{ The Outpost }

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m really psyched to highlight this next magazine, The Outpost. Unlike The Great Discontent and Climate Confidential, they’ve been in print for one year, four issues, and have a lot to show for it. Now they’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund a second year.

In short: The Outpost “aims to ignite a socio-cultural renaissance in the Arab world through inspiring its readers to explore a world of possibilities. It has a general scope, a regional focus and a global outlook, and covers a wide range of stories that are meant to inform, inspire and entertain.” I have a huge mag crush on it.

In detail: To go with its campaign, The Outpost released a sample issue online. Follow along, if you please. Let’s start with the Table of Contents:

change cafes

Hell yeah! Sharp headlines, intriguing sell lines. It’s sleek. I’d flip through it. Oh hey, I did flip through it. Next page, wa-PAM:

change cafe spread

Here’s the “Change Cafe” feature. Very cool. The design is a little Esquire-esque, with clever illustrations of shopkeepers as “loopholes in the machinery of progress,” which they discuss in the introduction. The following pages feature short profiles of each place and how they promote social change. Other front-of-book features follow a similar pattern.

I enjoyed reading the feature about The Freedom Theatre. Although I know little about the Arab world, writer Yusuf Hanad made it accessible, showing how the unsettling social climate in the West Bank town of Jenin has bred a cultural revolution. Later, there are features on people with disabilities, abandoned buildings and transexuality in the Arab world. There’s even a short story thrown in.

That’s all to say, this is a quality issue about quality issues, and I’m fully confident their next one will be outstanding as well. Here’s a quick look by Steve Watson (he also interviewed the editor, Ibrahim Nehme, here). Check out what Steve says at 1:42 about The Outpost’s three sections (“What’s Happening,” “What’s Not Happening,” “What Could Happen”):

The Indiegogo page also features some reviews that really struck me. The quotes capture the values of a magazine that I want to keep in mind as I myself go forward:

“Even if you aren’t much interested in changing the Arab world, this magazine will make you think about where you personally stand and, through its stories and reports, make you think about what is possible in your life.” — Dan Rowden, founder of Magpile

“It’s a great thing you’re doing, it’s a revolution what you’re writing … Where will [the young] see the space for them to grow, if they don’t want the old ways anymore? I think and hope they’ll find it in you. When I sat and read the magazine I knew this was a great thing you were doing, and it’s not about the paper and the design for me though they are the best you’ve picked. The thing that gets me is the words, the man walking away from the border on page thirty after not having enough cigarettes to get through killed me, and the sex story at the back warmed me, I sat there in a coffee shop and your pages breathed…” — Adnan Sarwar, winner of the Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize

What joy! I shelled out a bit for a print copy and can’t wait to hold it soon! Maybe you can pledge some money too, and we can have a little Outpost party together?

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