Peter
Schwartzstein

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

@pschwartzstein

Latest Stories

The Guardian 

Jun 25, 2016

Scientists go against the grain to make Dubai an unlikely quinoa hotspot

With groundwater stores drying up in the Middle East and staple crops under pressure, quinoa is the focus of a bold experiment to improve food security

National Geographic 

Jun 15, 2016

Syria’s Beloved Sweet Shops Follow Its Refugees Into Exile

Civil war has scattered Syria’s bakers, pastry chefs, and restaurateurs. For the foodies—and children—in their new communities, it’s a tasty turn of events.

Quartz 

May 29, 2016

How to run an international airport with jihadists on the doorstep

Running a Middle Eastern airport is fairly challenging at the best of times. There are the lovesick hijackers and the

Smithsonian 

May 11, 2016

The Black Sea Is Dying, and War Might Push it Over the Edge

Surrounded by six countries, all with their own agendas, the massive body of water is at risk of becoming another casualty of regional strife

Foreign Policy 

May 1, 2016

The War Between the Islamic State’s Enemies

Thousands of Yazidis have been saved from the jihadi group, but are now victims of infighting among Kurdish militias and the Iraqi government.

National Geographic 

Apr 26, 2016

Gulf Countries Look to Farm Abroad as Aquifer Dries Up

Turning sand into soil has long been a fantasy for many desert-dwelling peoples, and for much of the past few decades, many countries have worked hard to make it a reality. Now, these bids to green…

Quartz 

Apr 22, 2016

The perfect recipe for making jihadis was developed in this small Iraqi town

No matter where you turn when covering ISIL’s two years of terror in Iraq and Syria, one name repeatedly crops up: Tal Afar.

The town, with an estimated

Foreign Policy 

Apr 6, 2016

The Islamic State’s Scorched-Earth Strategy

As the jihadi group loses ground in northern Iraq, it’s leaving poisoned wells and burnt farms in its wake.

National Geographic 

Mar 8, 2016

Chicken Farms Another Casualty of ISIS Takeover in Iraq

On returning home after a year hiding in the mountains, Ahmed Hussein Hamad had braced himself for the worst.

ISIS had occupied his village and appropriated his house after a lightning summer…