Author: Gregory Smithsimon

The Fires Next Time

On December 3, 1967, Regina and Charles Schneibel were trapped by fire in their Lower East Side apartment. Charles was unable to open the wooden shutters he’d installed in their home after one of their children had fallen from the window and died. In the blaze, Charles, Regina, and their two oldest children suffered severe burns. Their three youngest children died of smoke inhalation. Incredibly, the death of the three children didn’t even merit its own headline, because it wasn’t the biggest fire tragedy to report.

Andalusian Uprising: The Empire that Unites the Arab Spring and European Anti-Austerity Protesters

     In the seventh century, Musa bin Nusair, born in Syria, traveled and fought his way through the Middle East and across North Africa, expanding the Muslim empire headquartered in Damascus, Syria. With his general Tariq bin Ziyad in the lead, he crossed the Mediterranean from Morocco with an army of several thousand, taking control of most of Spain. From 711 until 1031, the Umayyad Empire stretched from Córdoba to Damascus.