Hugh Eakin


Hugh Eakin has reported for The New York Review from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, and Lebanon. His article on Oman was supported by a grant from the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.
 (August 2014)

  • A Different Pakistan

    March 12, 2014

    In an age in which international literary festivals have become commonplace, there is very little ordinary about the Lahore LitFest, starting with the location.

  • Beyond the Camps: Images of the Syrian Exodus

    September 24, 2013

    A series of photographs shows some of the many different situations encountered among Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.

  • Syria: Which Way to Kurdistan?

    August 28, 2013

    By taking in tens of thousands of new Syrian refugees, Northern Iraq hopes to build a new Kurdistan. But it could start a new war.

  • Hezbollah's Refugee Problem

    August 12, 2013

    While the conflict in Syria has deeply divided the Middle East, the refugee crisis it has produced is forcing the opposing sides to work together outside Syria’s borders--above all in Lebanon, a tiny, fractious country with large Sunni and Shia populations and especially complicated ties to Syria.

  • The Unfinished Race

    April 16, 2013

    Runners invariably have their own favorite parts of the marathon course and those they dread. But it seemed beyond any runner’s imagination that the finish line in Boston itself—the final moment of triumph—could turn into a nightmare, a zone of horror and devastation that stood the entire logic of the race on its head.

  • Turkey's Towering Ambition

    September 17, 2012

    In March 1548, having brought the Ottoman Empire to the height of its power, Suleiman the Magnificent decided to build a mosque in Istanbul. “At that time,” an anonymous chronicler explains, "His Highness the world-ruling sultan realized the necessity to leave behind a monument so as to be commemorated till the end of time" and "ordered the construction of a matchless mosque complex for his own noble self." In late May of this year, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan--Turkey’s powerful Prime Minister, a devout Muslim, and the self-styled leader of the new Middle East--announced that he would be erecting his own grand mosque above the Bosphorus. It will be more prominent than Suleiman’s.

  • Saudi Arabia and the New US War in Yemen

    May 21, 2012

    The United States is quietly being drawn into an escalating conflict in Yemen. The new conflict may be as much about Saudi Arabia, the longtime US ally and Yemen’s northern neighbor.

  • Defining a Culture in Doha's Desert

    November 20, 2011

    Over the past few years, the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has created—from scratch--one of the most important museums of Islamic art in existence as well as a distinctive collection of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by artists from all over the Arab Middle East. Now it is building a National Museum so large and complex that the structural engineering alone will cost some half billion dollars. How did the rulers of this parched and featureless desert peninsula--a place that until recently was peripheral even to the politics and culture of the Gulf itself--come to take such a far-reaching interest in the aesthetic traditions of the Arab and Muslim world?

  • Will Syria's Revolt Disrupt the Turkish Borderlands?

    June 24, 2011

    Over the past ten days, the alarming flight of more than 11,000 Syrians to Turkey--and the prospect of thousands more to come--has brought the international press to Hatay, the dusty Turkish border province with a large Syrian minority where most of the refugees have been put in camps. But while journalists seek to interview victims of Assad's horrific crackdown, they have also had to confront a surprisingly recalcitrant Turkish government: for more than a week after the refugees arrived, access to the camps where they are being housed was denied; and Turkey has until now refused all support from international humanitarian agencies to deal with the crisis. What is Ankara so nervous about?

  • Marathon Men

    November 3, 2010

    There are many ways to train for the New York Marathon. My own method involves running three days a week and watching as many running movies as possible—and not just films about famous runners or historic races.

  • Picturing Iraq’s Unseen Millions

    April 23, 2010

    In reporting on the two million people who have fled Iraq since 2003, Alisa Roth and I have been struck by the extent to which their experiences have eluded visualization.

  • The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning

    June 20, 2013 — August 4, 2013

    What do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Thomas Jefferson, and David Ben-Gurion have in common? More than we might think, according to a remarkable new exhibition about the Cyrus Cylinder, a 6th-century BC Babylonian text praising Cyrus the Great.