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In Israel, organ donation and religion are entwined

Yossef Dabbush has needed a new kidney for more than seven years, surpassing the average lifespan of a person on kidney dialysis. But in Israel, donation rates are a quarter of the US, organ donations are hard to come by. That’s in part due to the influence of religion: many interpret Jewish law as forbidding…

Görkem Şen plays the Yaybahar with the Marmara Sea in the background. He hopes his instrument will soon be as common as a violin or cello. Credit: Courtesy of Görkem Şen

It’s not Space Odyssey, it’s the Yaybahar

This piece originally aired on PRI’s The World. In Turkey, a new instrument has been invented that makes crazy galactic and laser-gun sounds. It’s called the Yaybahar, and it’s completely acoustic. “This is real time, acoustic, string synthesizer,” Gorkem Sen, the instrument’s creator, explains. Gorkem invented the Yaybahar about six years ago in a hunt for…

Chef Wareef Kassem Hameedo. Credit: Lauren Bohn

The making of a Syrian refugee celebrity chef — in Gaza

This piece originally broadcast on PRI’s The World with a written piece and photo from Lauren Bohn. When Wareef Kassem Hamedo was growing up in the Syrian city of Aleppo, he dreamt of opening his own restaurant. The city, famed for its mouth-watering culinary traditions, was a gastronomic playground perfect for a man who believes…

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Erdogan’s move means dark days for Kurds in Turkey

Turkey’s President Erdogan has shaken up the domestic political sphere with his decision to end the peace process with the Kurds. As Dalia Mortada reports from Istanbul the repercussions could be powerful. [This piece originally appeared on DW.] Following a week of violence between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including airstrikes over the…