This morning, FP published our newest ebook, Bird of Chaman, Flower of the Khyber, Matthieu Aikins's great read about his wild ride in a Pakistani truck, starting in Karachi and following the military supply route into the Afghan war zone. The book, the second in our Borderlands series of dispatches from the world's most contenious fault lines, is now on sale on our site and for the Kindle on Amazon.
Over the course of six days and 1,000 miles, Aikins encountered roadside bandits, Kalashnikov-wielding tribal patrols, predatory police, and hawk-eyed toll guards. But he also befriended a group of rural Pashtuns, among the many who have left their tribal homelands for jobs as truckers, carting supplies into Afghanistan and, in the process, becoming crucial actors in the U.S. and NATO military operation there.
Aikins rode with two such Pashtun men -- a pair of hash-smoking brothers from the northern border town of Landi Kotal -- in the back of their rickety 1993 Nissan, where he took the short video above, just as the truck was entering the famed Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It's been almost two weeks since Foreign Policy released its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011, and while the year is nearly up, many members of the list are continuing to make headlines.
Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny was arrested on Monday, the day after Vladimir Putin's United Russia -- which Navalny has famously dubbed "the party of crooks and thieves" -- saw losses in an election widely thought to have been less than free and fair.
In a historic trip to Myanmar last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Aung San Suu Kyi, whose opposition movement recently announced it will reenter the political system, paving the way for her possible candidacy for parliament.
Pakistan lawmaker Sherry Rehman has been selected as her country's new ambassador to the United States. The move followed the controversial departure of Husain Haqqani, who resigned in connection with a memo sent to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.
Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who was seized and attacked by security forces in August, has been named one of two recipients of the 2011 Press Freedom Prize, awarded by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde. Fellow Syrian activist Razan Zaitouneh recorded a video message for Foreign Policy, speaking from hiding in Damascus.
Democracy activist Mohamed ElBaradei has expressed concern about religious extremism in Egypt, following the results of the country's November parliamentary elections. ElBaradei is scheduled to give a speech about Egypt and the Arab Spring on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Cisco Public Services Summit in Oslo.
In other media coverage, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker both recently got the big profile treatment, in the New Yorker and the New York Times, respectively. Reuters has also filmed video interviews with several Global Thinkers, including economist Esther Duflo, former Al Jazeera director-general Wadah Khanfar, and social media guru Clay Shirky.
With our November issue off to the printer, the FP staff is gearing up to publish our annual "Top 100 Global Thinkers" list. The list will include thought leaders from around the world including politicians, bankers, intellectuals, dissidents, entrepreneurs and environmentalists. You can see the final results in our December issue.
There are still more slots to fill, however, which is where you, our readers, come in. Whom do you think has the most innovative ideas about Israel and Palestine or the aftermath of the Arab Spring? How about development in Africa or democracy in China? We've already received some great reader suggestions here. Leave your nominations in the comments section below.
Here in the FP offices, we're busy at work on our third annual Top 100 Global Thinkers issue. Released in early December, the issue presents the biggest brains, brightest political stars, and most influential ideas-makers from D.C. to Dubai and beyond, showcasing the world's most important ideas over the past year.
In order to make the best list we can make, we're asking for suggestions from you, our readers. Take a look at last year's list -- which included newsmakers and top thinkers from the obvious (Steve Jobs, anyone?) to the unexpected (Celso Amorim and Ahmet Davotoglu, the foreign ministers who led the Rise of the Rest from Brazil and Turkey). Then leave us a comment below, letting us know which names you think should make the cut for 2011. Readers with the best ideas will be eligible for a free FP subscription.
Passport, FP’s flagship blog, brings you news and hidden angles on the biggest stories of the day, as well as insights and under-the-radar gems from around the world.