Derek Davison is creating and that's the way it was
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patrons

If you don't already know, my name is Derek, and in addition to freelance work and occasional appearances on podcasts and Alhurra TV, I write a blog called "and that's the way it was." You can also follow me on Twitter: @dwdavison9318.

"and that's the way it was" is dedicated to helping people make sense of the world, especially but not limited to the Middle East. I've spent several years studying American government and foreign policy, and several more learning about and working in the Middle East, and one of the things I've noticed is that it's hard for most Americans to get a good handle on these places. That's partly because our media is frequently more concerned with tracking Donald Trump's Twitter feed than it is with covering very serious stories that happen every day all around the world, and partly because we tend to confine expertise about distant places and foreign peoples to specialized academic fields, with little of that knowledge ever filtering out of those niches. This makes it very easy for our foreign policy to be hijacked by forces that want perpetual war, a massive military state, and the continued forcible expansion of American empire. People can't fight back against something they don't know is there.

I'm trying to change that. I write about the history of the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere in a way that I hope is accessible and enjoyable and helps people understand the context behind what they might hear in the news. I track international news all day and compile it into nightly digests for people who want to know what's happening but don't have time to seek out the world news that's too-often buried under an avalanche of domestic news (and noise). I also look for lefty perspectives on world events and U.S. foreign policy and try to bring those perspectives to you. If people naturally fear the unknown, then the antidote to that is knowledge. If ignorance breed apathy, then the solution is less ignorance. That's what I'm trying to achieve.

I do this work at my blog, which is free to anyone because if my goal is to inform people then it would be counterproductive to lock that work up behind a paywall. But I need your help to keep going. If you read this and think it sounds like something worthwhile, please support it with an ongoing monthly contribution. Even $1/month helps. And I don't come empty-handed! For $1/month you get access to my weekly "ask me anything" feature here at Patreon, where I answer your questions about anything, as long as it's something I actually can answer. You also get access to my short-form (15 minutes or less) podcasts, which I record whenever I think there's an interesting historical nugget or when a story in the news merits a little more contextualization. For $3/month you'll get access to the twice weekly long-form attwiw podcast, which covers in depth historical topics and occasionally breaks away from those to talk about major news of the day. For $5/month you get to request a longer-form essay on the topic of your choice, provided I have the background to be able to write it. I try to write one of these per week but I confess that's more a goal than a reality; however, I do get to everybody's requests.

We recently passed the $2000/month threshold here, which means I've started accepting guest submissions to attwiw. I've received a few submissions and I'm working on getting guest posting up and running as soon as possible. Beyond that, who knows? A major website redesign? A more user-friendly and interactive way to get to the good stuff? With your support all these things can be possible.

I've also started a new venture where I'll be tracking and writing about the life of 14th century Muslim world traveler Ibn Battuta. If you're a fan of world history I'd urge you to check it out. Some of the content will be free to the public, but much of it I'm reserving for my Patreon subscribers. I'll be podcasting occasionally about Ibn Battuta for $3 and up subscribers, and many of the essays I'll be writing at TheRihlah.com will be intended for $5 and up subscribers.

Thanks to those of you who have already contributed! I hope we can continue to grow this effort into something that can truly change the way Americans see the rest of the world.
Tiers
Ask Me Anything
$1 or more per month
At this level you will have access to my regular "Ask Me Anything" feature. If you've got a question, thought, comment about history, foreign policy, the Middle East, or pretty much anything else you can ask it here and I'll do my best to answer it. You'll also get access to short-form (15 minutes is the goal, shorter or longer as topics warrant) podcasts on interesting historical nuggets or news items that deserve a bit of a deeper dive than I can give on attwiw.com.
attwiw Podcast
$3 or more per month
At this level you'll be given exclusive access to the twice-weekly long-form attwiw podcast, where we dive into historical topics and occasionally into major news stories.
Suggest a Topic
$5 or more per month
At this level you can ask me to dive more deeply into a topic or topics of your interest. If it's something about which I can write with some conviction, I'll write an essay and post it here for $5 and up patrons only! And if I don't feel I can write about it, I'll do a little research and try to direct you to someplace where people are writing about it, or have written about it. You'll also get access to all of the content I'll be featuring at TheRihlah.com, my new project tracking the journeys of 14th century Muslim world traveler Ibn Battuta.
Goals
59% complete
Freelance writers and podcast guests are great, but if we can make this pie higher I can start to bring in some actual stable help around here. Want better sound quality on the podcast? A cooler website? More regular voices? Your subscriptions are how we get there!
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If you don't already know, my name is Derek, and in addition to freelance work and occasional appearances on podcasts and Alhurra TV, I write a blog called "and that's the way it was." You can also follow me on Twitter: @dwdavison9318.

