Palmyra: History on its Side

Palmyra has slipped behind the ISIS shroud, a terrible thing not just for the 50,000 inhabitants but also for the ancient place itself.
Syria 227Syria 226Syria 238I had the privilege of visiting Palmyra in 2010 and was entranced, like many, by its remarkably picturesque setting. Syria 250Syria 213The city has seen its share of conquests over its 9,500 year history, from prehistoric times through Queen Zenobia to the present day.Syria 254Hopefully this dark chapter will soon be closed.Syria 216

No-Digi-Phobia: Fear of Being Left Out of the Digital World

We are a phobic society, afraid of the unknown, and now more than anything, being away from our devices. 20140622_154122The term “nomophobia” has been recently introduced into our vernacular – “no-mobile-phone-phobia” – defining our fear of being without a connection. Emilo PerezThere is a lot of finger-posting going on regarding this trend, blaming the kids and their addiction to the digital world. crazy kidSure, all of my students stare into their phones at every given moment, desperate to scroll, some even convinced that they have been given a new power, that society has conceded to their ability to steer us to a brave new understanding.

However misguided they may be, they’re not the problem, only a symptom. BladeRunnerTyrellThe problem isn’t the users, but the providers, the people building these things, selling the latest models, pushing the digital world relentlessly forward. If you don’t buy, you don’t know, and then you die. nomogalsOur nodigiphobia (“no-digital-device-phobia”) only continues to drive us toward the bleak horizon, latest device in hand, blogging and texting as we go.Syria 216