Meqdam "Mike" Almaroof (Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour / JFS)

Helping highly skilled refugees find their niche in Seattle

More skilled refugees are arriving in our state. But they say cultural barriers keep them out of white-collar jobs that could use their talents.
Jul 14, 2016
A man lights a candle at a vigil for Iraq at Westlake Park Wednesday night. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)

Seattle Iraqi community commemorates bombing victims

The Iraqi Community Center organized a vigil at Westlake Park in Seattle Wednesday, in memory of the victims of the July 2 Baghdad bombing.
Jul 7, 2016
People gather at the site of a suicide car bomb in the Karrada shopping area, in Baghdad, Iraq July 3, 2016. (Photo by Khalid al Mousily for Reuters.)

Nearly 120 dead in Baghdad bombings claimed by Islamic State

Nearly 120 people were killed and 200 wounded in two bombings overnight in Baghdad, most of them in a busy shopping area as residents celebrated Ramadan.
Jul 3, 2016
Smoke rises from clashes near Falluja, Iraq, May 31, 2016.  (Photo by Thaier Al-Sudani for Reuters.)

Civilians trapped as Iraq army and Islamic State intensify battle in Fallujah

The latest offensive, which started May 23, is causing alarm among these organizations as more than 50,000 civilians remain trapped without resources.
May 31, 2016
President George H. W. Bush visits American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia in 1990, in the lead up to the first Gulf War. (Photo from the Bush Library via Wikipedia)

For Iraqi Americans, the remembrance of two betrayals overlap

For many Iraqis, the American invasion that didn't actually happen is the one that really stings decades later.
Mar 17, 2016
Sgt. Mutiara Santiago is a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve in Marysville, Washington. She was deployed twice to Iraq during the War on Terror over the course of 11 years of active duty. (Photo by Kayla Roberts)

Women veterans brave unemployment and homelessness

As the U.S. makes a historic move allowing 220,000 women in the U.S. Armed Forces to serve in combat, women veterans in Washington face new challenges.
Dec 11, 2015
U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington November 19, 2015.  Photo by Gary Cameron for Reuters)

U.S. House votes to suspend Syrian refugee program, step up screening

The Republican-backed legislation would suspend Obama's program to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year and intensify screening measures for refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Nov 19, 2015
A member of the French fire brigade aids an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

At least 60 dead in Paris shootings, hostages held

A coordinated attack at five venues in Paris left at least 60 dead.
Nov 13, 2015
The methodical use of art like drawing, painting, collage and sculpturing is used to shape and express feelings and memories as well as give PTSD sufferers an active process and final result to benefit from. (Photo by Joanna M. Kresge)

Coloring books and welding help vets cope with PTSD

When traditional talk therapies fall flat, more and more Northwest military veterans suffering PTSD are turning to art therapy.
Jul 3, 2015
Artistic director John Murphy, left, rehearses EZID, which opens June 20th. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

EZID acrobatic theater performance draws on ravages of Iraq

Choreographer’s recent trip to Northern Iraq inspires latest dance performance from The Cabiri nonprofit troupe in Seattle.
Jun 12, 2015
Peyton yawns and stretches as my sister Katie holds her during our first Skype conversation. (Screen grab by Janelle Retka)

Learning to bond between screens, across borders

As immigration and military deployment separate families across borders, many rely on social media to stay connected.
May 20, 2015
Khagindra Rijal shares his experiences living as a Bhatanese refugee in Nepal. (Photo by Megan Herndon)

Seattle refugee teens share their wisdom with the world

A "Refugee Story Circle" video chat connected young Seattle refugees with Brazil, Qatar and beyond to share their stories of finding a new home.
Mar 17, 2015
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Please touch the art: new exhibit invites more than just looking

Next time you drive by "the mysterious place with all the marble" right next to the Delridge onramp for the West Seattle Bridge, stop in and say "hi" to sculptor Sabah Al-Dhaher
Jan 23, 2015
ISIS Insurgents

Why you should (and shouldn’t) be worried about ISIS

Back from Baghdad, veteran foreign correspondent Jonathan Landay has the real story about the Islamic State.
Nov 26, 2014
Gender roles in pre-war Syria were much more progressive than under ISIS control, with women moving freely and holding high positions in the Assad Regime. But the constitution still included many misogynist clauses. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

ISIS brutality toward women a shocking symptom of a larger disease

A video of ISIS stoning a woman to death last month shocked the world. Having grown up in the region, I wasn't that surprised to see it.
Nov 18, 2014
President Obama delivers a speech from the White House announcing an expanded military campaign against ISIS.

Cautiously, Iraqis and Syrians welcome expanded US fight against ISIS

What are people in the Middle East saying about Obama's ISIS speech?
Sep 11, 2014
A guard at the Red Security Building in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, the headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service under Saddam Hussein’s regime where many Kurds were imprisoned and tortured. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Why I’m resisting the urge to tune out news from Iraq

After years as a secular, stable, pro-American bastion, Iraq's Kurdish region is under serious threat and deserves our help.
Aug 29, 2014
Walid Alkheyat, of the new Iraqi Community of Washington State leads a group of children, women and men to Seattle City Hall during a protest in June asking for US intervention in Iraq. (Photo by Alisa Reznick)

Iraqis in Washington reject sectarian divisions

Iraqi refugees in the Northwest are quick to downplay the sectarian divisions that are causing fault lines in their home country.
Jul 14, 2014
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Torture survivors thrive on a new kind of treatment in Seattle

A new program bridges the gap between different refugee service providers helping victims of torture in the Northwest.
Mar 10, 2014
Kev (Ryan Higgins) reunited with fellow U.S. Marine Tom (Jonathan Crimeni) and his new robotic hand. (Photo courtesy Washington Ensemble Theatre)

Washington Ensemble Theatre rattles the cage with “Baghdad Zoo”

A new production of Rajiv Joseph’s acclaimed play about post-invasion Iraq sheds light on America’s changing attitudes toward military intervention abroad.
Sep 19, 2013