National Geographic: March 2014, Part 1

Okay, so I can write up whole issues at a time, but I really cannot do justice to that many stories at once. So I guess I am going to go back to doing two or three articles at a time. If someday I am far enough ahead that I can paste several posts together into one entire issue, then I’ll do that. Either way, though, from now on, the most articles I will write up at one time will probably be three, no matter how they end up being posted.

Syria: The Chaos of War: Damascus: Will the Walls Fall? by Anne Barnard, photographs by Andea Bruce

That titles’s a mouthful. I’m not sure if Syria: The Chaos of War is going to be a series, or is just the title of this section of this issue, so I’m putting it in the title section here just in case.

The Syrian Civil War and/or Syrian Revolution, depending on whom you talk to, has been going on since 2011. This article is a look at what was the current state of the capital city, Damascus, in March 2014.

Damascus, the site of the conversion of the Apostle Paul, has always prided itself on being cosmopolitan. In the city, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have lived and worked in relative peace for centuries. That peace is now being threatened by the ongoing war. As this article went to press, no fighting was taking place within the city, but the military was stationed in the city and was shelling the suburbs. In words and pictures, we see the people of the Old City of Damascus living their lives as best they can in the middle of a war zone.

Syria: The Chaos of War: Journey Without End, photographs by Lynsey Addario, text by Carolyn Butler

Journey Without End is a pictorial of refugees fleeing the war in Syria. We see refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and there is a map showing where in each country the refugees have settled.

Where the Greenstone Grows, by Kennedy Warne, photographs by Michael Melford

In Where the Greenstone Grows, Warne and Melford take us to Te Wahipounamu, part of the Te Wahipounamu-South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. We get a glimpse into the history and culture of the area, focusing on the nephrite jade, known in Maori as “pounamu,” that gives the area its name.  Warne talks about the type of nephrite jade known as inanga pounamu, which takes its name from whitebait fish that are a delicacy in New Zealand and also the connection of the World Heritage Area to Gondwana, the southern part of the land mass known as Pangaea.

I am saving up for a trip to New Zealand (our goal is to go in 2019), and Alex is something of a rock hound. I suspect we may be taking a trip to the beaches of Te Wahiponamu.

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