad by Haifa Zangana. I can't recall the last time I had such a powerful and visceral reading experience—needing to physically move my body into air and sunlight, taking myself from…

Eleven Days in India

by Humera Afridi “The pity of partition was not that instead of one country there were now two—independent India and independent Pakistan—but the fact that “human beings in both countries were slaves, slaves of bigotry… slaves of religious passions, slaves of animal instincts and barbarity.” —Ayesha Jalal, The Pity of Partition. Manto's Life, Times, and…