In Gaza, Storytelling and Silence

A Mentor Stays Glued to WhatsApp, Awaiting Word from Young Writers

Mustafa was one of the first young writers I mentored through We Are Not Numbers (WANN), a youth-led program based in Gaza that tells the stories behind the numbers in the news, giving voice to Palestinians and advocating for their human rights. Mustafa is a graduate of Al Aqsa University, and he managed a small convenience store to supplement his family’s income.

Two years ago, I worked with him—virtually, from my home in Los Angeles—as he drafted and refined an essay about 13-year-old Muhammad, a familiar figure in his Khan Yunis …

More In: Ideas

Why Do We Want Ceasefires?

A 7th-Century Roman-Arab Conflict Shows the Power of Enduring Peace Treaties Over Temporary Truces

Why do we want a ceasefire?

This question is in the news as a result of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, but the question is actually ancient. It reminds me, a historian …

Don’t Let the Government Get Your Goat

Cedar, the Caprine Captive Caught in the Middle of a Fatal Legal Battle, Has an Important Story to Tell

I, Cedar, may be as dead as the narrator of the film Sunset Boulevard. But from my warm and dry pen in caprine heaven, I can still hand down a …

Why Won’t Governments Regulate AI?

Enthusiasts Say the Technology Will Herald a 'Fourth Industrial Revolution.' Unchecked, It’s More Likely to Intensify Inequality and Corporate Power

This piece publishes as part of the Zócalo, Arts for LA, ASU Narrative and Emerging Media Program, and LACMA program “Is AI the End …

In South Central, a ‘Rebel Garden’ of True Bounty

Growing a Community Space in L.A. to Heal and To Reconnect to the Land

Being a steward of the earth is a responsibility I hold dear to my heart. That’s why, four years ago, I got involved in creating a raised-bed garden in South …

Go to Sleep, My City Council

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Stars, Goodnight to the Government Meetings That Should Close Before the Bars

I hereby propose a new rule to improve the quality of California’s local democracy. When the bars in your city close, so must your city council.

The idea occurred to me …