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(Photo by Dave Sizer)

Last week hipster Seattleites shrugged indifferently at the news that our city had been named by Travel and Leisure as America’s best city for hipsters.

Seattle took the prized vegan cupcake for first place, and was lauded by the site for our brains, Mac products, coffee snobbery and unique “buttoned-down” brand of hipster.

We even beat out our ever-quirkier southern neighbors, despite Portlandia. (The ensuing roller derby standoff is bound to be fierce).

But cool knows no borders, so here is a list of global hipster enclaves that might just give us a run for our money:

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I am an immigrant.

I landed in Florida with my mother on August 11, 1996 at age 18. For six years I had to carry a laminated card that read Resident Alien on me at all times. In November 2002, at age 24, I was granted US citizenship and a passport.

On the day of the oath ceremony, I went alone. I was one of few who did not have a family member with them. The ceremony took place at a high school basketball court, with a thousand immigrants in attendance and at least as many in audience.

It was one of the largest oath ceremonies since September 11, 2001. The diversity of the audience was astounding; in front of me was a family from Mexico, next to me was another Jordanian, behind me an Iraqi Chaldean woman and her daughter. Together, we all stood and performed the Oath of Allegiance and then sang the national anthem. Many of the new citizens and their families were crying–sobbing even.

In this my privilege was undeniable. I did not cry.

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Photo from Mujaz.me via Facebook

In the Egyptian capital of Cairo, thousands have flooded into Tahir Square to mark the one-year anniversary of the revolution which overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak.

This photo of the packed square is getting heavy play on  Facebook profiles worldwide.

Despite the celebration, it’s been a long year for Egypt. When Mubarak left, the military took over. The regime has been reticent to give power over to an elected government and has repressed demonstrations with violence.

The Globalist spoke with local Egyptian-Americans about how far the revolution has come and how it affected the Seattle-area Egyptian community.

“The entrenchment is still there. We killed the head of the snake but the body is still lingering,” says Alaa Badr, an Egyptian-American who works at Microsoft who organized solidarity demonstrations last year. “And no one’s expecting that to go away over night.”

Tarek Dawoud, another Microsoft employee, recalled the elation of community members when Mubarak finally fell from power.  At an impromptu public celebration, “we were giving out candy and chocolate, and people [passing by] knew what we were celebrating. For Egypt, people were honking and waving at us and everything.” 

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    Inmates stand in a holding cell at Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center.

    A Syracuse University-based transparency group released the results today of a two year long Freedom of Information struggle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The startling data, based on case-by-case numbers of immigrants apprehended, detained and deported by ICE in 2005 appears to show that agency vastly over-reported these numbers in official statements.

    The new records show just under 7,000 people deported in 2005, the most recent year for which data was provided to The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) a non-partisan organization that monitors the federal government through FOIA requests. But in official statements ICE claimed to have deported 24 more times as many individuals that year, some 166,075 people. The numbers of immigrants arrested and detained also don’t match up to past ICE statements.

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      Mother and Three Children, Bhutan by Flickr user

      As the recession dragged on in 2011, America’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew only a few percent. Economists say GDP is an important indicator of the health of an economy. But is GDP the best way to measure how the country is faring?

      Sustainable Seattle, a local nonprofit, says GDP fails to to account for overall well being of the citizens. Inspired by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where the government maintains a “gross national happiness index,” they created a survey assessing “the conditions for happiness” in people’s lives. Over 7,000 Seattleites filled it out last year.