February 11, 2014 |
Blending 19th-century settlement house values with the healing power of art, a South Philadelphia storefront is the busy hub where trauma meets recovery for two of the city's fastest-growing immigrant groups: Burmese and Bhutanese refugees. For Poonam Ghimire, 17, who was born in a refugee camp after her family fled a government crackdown on the Nepalese in Bhutan, the storefront called "Southeast by Southeast" (SExSE) is a place to demonstrate her culture's native dance moves alongside an African American break-dance crew.
February 7, 2014 |
ONE OF THE newest waves of refugees living in Philadelphia are Bhutanese of Nepali descent. The 2010 U.S. Census found 51 people from Bhutan living in the city. Now, an estimated 2,700 to 3,000 refugees from Bhutan are living in Philly, said Leela Kuikel, executive director of the Bhutanese American Organization-Philadelphia. Kuikel, 36, who is of Nepali origin, was born in Bhutan. In 1992, he and his family fled Bhutan, a landlocked, remote country in South Asia surrounded by China and India.
January 17, 2014 |
IN A THREE-STORY, gray-stone and white house in Logan, Savorn Touch teaches 11 first-graders. Most are Cambodian-Americans whose parents or grandparents came to the U.S. as refugees. Touch was 8 years old in 1984 when her family resettled in Philadelphia after fleeing Khmer Rouge soldiers during the murderous reign of dictator Pol Pot. Her father and 4-month-old sister died of starvation in the late 1970s during this period, known as "the Killing Fields. " Before coming to the U.S., Touch spent several years in a refugee camp at the Cambodia-Thailand border.
November 29, 2013 |
Americans are a generous people. During the holiday season, we are busy buying gifts and donating to the needy. We were quick to write a check or text funds when a typhoon struck the Philippines. But this Thanksgiving, I can't help wondering why the biggest humanitarian crisis in a decade is getting so little attention. I'm referring to Syria, where nearly one third of the population, almost 7 million people, has either fled the country or is displaced and struggling to survive inside Syria.
October 6, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA As war-displaced Syrians face another harsh winter in windblown camps, Philadelphia groups are collecting "gently used" coats, blankets, shoes, and boots for the refugees. Coordinated locally by the Philadelphia Arab-American Development Corp. (AADC), and with the participation of the city's Al-Aqsa Mosque, Independence Charter School, and Science Leadership Academy, the clothing drive was conceived by students and expanded by Qatar Foundation International (QFI), a Washington-based nonprofit established by the Persian Gulf nation.
August 28, 2013 |
Liesl Loeb, 85, a Holocaust survivor who lived through a haunting piece of pre-World War II history and then made history herself by telling of it, died Sunday, Aug. 25. Mrs. Loeb escaped Nazi Germany as a girl and came to this country with her parents. She lived in Elkins Park for many years, and died of a blood cancer at home in Warminster, Bucks County. As a 10-year-old in 1939, Mrs. Loeb was aboard the German ocean liner, MS St. Louis, when the vessel carrying 936 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the United States, and Canada.
July 24, 2013
Syrian refugees stuck at border AMMAN, Jordan - Relief officials warned Tuesday of a brewing humanitarian crisis in southern Syria as rising violence reportedly continued to strand thousands of would-be refugees along the border with Jordan. According to rebel officials and local residents, an intensified government bombing campaign is obstructing roads and paths in the region, where 10,000 displaced people are said to have spent the last week in border towns and villages waiting to cross into Jordan.
July 20, 2013 |
ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan - Secretary of State John Kerry got a firsthand view of the grinding war in Syria on Thursday, visiting a sprawling refugee camp that houses 115,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting and hearing bitter complaints that the world has forgotten them. Kerry met with six Syrian refugees who angrily asked why world powers have not set up a no-fly zone or protective humanitarian zone inside Syria, something the Obama administration has considered but decided against for now. "They are frustrated and angry at the world," Kerry said afterward.
May 16, 2013 |
YAYLADAGI, Turkey - Facing one of the world's largest refugee crises in decades, Turkish officials are urgently appealing for international financial assistance and calling on wealthy nations to start accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees. The stance marks a shift for the Turkish government, which had long insisted that Ankara would manage and pay for the refugee crisis on its own as a matter of national pride. But with the cost to Turkey hitting $1.5 billion, an estimated 400,000 refugees in the country, and a total of one million expected by the end of the year, pressure is building.
April 21, 2013 |
IN A WAY, they'd been on the run their whole lives. The family of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings, is from war-torn Chechnya but had moved to Kyrgyzstan and to Makhachkala, Russia, before coming to the United States as refugees in 2002. Tamerlan, 26, who was killed by police in a shootout early Friday, was about 15 when the family began their new life in Cambridge, Mass. Dzhokhar, who was arrested late Friday after hiding for hours in a covered boat in a suburban Boston back yard, was only 8. Dzhokhar played volleyball and wrestled and later studied at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.