Category Archives: Middle East

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 »

Maryam Nejad (Iran)

My name is Maryam. I’m from Iran. I came here 15 years ago. I have three daughters. 13, 11, and 9 years old. Our family lives in Mountain View, California. I’m a stay-at-home Mom. We own a rug galley in Mountain View. I want to learn English because I like to talk with everybody. I am a rug weaver and ... Read More »

Religious Tolerance Abducted (Iraq)

Margaret Petros’ family is Assyrian Christian and they noted ominous changes soon after Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq. At school Margaret had been in a class on Christianity while her Muslim classmates attended a class on Islam, but suddenly the class in Christianity was cancelled and she was given a Koran to study. Neighbors were fleeing in the night ... Read More »

Escape From Aleppo (Syria)

Toukhig Arabian tells of her family’s harrowing escape from war-torn Aleppo, Syria, and how they are rebuilding their lives in the US. She was one of five storytellers at a Media Center event in May, 2018, from different countries who had to leave due to violence or repression and build new lives. Read More »

Immigration Story of Yasmine Mourad (Lebanon)

If your parent has the opportunity to come to America and work in one of the most successful cities, would you be willing to leave your life behind and start a new journey? Palo Alto High School junior, Yasmine Mourad, moved to the United States in 2016 when her dad, Mohamed Mourad, was given an opportunity to work at the ... Read More »

The Unknown Destiny

“I’m not an immigrant of the United States. I consider myself part of the brain drain, I came here simply for my education, expecting to return home.” My grandmother, Rita Tabourian, grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and attended school at the American University of Beirut. “My mother gave me the same opportunities she gave her son. She raised me to ... Read More »

Civil War Keeps Family Away (Lebanon)

Born on February 28, 1961, Shahe Krakirian began his life in Beirut, Lebanon living in a small apartment in with his whole family. He shared a room with his two younger brothers. Though they sometimes got into verbal arguments, and even occasional physical fights, his younger brothers were two of his closest friends during his childhood. It was not as ... Read More »

A Hell Within Heaven (Iran)

Some immigrants might say, how do you fight against a force with no morals, no boundaries, the shadow to encumber the light of liberty, the ICEberg to sink the ship of freedom, the assassin of the American dream? Life back in Iran was a calm one, with slowly rising tension. Even though war was on the rise, the dream to ... Read More »

The Emotional Toll of Having to Emigrate

I was born in Iran, and at the age of 10, my family and I absconded from the multi-systemic injustices and immigrated to the US in hopes of extended opportunities and freedom. I was about 3-years-old when the Iran-Iraq war started. Consequently, the only memories of Iran I had included the sounds of sirens and hearing the Iraqi military jets ... Read More »

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