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Greece

When They Mistook Me For A Muslim In Greece

A Colombian-American deals with different misconceptions in different parts of the world. Ask him who he is before you ask him where he's from.

From left to right: the author, a volunteer and two refugees in Chios, Greece
From left to right: the author, a volunteer and two refugees in Chios, Greece
Juan David Romero

ATHENS — "Where are you from?" The burly Greek port policeman demanded in English as he looked down, holding my American passport in front of me. I was barefoot, kneeling on the floor, wrists cuffed behind. Other officers were gathering around. "Is this passport your passport?" one repeated. "Are you from ISIS?"

At this point they'd already punched and stepped on me, yelling in Greek what I assumed were insults. Soon after, I was also forced to open up my phone and my computer, and was locked in a dark cell. Later, after having seen photos of my boyfriend and me on my iPhone, they figured out I was gay. "Are you a homosexual?" They passed my phone around, mocking and laughing — but this humiliation was the last of my concerns. I knew what they were doing was wrong and unlawful, but as the hours went by, I began to wonder how far they'd be willing to go. Am I going to be raped? I asked myself. Am I going to die?

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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