Peter
Schwartzstein

Brit-Yank freelance journalist roving around the Middle East.
Currently writing about regional geopolitics for National Geographic and others.

@pschwartzstein

Latest Stories

UN Environment 

Jan 22, 2018

How climate change and population growth threaten Egypt’s ancient treasures

In his 40-something years as an archaeological excavator on Luxor’s West Bank, Mustafa Al-Nubi has witnessed a flurry of changes. Tourist numbers have surged, fallen, and then slowly grown again. Local villages have exploded in size. Even the landscape...

UN Environment 

Dec 19, 2017

Cairo's Bad Breath

If the Nile is Cairo’s ailing heart, then polluted skies are its black lungs. Choking the city with swirling dust from the early hours, they cake the towering apartment blocks with muck and blanket the Great Pyramids in an...

Smithsonian 

Dec 11, 2017

The Greatest Clash in Egyptian Archaeology May Be Fading, But Anger Lives On

After 200 years, the sad story of Qurna, a so-called ‘village of looters’, is coming to a close

Newsweek 

Nov 22, 2017

What Will Happen If The World No Longer Has Water?

Summer is always scorching in Amman, Jordan, but last July was particularly brutal for Tarek el-Qaisi, a mechanic who lives with his family in the eastern part of the city. A gang of thieves tapped into the power lines across...

National Geographic 

Nov 14, 2017

Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq

Battered by shifting resources, desperate farmers were driven into terror recruiters’ clutches. Can it happen again?

NPR 

Nov 7, 2017

The Slow Destruction Of Much-Loved Masgouf, An Iraqi National Dish

ISIS suicide bombers devour it as a last supper. Iraqi exiles clamor for it. Such was Saddam Hussein’s love of this fishy delicacy that it might have even betrayed his whereabouts to U.S. troops. For centuries, Iraqis of...

Latest from the Blog

Nov 14, 2016

“You Are Asking About Pollution?”: One Journalist’s Perspective on the Mid East’s Environmental Crisis

It was some point in May last year, shortly after ISIS surged into the city of Ramadi, and I was working on a story about Iraq’s fast-disappearing Mesopotamian Marshes. Keen to fact-check a few statistics with the Ministry of Water Resources and to hear the government line on the...
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Jun 23, 2015

Turkey’s election draws mixed reactions

Published at Le Monde Diplomatique http://mondediplo.com/blogs/turkey-s-election-draws-mixed-reactions Two weeks ago, as the results of the Turkish parliamentary elections filtered through, international TV networks cut to jubilant scenes on the streets of central Istanbul and Diyarbakir. We watched as supporters of the mostly Kurdish HDP triumphantly celebrated clearing...
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