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Geopolitics

A Syrian Father's Mission To Clear ISIS Mines Is Cut Short

Abu al Fadl devoted the final months of his life to clearing al-Bab of improvised explosives left behind by ISIS in everything from washing machines to cooking pots. The 60-year-old disabled several thousand mines before one took his life.

Abu al Fadl and one of the circa 3,500 mines he cleared
Abu al Fadl and one of the circa 3,500 mines he cleared
Wisam Franjiyeh

Ahmad Muhammad al-Na'sani was haunted by thoughts of his death long before he died.

As a volunteer land mine removal expert in Aleppo's countryside, he felt his life would end every time he discovered an explosive device. After destroying nearly 3,500 explosives, al-Na'sani, known as Abu al-Fadl, was killed on May 8 while taking apart a land mine left by the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS.

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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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