This week on Roads & Kingdoms, the woman whose restaurant divided a community in Quetta, Pakistan, farmers fight Big Palm Oil in Guatemala, and London’s pettiest crimes.
This post originally appeared on December 14, 2018, in R&K’s weekly newsletter. Read the archives and subscribe to the newsletter.
Congratulations! Another week down, just over two more to go until the end of 2018!
This year has been long, but it’s had its bright spots: record numbers of women were elected in the U.S. midterms; after two decades of war, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace agreement; just last month, we learned about a giant “cow” named Knickers.
We took pride in finding and telling stories about extraordinary people and places. For example, we published a piece this week from Pakistan about Hamida Ali Hazara, an activist in Quetta’s Shia-Hazara community. The country’s 1.5 million Hazaras have been the target of repeated violent attacks. Ali Hazara opened a restaurant and hired female victims of anti-Hazara violences. But, as Sama Faruqi reports, Ali Hazara soon became the target of an intimidation campaign. Still, she persisted—until local politics shut her restaurant down.
We also published this photo essay by Lianne Milton, who went to Guatemala’s Polochic Valley to report on the palm-oil industry and the fight for indigenous land rights. The booming industry is rapidly claiming Mayan Q’eqchi ancestral lands: A handful of Guatemalan companies control the entire palm-oil production chain, and these businesses occupy an area equivalent to land used by more than 60,000 subsistence farmers. Milton documented one community that successfully resisted an eviction order armed only with their farm tools.
On the The Trip podcast this week, Nathan Thornburgh talks tacos in Viking country with Rosio Sanchez, a Chicago-born chef who dropped everything to move to Denmark to be the pastry chef at Noma. Now she runs Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen, where she brings Mexican flavors to the city (and much-needed tacos to Northern Europe). Listen on Apple here, on Stitcher here, Read the transcript here. Subscribe!
On our sister site, Explore Parts Unknown, we published stories from New Mexico, Shanghai, Lyon, Spain, and Miami. Check out our guides to Santa Fe and Granada, learn about the falcon trainers of New Mexico—and read about what makes the Café Versailles at Miami International Airport so irresistible.
Here’s something we’ve enjoyed watching and rewatching this week: John Kerry and Hillary Clinton dancing to Bollywood music with Shah Rukh Khan.
Also, as R&K’s resident quasi-Brit, I couldn’t help but follow the Twitter blowback to the New York Times’ effort to cover petty crime in London. They posed the question “Have you experienced a petty crime in London? Click to tell us your story.” In response they received a deluge of tweets, mostly on the variation of “Someone once asked me what book I was reading on the tube and I was so appalled I had to get off 3 stops early to escape the harassment;” “I once heard a mobile telephone ringtone in the quiet carriage of South West Trains, somewhere between Richmond and Kew. It was only stopped by the ensuing cacophony of tutting. Shocking stuff;” and “I stepped on a guy’s toe on the tube by accident. He didn’t immediately say sorry .”
Wherever you are, stay safe out there.