Category Archives: Middle East

Taming the Black Monster (Lebanon)

Does your culture define who you really are? Can you choose a place you call home? To answer these existentialist questions, I have had to compromise who I really am. Sharing this was a tough decision to make as these thoughts had never traveled beyond the metal, cold walls of my mind… it is an intimate story of a journey ... Read More »

Assyrian Family Leaves Iraq For More Opportunities

Editor’s note:  Click to read more about the Assyrian Diaspora and resettlement in countries like Iraq. Click here to watch another Assyrian-Iraqi whose family also immigrated to the US – tell her story. Why did you or your family move TO America? a. We moved to America because of the better opportunities for us, and the substantially better education system. ... Read More »

Escaping Iran’s Revolution

    At the age of eight, losing both parents is not something a child should go through. I remember hearing shaking words (in Farsi) come out of my sisters mouth, “Vic (name changed), we have to go to the hospital mom and dad were in an accident.” I was rushed into the car by my sister and we were ... Read More »

Escaping a Revolution to Find the “American Dream”

                When you look back on your younger self, living in Iran, what compelled you to come to America? As a kid, before the revolution, most people had hopes of going to America to go to school, and eventually, come back to Iran to establish their life/career. The general feeling was that an ... Read More »

A Wave of Immigrants to the Factories in the Northeast (Greece)

              Panayotis Kalogerakos lived in Langadia, a mountainside village in Arkadia, in Peloponnesos, Greece. While it was beautiful there,  Panayotis wanted to leave Greece as a young man in order to escape the fighting that was going on in the Balkans at that time. In addition,  there were attractive job opportunities in the industrialized ... Read More »

An Artist From Iran Takes Her Shot in the US

            Sameh Khalatbari is a San Francisco Bay Area based Artist, born in Tehran Iran in January 1980.  Sameh is a Contemporary Surrealist painter, teacher and entrepreneur.   Her art reveals her life experience and thoughts often incorporating familiar Persian traditional symbols. Here she tells the story of why she decided to stay in the US as ... Read More »

A New Home (Iran)

I raise my shaking hand and unwillingly press my cold finger tip against the metal trigger and hear a faint bell inside. I then hear footsteps in the distance approaching the door and the handle begins to turn. The door squeaks open and I am greeted by a semi familiar face, blissfully saying “Hi!” It’s Sizdah Bedar, Nature’s Day, but ... Read More »

Education is the Bridge to US (Turkey)

While growing up in Turkey, the obvious pressing issue concerning Haluk Konuk was that he was not born into a socioeconomically well-off family. He always had to move around with his mother and older sister to live with various other family members in Istanbul. Basic necessities were hard to come by as he even recalled that “eating meat was like ... Read More »

Confidence Without Fear

I was waiting for the security check back in Israel, clutching my Israeli passport that says, Ilan Hart. As the security guard looks at me, and then my passport, and then back at me, he asks if I was in Shirion (the tank corps in the Israeli Defense Force), and I tell him yes. “I remember you Ilan, you were ... Read More »

Coming Out of the Shadows (Lebanon)

Sunlight shines through the windows onto my desk. The air is filled with the whisper of pencils scratching out various answers to the problems the teacher wrote on the board. I am bent over my own paper, carefully planning out my next answer. I mark the paper with a single letter, then, “BOOM!”, a distant thunder of sound, I can ... Read More »