All in the Family [in VICE]

November 28, 2012

A high school friend of mine used to live in the Syrian Jewish neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn, down near Coney Island. He described it as an insular, conservative, and somewhat bizarre ethnic enclave that included many opulent houses.

As we were putting together this issue, we realized that coordinating a fashion shoot inside Syria would void our insurance. So I got back in touch with my old friend and asked whether he knew of any families who might be willing to be photographed and possibly interviewed. I stressed that it would be a respectful, straightforward fashion spread, and he was kind enough to put out some feelers.

Here’s one of the responses sent to my friend from the father of a Syrian Jewish family (extended ellipses have been left intact): “Definitely not interested….. We do not like articles written about our community…… It is bad press, which causes unwanted attention…. Please discourage your friend from writing this piece….”

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