Stephen Klineberg polishes off a spicy lamb mint burger, mops his brow and recalls the Houston he moved to as a young professor in the 1970s.
"It was a deeply racist, deeply segregated Southern city," he says; an oil boomtown of black and white Americans.
There were no restaurants like Pondicheri, where Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's hip take on Indian street food — and the air conditioning's battle with 100-degree heat — conspire to make the Rice University professor sweat.
Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the Arab Idol contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.
It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.
Afghan official inspects wreckage at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 10. After a month outside the country, NPR's Sean Carberry returned to find some things that had changed, but many, like insurgent violence, that remain the same.
Credit Ahmad Jamshid / AP
An Afghan policeman stands guard at the scene of a suicide car bomber attack that struck outside the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul, on June 11.
I've just returned to Kabul after a month out of the country. In a place where it sometimes feels like nothing changes, a lot has changed.
First, a few oddities. An Afghan businessman on my street apparently bought a lion cub and has been keeping it on his roof. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I have yet to see any of the ubiquitous, dust-caked street dogs in the neighborhood since I returned, but I don't miss them.