refugees | KUOW News and Information

refugees

I was standing by the airport exit, debating whether to get a snack, when a young man with a round face approached me.

I focused hard to decipher his words. In a thick accent, he asked me to help him find his suitcase.

As we walked to baggage claim, I learned his name: Edward Murinzi. This was his very first plane trip. A refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he'd just arrived to begin his American life.

Cari Conklin is helping to throw a birthday bash for Syrian refugees in the Seattle area.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

More than 200 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Washington state. And this New Year’s Day, many in the Seattle area plan to gather for a special party. It’s an important date, but not why you might expect. 


When Almothana Alhamoud, a 31-year-old Syrian data analyst, arrived in Chicago two years ago after fleeing the Syrian war, he jumped at his first job offer, a nightshift cashier at a convenience store.

"When I came over here I just want to find anything to survive," he says over dinner with his family in Chicago. His parents and two sisters fled Damascus six months after he did. The family has applied for asylum in the U.S.

Each Wednesday at St. Francis Episcopal Church on the north side of San Antonio, dozens of refugees from all over the world come for free care at the Refugee Health Clinic.

Students and faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio have teamed up to operate one of the only student-run refugee clinics in the country.

Rita Zawaideh of Salaam Cultural Museum
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Bill Radke talks with Rita Zawaideh, who runs the humanitarian nonprofit Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle, about the current struggles of Syrian people in Aleppo. 

KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Since the election last month, some day laborers have said they don't feel comfortable speaking Spanish in public. 

“And that’s here in the City of Seattle, riding on public transit," said Marcos Martinez, Executive Director of Casa Latina, a Seattle non-profit that helps immigrant day laborers find jobs. "That just shows the extent of the problem we have.”


The German government has for the first time deported Afghan asylum seekers, sending 34 back to Kabul on a chartered flight last night. Hundreds of protesters — both Afghan and German — marched against the deportations at Frankfurt Airport where the flight departed.

The migrants' requests for asylum had been denied.

KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Kim Malcolm talks with attorney Karol Brown about how President Elect Donald Trump's proposed immigration policies could affect immigrants living in Washington state. Brown is an immigration attorney with World One Law Group in Bellevue.

Immigrants packed a gym in Bellevue on Thursday night to talk about Trump's immigration plan.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Hundreds of immigrants packed a school gym on Thursday night. But not for something normal, like a basketball game.


Brian Wahlberg gives daughter Luciena a good view of the proceedings as the crowd sings at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the liberal bastion that is Seattle, the response to the election was acute. People cried openly on buses and in cafes. Some took time off work to mourn in bed. It wasn't that their candidate had lost, we heard again and again, it was that they feared for the future.

A newly released report describes disintegrating mental health among dozens of the more than 1,100 people being held by Australia on the Pacific island nation of Nauru.

The report out Monday from Amnesty International is based largely on interviews conducted by Anna Neistat, a researcher working for the watchdog group, in July with 58 people being held on the island. It focuses on self-harm, calling it "shockingly commonplace."

On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly welcomed Antonio Guterres of Portugal as the new secretary-general of the U.N., replacing Ban Ki-moon.

In a short speech expressing his "gratitude and humility" to the assembly for the five-year term, he highlighted his priorities: humility, empathy for the underprivileged and the "empowerment of women and girls."

The European Union and the government of Afghanistan have agreed to a plan that could send tens of thousands of asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, even as fighting in some parts of the country intensifies.

Texas has announced that it is withdrawing from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program, citing security concerns.

Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement means that "refugees will continue to come to Texas, albeit without the state acting as the middleman between federal dollars and local resettlement agencies," according to the Austin American-Statesman.

My dad's Cinderella story: Finding love in Somalia

Sep 28, 2016
Courtesy of Zubeyda Ahmed

My dad's life story is kind of like Cinderella’s. 

My dad, Abdul-Basit Hassan, grew up without a mom, worked for an evil relative and found his princess in the least expected way. 


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