"and that's the way it was" is dedicated to helping people make sense of the world, especially but not limited to the Middle East. I've spent several years studying American government and foreign policy, and several more learning about and working in the Middle East, and one of the things I've noticed is that it's hard for most Americans to get a good handle on these places. That's partly because our media is frequently more concerned with tracking Donald Trump's Twitter feed than it is with covering very serious stories that happen every day all around the world, and partly because we tend to confine expertise about distant places and foreign peoples to specialized academic fields, with little of that knowledge ever filtering out of those niches. This makes it very easy for our foreign policy to be hijacked by forces that want perpetual war, a massive military state, and the continued forcible expansion of American empire. People can't fight back against something they don't know is there.

I'm trying to change that. I write about the history of the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere in a way that I hope is accessible and enjoyable and helps people understand the context behind what they might hear in the news. I track international news all day and compile it into nightly digests for people who want to know what's happening but don't have time to seek out the world news that's too-often buried under an avalanche of domestic news (and noise). I also look for lefty perspectives on world events and U.S. foreign policy and try to bring those perspectives to you. If people naturally fear the unknown, then the antidote to that is knowledge. If ignorance breed apathy, then the solution is less ignorance. That's what I'm trying to achieve.

I do this work at my blog, which is free to anyone because if my goal is to inform people then it would be counterproductive to lock that work up behind a paywall. But I need your help to keep going. If you read this and think it sounds like something worthwhile, please support it with an ongoing monthly contribution. Even $1/month helps. And I don't come empty-handed! For $1/month you get access to my weekly "ask me anything" feature here at Patreon, where I answer your questions about anything, as long as it's something I actually can answer. You also get access to my short-form (15 minutes or less) podcasts, which I record whenever I think there's an interesting historical nugget or when a story in the news merits a little more contextualization. For $3/month you'll get access to the twice weekly long-form attwiw podcast, which covers in depth historical topics and occasionally breaks away from those to talk about major news of the day. For $5/month you get to request a longer-form essay on the topic of your choice, provided I have the background to be able to write it. I try to write one of these per week but I confess that's more a goal than a reality; however, I do get to everybody's requests.

We recently passed the $2000/month threshold here, which means I've started accepting guest submissions to attwiw. I've received a few submissions and I'm working on getting guest posting up and running as soon as possible. Beyond that, who knows? A major website redesign? A more user-friendly and interactive way to get to the good stuff? With your support all these things can be possible.

I've also started a new venture where I'll be tracking and writing about the life of 14th century Muslim world traveler Ibn Battuta. If you're a fan of world history I'd urge you to check it out. Some of the content will be free to the public, but much of it I'm reserving for my Patreon subscribers. I'll be podcasting occasionally about Ibn Battuta for $3 and up subscribers, and many of the essays I'll be writing at TheRihlah.com will be intended for $5 and up subscribers.

Thanks to those of you who have already contributed! I hope we can continue to grow this effort into something that can truly change the way Americans see the rest of the world.

Recent posts by Derek Davison

Tiers
Ask Me Anything
$1 or more per month
At this level you will have access to my regular "Ask Me Anything" feature. If you've got a question, thought, comment about history, foreign policy, the Middle East, or pretty much anything else you can ask it here and I'll do my best to answer it. You'll also get access to short-form (15 minutes is the goal, shorter or longer as topics warrant) podcasts on interesting historical nuggets or news items that deserve a bit of a deeper dive than I can give on attwiw.com.
attwiw Podcast
$3 or more per month
At this level you'll be given exclusive access to the twice-weekly long-form attwiw podcast, where we dive into historical topics and occasionally into major news stories.
Suggest a Topic
$5 or more per month
At this level you can ask me to dive more deeply into a topic or topics of your interest. If it's something about which I can write with some conviction, I'll write an essay and post it here for $5 and up patrons only! And if I don't feel I can write about it, I'll do a little research and try to direct you to someplace where people are writing about it, or have written about it. You'll also get access to all of the content I'll be featuring at TheRihlah.com, my new project tracking the journeys of 14th century Muslim world traveler Ibn Battuta.