Christchurch, Terrorism, and Resilience: ‘We Don’t Have Time to Hate’

This article originally appeared on The Globe Post. CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – Last Friday afternoon, as New Zealand scrambled to find order following the massacre of 50 worshippers in two mosques, Kurdish former refugee Ashleigh Ali-Aziz’s phone rang in Auckland, over a thousand kilometers away from the attack: “We need you in Christchurch to run…

Mother of Three Shares Drink-spiking Terror and Aftermath

This article originally appeared for Grant Broadcasters. At 11:00pm a mother is out, laughing with friends at a table in Brick Factory, the 37-year-old’s favourite pub on Hobart’s bustling Salamanca strip of nightlife. Five minutes later, and just a few sips in to her wine, she has lost her eyesight, unable to see the strangers…

A Macedonian monastery helps men find recovery from drug addiction

Article originally published by The Fix. Hidden in the green nature of Macedonia in Eastern Europe, men recovering from addiction to heroin, methadone, and other hard drugs find safety and support behind the centuries-old walls of a monastery. By living as the monks do, over a hundred men a year get their lives back on track….

In Macedonia it takes tourism to raise a dying village

Many of the 1,733 villages of rural Macedonia face a grave fate. Over a quarter have fewer than 50 residents. More than 150 have been entirely depopulated, according to official data. As families and the youth move to cities, these areas are destined to become little more than a memory. However, for these dying villages, tourism could breathe new life into them.

The problematic pronunciation of a town called Utrecht

“I’m moving to Youtrekt!” I shared with excitement “Youtrekt, Netherlands!”. And so it was, that my Australian drawl butchered the name of my future home of Utrecht, my lazy tongue running the syllables into one, the harsh intonations simplifying it to some kind of Russian Star Trek planet. I even led my Australian family astray…

Homework for adults: Macedonia’s wage crisis

FIEKE SNIJDER & SAMANTHA DIXON IMAGE: Fieke Snijder & Samantha Dixon Article originally published by WSI Magazine. Living in poverty or having less than eight hours a day to sleep, eat, travel, wash and socialise. This is the choice for many Macedonians, residents of a country that dangles at the bottom of European economic rankings. The…

Macedonian politics: an explainer

FIEKE SNIJDER & SAMANTHA DIXON The Colourful Revolution targeting government buildings  was one of the more unique forms of protests in recent years. IMAGE: Fieke Snijder A legion of political issues have plagued one of Europe’s smallest states for over a decade. Stalemates, scandals, and international rivalries have stagnated the country for two years. But,…

The good, bad, and irrecoverable: Romania’s lost children

Nearly three decades ago, Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceaușescu fell, along with his state-run orphanages. The streets were flooded with unwanted children, some who were privately adopted, others who made homes in the sewers and streets. Today, with some reintegrated into society, some still homeless, and some dead, Ceaușescu’ children have grown up. SAMANTHA DIXON A…

Confessions of a cam-girl studio

Cam-girls conjure up grainy images of trampy girls that broadcast from STD-ridden bedrooms exploited by cigar-puffing men, body sales in pixel-form. But cam-studios have been revamped, and they’re becoming one of Romania’s biggest industries. It’s a big, open-armed welcome to the new generation of cam-studios. Arriving at Studio 20’s head office location on one of…

Euro falls as Le Pen rises

A smiling Marine Le Pen enters through the double doors into an ocean of French flags, waving tirelessly. Greeting supporters and shaking hands, reminiscent of a celebrity, the ‘France First’ candidate follows the gestures of men in suits to take her place on the stage. Le Pen waits, arms spread wide in the air, an…