Earth Day in the Pleasant Valley

Tuesday morning the New York Times ran a report from Syria about refugees from that country’s civil war who have resettled in the last redoubt they can find: ancient ruins of long-dead cities in the far northwest of the country, at the outer edge of the only territory still held by the rebels. It’s the kind of piece where the photos seem to tell the whole story—a tent camp erected in the crumbling marbles of a Roman temple, solar panels and a satellite TV dish atop the walls of a Byzantine trading post, all populated with hard and hungry-looking kids.

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