In this week’s edition of Long Reads we have the heart warming story of a family without borders and a grand Olympic talent caught up in a web of conspiracy.
The Guardian’s Tracey Davies retraces the steps of British couple Chris Taylor and Jan Farringdon, two teachers who were holidaying through Malawi en route to teaching positions in Mozambique. The couple happened upon a recently orphaned Malawian boy, Christopher Chapema, who sold postcards to the tourists in order to support his family.
The article charts the fantastic journey from awkward first exchanges of correspondence to Christopher becoming part of the family, all played out in front of a background of strife, extreme poverty and the threat of succumbing to the AIDS epidemic that has held the country hostage.
I won’t spoil the ending, but the bond of parental love, both by blood and not, is not held back by borders or skin colour.
Eduard Streltsov was widely regarded at the best, and to some, the most victimised sporting talent the Soviet Union ever produced. A dynamic talent without peer, swept from the edge of his greatest stage to the Siberian Wasteland for a crime that he didn’t commit. Or did he?
The limelight of the 1958 World Cup that shone so brightly on Pele, should have been on Streltsov. The Brazilian’s dismantling of the hosts (Sweden) birthed both the myth and the stereotype of Joga Bonito, playing the game the Brazilian way.
Streltsov, however, was being investigated by the KGB for the alleged rape of an official’s wife. He was convicted and sent to Siberia; but here’s where the story gets murky. Streltsov was less than a model Socialist. He enjoyed the celebrity side, and hated toeing the party line, and openly criticised the system that kept him in comparative poverty, hence the theory that Streltsov was unfairly implicated by the KGB and was sent to Siberia to spare the nation’s potential shame at the upcoming World Cup.
This article touches on the multi-layered and highly effective ISIS propaganda machine. Simon Cottee from the Atlanic dissects the complicated, cerebral approach that ISIS uses to recruit members. Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS has a subculture of followers, both in the moral crusade, and amazingly, as ‘fan-girls’ or hangers on to the satellite of infamy. Grating work.