Kashgar's claim to fame is its spot on the Silk Road. Some of the first settlers built their clay homes along this major caravan route more than 2000 years ago. It is, and has been a major trading post connecting the Western world with Central Asia and the Far East even if carpets are now sold off the back of trucks rather than camels. Silk, woven goods, exotic fruits, jade, and probably a little opium turned Kasghar into one of the more powerful Turkic kingdoms up through the 17th.century and later transformed this desert oasis town into one of Asia's major commercial powerhouses.
A collection of reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees featuring international news stories published by media outlets from around the world, as well as reporting original to the Pulitzer Center website.
Tribal violence claims hundreds of lives every year in Yemen. The House of Peace encourages non-violent solutions to land disputes and 'love' crimes – violations of marriage arrangements that offend Yemen's conservative social code.
It's dangerous work. House of Peace members have died during mediation efforts, attempting to diffuse armed stand-offs.
But Sheikh AbdulRahman al-Marwani, the organization's director, also attends lengthy discussion forums with rival groups and arranges theatre workshops to spread the message of reconciliation.
Photographs by Jason Motlagh
Like the city's pervasive smog, Olympics paraphernalia covers Beijing. Flags bearing the Olympic rings, banners that read Beijing 2008, and "I love China" stickers smooshed on kids' faces flaunt the country's national pride in itself as host of the world famous Games. Millions were spent on dazzling athletic advertisements along with billions more on new subway lines and buildings.
Thomas Goltz, special to the Pulitzer Center
Well, it seems to be over, surprise, surprise, unless it turns into WW III, which I hope it does not.
The Caucasus War of 8.8.8 that is, the two-week (or two day) hurly burly in the mountainous southwest corner of the defunct Soviet Union that was a national debacle for West-obsessed Georgia and a crushing victory for a resurgent Russia.
They've been dreaming about independence for years. In 1999 Abkhazia's citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence in a national referendum. When I met top Abkhaz politicians only few weeks ago, "independence" and "sovereign state" were terms they used frequently and longingly. For them, a return to Georgia was simply unacceptable. They called Russia their "window to the world". However, they also remembered periods during the Yeltsin years when their neighbour to the North did not always seem to be a reliable ally.
Tu is 21 years old, and has just graduated from University studying agriculture. At Lanh's invitation, her family has moved from their village where they were growing commercial rice, onto the farm school property to start up a sort of model farm using only permaculture techniques. Back at home they grew wetland rice - the rice grown in big flat lowland paddies. Now they are in the mountains, they're struggling, because they don't know how to grow upland rice - the kind of rice they grow here - in terraced fields.
Imran Riza, the representative in Amman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, discusses in an interview with Matthew Brown the challenges facing Iraqis in Jordan, and the ways in which they differ from more traditional refugees.
Matthew Hay Brown, for the Pulitzer Center
Adnan Al Sharify sees a few obstacles holding up the return of Iraqi refugees to their home country.
Sharify, an official at the Iraqi Embassy here in Syria, helped to organize government-sponsored bus trips at the end of last year that he says carried 420 Iraqi families back to Baghdad. The Syrian government estimates the Iraqi populaton here at 1.5 million.
More free rides home are planned, Sharify told me this morning. But finding takes is likely to remain a challenge.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - After 25 years of fighting and 70,000 casualties, Sri Lanka's military has won a hard-fought upper hand against separatist Tamil Tigers – and now vows to break their northern stronghold by year's end.
Pulitzer Center Staff
Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer spoke to the World Affairs Council of Houston Tuesday night (8/26), addressing the Caucasus conflict -- its roots, the media coverage of the Georgia/Russia war, and likely repercussions. He drew on his own reporting from Georgia and South Ossetia two years ago and on the current Pulitzer-funded reporting by Jason Maloney, Kira Kay and Zygmunt Dziesciolowski.
On one of my last days in Khost in 2007, I remember the 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers guarding Forward Operating Base Salerno's main gate were shocked that we'd go into the city without guns, dressed like westerners.
Days before, we asked Saifullah, our translator and fixer, if we needed to wear the shawal kameez -- the long shirt and baggy pants -- worn by men in central Asia. He said no, but at the gate, he said next time we went to town that it might be a good idea.