Essay

Looking Deportation in the Face

The Fence Between Tijuana and San Diego Reminded Childhood Arrivals of Their Exile—Until They Used It to Share Their Stories

by Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana

The archive, it keeps growing. Another story. This time, Jorge. Yesterday it was Angel, the day before that, Ruben, Andy, Hector, Alex.
  I first met Jorge in June 2017, at a Father’s Day celebration at Friendship Park in Playas de Tijuana. We were steps away from the border fence separating Mexico and San Diego’s Border Field State Park. Jorge, who was one of the only young folks there that day, and he reminded me of my younger brother Jose, and my friends back in Compton. Jorge, who was 26 years old, wore a long white t-shirt, high white socks, and baggy khaki shorts. He had a short haircut, tattoos, and a piercing in his ear. He mostly spoke English, and he made American cultural references, quoting artists such as Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar. Jorge liked to sing along with Lamar’s “DNA” when he rode in the car. The lyrics—“I was born like this, since one like this… I transform like this, perform like this”—align with his story ...

Essay

When War Comes for the Museum

I Led the Rescue of Syria’s Cultural Heritage—Here’s What We Need to Do to Protect World Treasures from Politics and Strife

by Maamoun Abdulkarim

Protecting cultural heritage during crises and wars is a big challenge, especially if conflict erupts suddenly and consumes a country with violence.
  As head of the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria during the worst stage of history for my country, I contended with this challenge firsthand. That’s why I know, in this moment, it is essential for Ukraine to choose the right strategy to protect its threatened cultural legacy. Not everything can be saved in such circumstances, but we have a scientific, moral, and humanitarian responsibility to provide all forms of support to help guarantee the protection of our world heritage.
  My leadership tenure was the most difficult period of my life. For five years, from 2012 to 2017, I took on the work of overseeing cultural heritage preservation during the war. But these years were also the most important ones of my life. I gladly served as a volunteer, without a monthly salary or any compensation, for the honor of helping ...

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