ISIS attacks on Yazidis at home in Iraq put a community’s life on hold

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By Sierra Ramsay On August 2, Zeina Kasem, 21, was searching for the perfect wedding dress. In the Yazidi community, couples are officially married shortly after they are engaged, but a large wedding celebration still takes place a couple of months later. Kasem was to celebrate her marriage to Oras Osso, 22, in a traditional >

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Being a bilingual liaison is about much more than just translating

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By Maranda Loughlin When Kelley Veselinov studied at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her grandpa handed her some extra cash. “He said, ‘I want to see you do something with it while I’m alive. Not when I’m dead,” Veselinov said. Veselinov took that money and flew to Europe with a friend from school. She traveled for >

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Fear reduced, DACA recipient set to renew

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By Kaylee Everly The U.S. immigration policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has helped more than half a million young immigrants pursue an education and economic opportunities. Jessica Jimenez is one of those immigrants. She came with her mother to the United States when she was 4 years old. For most of

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At Job Club, creativity shatters barriers

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By Kelsey Haugen Entisar Kambal, Ram Rai and Bhakti sat together in a classroom filled with sewing machines, scattered art supplies and handmade items. Waiting for the instructor to arrive, they vigilantly worked on their own projects: stuffing pillows, mending clothing and stitching decorative autumn pumpkins. “The teacher Susan very smart,” said Entisar, a

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Refugees find Job Corps key to brighter futures

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By Kathleen Anderson The center is located at 10 Opportunity Drive. It would be hard to think of a more appropriate address. Here, right off of Highway 30 in western Iowa, just up the hill from Western Iowa Tech Community College and three miles east of Denison, Iowa, population 8,387, roughly 260 low-income young people

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Support, expression help refugees to connect

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By Justin Perkins “I am my language,” Gloria Anzaldúa boldly states in the fifth chapter “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” of her book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. “Until I can take pride in my language,” she says, “I cannot take pride in myself.” For Anzaldúa, the claiming of identity meant everything, especially in

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Through music, Karen seeks to take a stand

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By Kelsey Haugen The Karen community has no shortage of musically inclined individuals, but even so, Jester Thakolo is an outlier – in both originality and stamina. He favors nearly blood-curdling heavy metal rock and screamo over the more acceptable genres in his culture: traditional Karen or gospel. And, believing music is more than a […]

December 8, 2014 at 8:25 am


Refugee children add on responsibilities

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By Kathleen Anderson For his first job, Akram Sitawi carried materials made of cement and iron around construction sites in his home country of Iraq. It was a rather dangerous job, especially for someone his age. He was 6. Three years later, in 2006, his family left Iraq for Syria. He dropped out of school […]

December 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

Our Stories

Hard work on English led him to new life

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By Aaron Bowles When Hadi Pir was young, leaving Iraq was a dream just out of reach. Moving to America was even further from his grasp. Living in Iraq as a Yazidi, a member of a minority religious group of Kurdish people, Pir often thought of what life could be like if he made it […]

December 8, 2014 at 8:47 am

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