Category Archives: Middle East

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 »

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 »

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