What alternative Middle Easts have existed, are existing and, perhaps one day, could exist within and beyond differently imagined borders? ROUTES brings together narratives that will (literally) guide readers down forgotten, hidden and potential paths to erased, obscured and proposed Middle Easts.

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The desert Pullmans 22.04.15 — Lilah Khoja Urban change Baghdad Beirut Damascus

There once was a time when a journey from Haifa to Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad was possible for anyone with the necessary means.

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On the road 27.04.15 — Shaida Ghomashchi, Farzaneh Bahrami Urban change Tehran

Valiasr, or “Heir to Eras”, is the longest road in the Middle East which runs through Tehran.

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Geographies of war 04.05.15 — Jad Baaklini Urban change Beirut

Jad Baaklini’s childhood recollections of a taxied escape from war-torn Beirut guide us through a geography reconfigured by conflict.

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Bus #4 12.06.15 — Richard Pelgrim SocietyUrban change Beirut

A ride along the erratic route of Beirut’s Bus no. 4 forces a confrontation with the untended tears that continue to undermine Lebanon and its capital.

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Boat over troubled water 18.06.15 — Tamara Qiblawi Rights & dissent Mashallah region

Tyre’s port was built centuries-old. This is a story about its fishermen and how the Israeli occupation interrupted their work.

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The lost railway 21.07.15 — George Richards SocietyUrban change Mashallah region

In 1872, the Ottoman Empire opened 100 km of single-track railway extending to Dobrljin, in today’s Bosnia. But Dobrljin is forgotten now.

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Muhammad Ali of Kavala 23.07.15 — Asher Kohn Society Cairo

The Ottoman-Albanian commander Muhammad Ali did not leave the Balkans for Egypt. He brought the Balkans to Egypt.

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Terminal terminus 31.07.15 — Paul Benjamin Osterlund Urban change Istanbul

Dozens of train cars sit in Haydarpaşa Terminal, unsure of when they’ll depart again from one of Istanbul’s most emblematic landmarks.

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