Politics and History

Airmen pose with an MQ-9 Reaper at Creech Air Force Base.

Was Qassem Soleimani 'assassinated'? 'Killed'? The legal differences are complicated, says Brookings Institution fellow Scott Anderson.

The bright Addis Ababa skyline

Africans are moving into cities in unprecedented numbers. Lagos, Nigeria, is on track to have 100 million people. So how and why do cities thrive?

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.

Art of Julie Mehretu

The families of Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu fled Ethiopia because of the brutal Communist regime that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie. The violence and corruption in the post-colonial era decimated the hope and idealism of many Africans.

A moment on the street in Addis Ababa.

Ghanaian post-colonial theorist Ato Quayson thinks a lot about globalization, diaspora and transnationalism. Because he’s a literary scholar, he decided to "read" a single street — Oxford Street in Accra — as a study of contemporary urban Africa.

Lending a helping hand.

Historian Emily Calacci says the massive migration into African cities isn't following the Western model of urban development. Instead of an infrastructure of roads, railways and electric grids, many African cities rely on "people as infrastructure."

A building at the Zoma Museum

In Addis Ababa, curator Meskerem Assegued and artist Elias Sime have created Zoma Museum as a visionary model of an urban future, using ancient Ethiopian building techniques. They say modern development can be much more than concrete high-rises.

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.

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