Illustration by Mohammed Kloub

Yes, there is such a thing as a secular Muslim

Tons of Americans are nominally Christian, but don’t actually practice the religion. So why is it so hard for secular Muslims to pull off the same thing?
Mar 30, 2016
A Syrian girl holds up a poster she drew “about how she recently helped someone using information or technology” during UW professor Karen Fisher’s workshop at Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan in January 2015. (Photo courtesy of Karen Fisher, University of Washington Information School)

Syrian youth design dream apps at Za’atari Refugee Camp

With everything refugee families lost fleeing Syria, a new tech solution may offer Syrian youth a way to connect their pasts with brighter futures.
Feb 10, 2016
This coffee was not for "Abby." (Photo by Venice Buhain.)

The trouble with living in Seattle with a foreign-sounding name

Having a foreign-sounding name in Seattle can be difficult in many different ways — from the casual to the substantial.
Jul 30, 2015
Convicted suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi was executed Wednesday in a misguided act of retaliation for ISIS's murder of a captured Jordanian pilot. (Still from Jordanian TV)

Tit for tat executions are no way to counter ISIS

Jordan's execution of Islamist prisoners as revenge against ISIS sets a disturbing precedent.
Feb 7, 2015
Syrian children at Jordan's Zaatari Refugee Camp ride on the back of a Jordanian's pickup truck.  Zaatari offers kindergarten and elementary schooling for the refugees, but overcrowded classrooms and labor needs at home keep many young refugees from attending. (Photo by Alisa Reznick)

Young Syrians make easy prey for militants

A volatile mix of boredom, non-existent job opportunities and desperation among young Syrians could lead them straight into the hands of extremists.
Dec 1, 2014
"Hamdan," a 36-year-old former FSA fighter who now lives in a Jordanian refugee camp, plans to return to Syria to rejoin rebel ranks this month. (Photo by Alisa Reznick)

Once united against Assad, Syrians now split by ISIS

As Americans obsess about ISIS gains, Syrian rebels say we’re neglecting the real threat.
Nov 25, 2014
Reham Hamoui holds up a photo of her and her siblings before the family fled Syria when she was seven. (Photo by Alisa Reznick)

Syrian American dissidents scramble to save their country

After 20 years in Seattle, civil war brings young a Syrian woman closer to home.
Nov 24, 2014
Hamda Yusuf, a third-year international studies major who is Somali American, often works on her poetry about identity at the Quad on the University of Washington campus. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Borders collapse in voices of young poets

A growing cohort of immigrant poets gives a universal spin to Northwest themes.
Sep 26, 2014
Syria article done

Life after Syria

Since the Syrian Uprising began three years ago, 6.5 million Syrians have been internally displaced and another 2.5 million have registered or are waiting to register for refugee status abroad.
Mar 15, 2014
A girl in the Tripoli refugee camp that now houses thousands of Syrian refugees. (Photo by Justin Salhani)

Welcome sours for Syrian refugees

With their houses in ruins and former villages now ghost towns, more than 1.5 million Syrians have fled their homeland. Lebanon and other neighboring countries have opened their doors to these refugees, but violence and strife have followed them from Syria.
May 30, 2013
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Waiting for Assad’s fall, record numbers of Syrians flee to Jordan

ZAATARI, Jordan–As the Syrian civil war and the fight to remove President Bashar Assad unfolds, more than half a million people have fled their homes during dangerously cold winter months. There are roughly 60,000 Syrians in the Zaatari, one of the largest refugee camps that sits just across the Jordanian border. According to a recent […]
Dec 11, 2012
TSA Body Scanner Images

The trouble with traveling while Arab

I waited too long to book a flight home to visit my family in Amman to be picky about my flights. The only option under $2000 was a four hour layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The price and timing was fine. The racial profiling and accusation that I might be a terrorist was not.
Aug 9, 2012
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Kitchen Stories: Gluten-free bread that defies the fad

Until I came to Seattle, I’d only met one person in my life who had a wheat allergy. But it seems that for the past year I have heard nothing but “I don’t eat gluten.” Is this the new fad? The new Atkins? What is up with the United States and people with allergies and […]
Jul 12, 2012
Cairo

Why do they hate us? It’s single-minded activism

I can’t stop thinking about an article I read a couple weeks ago. Why Do They Hate Us: The real war on women in the Middle East, by Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, was published in Foreign Policy Magazine, and provoked a huge reaction. The article focused on the war against women in the Arab world; she […]
May 4, 2012
Postal service, Mailman

A love letter to the sexiest part of the federal government

I have a love affair with the United States Postal Service. It began when I first immigrated to the US in 1996. I was fascinated by the efficiency: it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, 45 cents and the mail arrives anywhere else in America within three days! I don’t have a thing […]
Apr 5, 2012
(Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos)

Why I’m celebrating World Water Day, rain or shine.

Growing up in Jordan, we were taught in school just how scarce water is. There were constant campaigns on how to use water, how important it is to turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, even how to collect the water while waiting for it to warm up before a […]
Mar 21, 2012