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“I won't wear a scarf. I refuse to. It's something I'd die for … but I wouldn't want all of us to turn into California girls either." - Shamayel Shalizi, 20. In the decade since NATO forces arrived in Afghanistan, the status of Afghan women has improved considerably, with many returning to the workforce and to education. Along with this hard-won progress, there's been a gradual shift in attitudes... among young women such as Shamayel. Photo: Nick Danziger/Oxfam

pashtundukhtaree: Province of Badakhshan, Afghanistan 2001 by: Thomas Dworzak

Let’s Not Make a Deal - Paul Krugman’s assessment is that the President should hold firm and we can all just buckle up and pretend like it is a roller coaster ride. In other words call their bluff and not give in to their demand to extend the Bush tax cuts. There's something to be said about listening to a man with a Nobel Prize in Economics....

"The groom arrives late / To his wedding / Wearing only one shoe." The Tea and Sage Poem by Fady Joudah from The Earth in the Attic (2008 Yale University Press) www.poetryfoundat...

"I’ll bequeath my fingers, if you bequeath your palms. / We know our parents make us by our hands." Genetics by Sinéad Morrissey from The State of the Prisons (2005 Carcanet Press) www.poetryinterna...