immigration

As a reader, I am fascinated by stories that describe how people survive and cope when the world they know crumbles away.

A Conversation with Your Muslim Neighbor

Feb 9, 2017

More than 200 people showed up last night at the Sioux City Public Museum for the Conversation with a Muslim Neighbor gathering.  The venue had to be changed from a smaller site because so many people signed up. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

The event is a part of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission’s new on-going series, “Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood.” Two muslim doctors answered questions from the crowd about religion, the current immigration ban, terrorism and the role of women in Islam. 

Sometimes, when people hear my accent, they’ll ask where I’m from. It’s not an easy answer. The place I call home is East Jerusalem. I hold a travel document, not a passport, from Israel and a visa to be here. I am stateless. In the eyes of the government, I barely exist.

Chopa Ryskulova
Ally Karsyn

I am the youngest of eight girls. Yes, eight girls. We all became Christians in a Muslim country.

My second-oldest sister, when she was in college in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishkek, she met an American woman who was Christian. My sister learned about her faith and about her, and she really loved that. She was the first one in our family who became Christian.

On September 11, 1976, my father proposed to my mother just two days after meeting her on a bus in Brazil. He, an Indian scientist working at a Brazilian university, found love when the bus that he was riding came to a sudden halt, causing a woman to fall on his lap. My mother, a young Brazilian woman who happened to be a spectator of this precipitous turn of events, smiled at my father and the lady on his lap. Two days later, he proposed. Four months later, they were married. In 2001, twenty-five years later, I looked forward to September 11.

Mahamud Osman
Ally Karsyn

 

When I was in school in Somalia, sometimes my parents would pick me up early before classes were done. We would wander through back streets and alleys – this way and that way – just to get home. On weekends, my siblings and I had to stay in the house. I didn’t know why. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. Why were we being kept in the house? I didn’t know it wasn’t safe outside. I didn’t know about the constant gunfire, gang fighting, the massive death and displacement of the Somali people, caught in the middle of a civil war.

 

Chelsea Clinton in Sioux City

Oct 6, 2016

Chelsea Clinton dropped by Sioux City’s Orpheum Theater yesterday afternoon. Hillary Clinton’s daughter met with more than one-hundred supporters of the Democratic Presidential nominee.  The former first daughter talked about her mother’s achievements, what she calls the negativity of the Republican campaign and the qualities she believes will make her the nation’s first female president.  She also fielded some questions from the crowd.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.  

Chelsea Clinton in Sioux City

Oct 6, 2016

Chelsea Clinton dropped by Sioux City’s Orpheum Theater yesterday afternoon. Hillary Clinton’s daughter met with more than one-hundred supporters of the Democratic Presidential nominee.  The former first daughter talked about her mother’s achievements, what she calls the negativity of the Republican campaign and the qualities she believes will make her the nation’s first female president.  She also fielded some questions from the crowd.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.  

Francys Chavez
Ally Karsyn

    

1980. The war in El Salvador  was at its peak. Thousands of families  were separated and displaced all throughout the world. Among them was my father, a 16-year-old boy who came to know fear as a way of life. One night, actually the very last night that he ever spent in his country, a mass shooting took over the streets. My father, along with his siblings, hid under the bed, hoping that the bullets wouldn’t find them.

He lost two cousins that night. Growing weary of the violence, my grandparents asked my father to go and seek asylum in Mexico.