Editor's Note: An attacker opened fire on a beach in Tunisia and killed 38 people on June 26. NPR's Alice Fordham went to cover the story. She used to live in Tunisia and reflects on how the country's changed in recent years.
Two years ago, I first went to the town of Kairouan, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Tear gas drifted around the beautiful old stones of the Great Mosque and nervous police sheltered in small patches of shade. They were there preventing a rally by an Islamic extremist group who wanted to wave black flags and chant intolerant slogans.
A dozen internationally acclaimed photographers were set loose in Israel and the West Bank. Most had never been in either place before. The aim was to try to see anew a part of the world that's been thoroughly photographed, long mythologized and often fought over.
When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.
The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.