Djibouti

‘They Want to Be Here’

By / November 2015

Rachel Pieh Jones writes about a remarkable school in Djibouti City: “The kids in this neighborhood prompted me to write articles about sexual harassment and rage. Then I met the kids at Saada’s school.”

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Make Some Noise

By / September 2015

Rachel Pieh Jones profiles a young rapper trying to make it in Djibouti’s fledgling hip hop scene: “Fahmi put out a cigarette. He said that he was out of sorts this evening. I was surprised at his mastery of English curse words.”

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A Mosque, a Book, and a Banister

By / August 2015

“The codes surrounding holy books and buildings in Islam are different than in the religion I grew up with,” writes Rachel Pieh Jones in her latest essay from Djibouti, “but there are similarities.”

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To Kiss or Not to Kiss?

By / August 2015

“I’m at a dinner party,” writes Rachel Pieh Jones. “A person approaches, their cheeks shimmering with Djibouti sweat. The face gets closer. It is almost touching mine now. I have less than two seconds to process several things: gender, nationality, age, religion.”

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The Color and the Shape

By / June 2015

In Djibouti City, writes Rachel Pieh Jones, art is often considered a luxury, occasionally even a disgrace, and painters struggle to find an audience and vindication for their work.

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The Voyeur at the Wedding

By / May 2015

“I’ve lived so long in Djibouti,” writes Rachel Pieh Jones, “that I rarely feel like a tourist. But it was important for me to be reminded at the wedding that day that I am. That, in some sense, I will never fully blend in.”

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