Monthly Archives: November 2015

Confidence Men on a World Stage

guest post by Andrew MacDonald read Andrew’s article ‘The Thieves of the Cross’ in the journal Over the last two years, a now familiar story has begun to emerge on the fringes of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. Once more, it has drawn together migrants, border police and humanitarians, the history of which forms the subject of my ongoing work. War in Syria has seen militias collide and armies jostle for regional influence in spasms of offense and retreat, leaving the livelihoods, and life itself, in the towns and villages of Syria and Northern Iraq imperilled.  With the old order collapsing, and a new one hardly born, violence – often gruesome, and widely replayed in the press – has become endemic. To escape, migrants have used any form of transport available. Their journeys outward have been epic in ambition and fortitude, but the gates have not always been open. As ever in the history of migration, for a migrant to succeed it has required a bundle of resources. Ghaith Adbul-Ahad’s ‘Some Tips for the Long-Distance Traveller’ (October’s London Review of Books) Nicholas Schmidle’s ‘Ten Borders’ (October’s New Yorker) attest that keenly guarded intelligence has been key, as much as the […]