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Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

A man hold a placard reading "Help Europe" as Syrian and Afgan refugees attend a protest rally to demand to travel to Germany on September 2, 2015 outside the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. 
AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA        (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)
A man hold a placard reading "Help Europe" as Syrian and Afgan refugees attend a protest rally to demand to travel to Germany on September 2, 2015 outside the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform’s new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy.

 

People gather at a makeshift IDP camp at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba on December 22, 2013 where South Sudanese continue to flock as fears of a resumption of fighting in the capital fester. World leaders have stepped up calls for South Sudan's feuding politicians to end fighting that has pushed the country to the brink of civil war, after four US servicemen were wounded when their aircraft came under fire. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called Sunday for an immediate end to violence in South Sudan, where the death toll is mounting from fighting between rival forces loyal to the president and his sacked deputy. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Doctor” by James Verini, Atavist Magazine

Tom Catena is the only surgeon for thousands of square miles in Southern Sudan. His hospital, and his life, are constantly under threat. There is no end to the carnage he must treat. He refuses to leave.

Necessities at other hospitals are luxuries at Mother of Mercy, where almost everything—towels, instruments, medicines, uniforms, bed frames, pencils—must be flown on cargo planes from Kenya to the refugee camp in Yida and then driven to the hospital in cargo trucks. (The roof was brought in piece-by-piece from Italy over the course of a year.) The drive can take several hours or several days, depending on the state of the roads and the whims of the Antonov pilots. Other things the staff improvises.

Syrian refugees and migrants along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary near Horgos on September 1, 2015. European Union leaders called for action to defend the "dignity" of migrants ahead of fresh emergency talks, as tensions flared on the bloc's eastern borders over the escalating crisis. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ten Borders” by Nicholas Schmidle, The New Yorker

A Syrian refugee’s epic escape route through Europe.

He took the metro to Aksaray, a neighborhood on the European side of the city, which was recently described, in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report, as Istanbul’s “human-smuggling hub.” He had learned about a hostel there by reading posts on the page of a private Facebook group called Asylum and Immigration Without Smugglers. It functioned rather like TripAdvisor: members, many of them Syrian refugees, shared candid information about refugee-friendly hostels, untrustworthy smugglers, and the latest sea conditions.

The impact of social media on the Syrian refugee crisis has been profound. In a 2012 paper, Rianne Dekker and Godfried Engbersen, professors at Erasmus University, in Rotterdam, write that social media has not only helped in “lowering the threshold for migration,” by allowing people to remain connected with distant family members; it has also democratized the process, by facilitating “a form of silent resistance against restrictive immigration regimes.”

Young women who have left their village after being abandoned by their parents for acting as prostitutes to Moroccan UN soldiers converse on a dirt road in Trainou, near Bouake, Ivory Caost's second city and the capital of the rebel-controlled north, 29 July 2007. Moroccan UN troops in the central city of Bouake have been accused by locals of committing "sexual abuses". The UN suspended the activities of the the Moroccan forces contingent in the west African country last month due to the accusation, pending investigation. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Lost Girls” by Sarah Dohrmann, Harper’s

Women, sex, and the Arab Spring.

I tried a different tack. “You’re saying he forced you to have sex with him?” She nodded, sipping her coffee. Then she shook her head. “No,” she said, “we were friends.” I offered her a cigarette. She got a phone call and started arguing with the person on the other end. Then she started crying. She was saying, “I want to live in Spain, Mama. I don’t want to live in Morocco anymore.”

I noticed that her fingernails had been chewed to nubs and that she had a bruise on her right knee. It was unusual that I could see her knees at all. Indeed, in that first half hour with Meriem, I could almost forget that we were in Morocco and that she wasn’t “good” by Moroccan standards. She was smoking one of my cigarettes; she wasn’t wearing a headscarf; she was exposing her legs. Walking over to my house, she hadn’t even covered her outfit with a djellaba, the traditional hooded cloak.

 

Swedish band Icona Pop performs during the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 2013 ceremony in the Ziggo Dome, in Amsterdam on November 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ANP / SVEN HOOGERHUIS ***netherlands out*** (Photo credit should read SVEN HOOGERHUIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr. Pop” by John Seabrook, Slate

He created the template for contemporary hit-making. He made Ace of Base the biggest group in the world. And he mentored the most successful songwriter since the Beatles. Why have you never heard of Denniz Pop?

Lundin says, “Denniz was an arrangement genius.” He adds, “like Steve Jobs, he knew what to take out. ‘You can get rid of that, that. Keep it simple.’ ” As Denniz put it, “A great pop song should be interesting, in some way. That means that certain people will hate it immediately and certain people will love it, but only as long as it isn’t boring and meaningless. Then it’s not a pop song any longer; then it’s something else. It’s just music.”

They Came to Fight for Ukraine. Now They’re Stuck in No Man’s Land.” by Maria Antonova, Foreign Policy

When separatists started a war in eastern Ukraine, hundreds of Russians, Belarusians, and other foreigners came to Kiev’s defense. Now they’ve been abandoned.

Filippov, a self-described Buddhist with a short, dry cackle for a laugh, went through naval academy in the Russian Far East and served in the Naval Infantry and later the SOBR, the special forces unit of the Russian Interior Ministry used in hostage operations and against organized crime. He said he was apolitical before the Ukraine conflict, but started following social media accounts of right-wing battalions as he became turned off by Russian state media coverage.

“I thought, ‘What sort of nonsense is this?’” he said of the made-up stories on Russian state television, which, among other outlandish claims, accused the Ukrainian army of crucifying children. When he began to argue about the war in Ukraine, his friends accused him of being “for the Americans” and turned away from him, he said. “Finally, my girlfriend said, ‘Why don’t you go ahead and fight for these fascists?’”

Photo credits: FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images; TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images; ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images; ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images; SVEN HOOGERHUIS/AFP/Getty Images; SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

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