Minnesota Somalis Heading Home

Minnesota Somalis Heading Home

When the civil war in Somalia broke out more than 20 years ago, Jaylani Hussein and his family were among the first to move to the United States.

Hussein has lived in the U.S. since 1993. He speaks English without any hint of an accent, holds two bachelor’s degrees, goes deer hunting in the fall and works for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

In 2008, Hussein returned to his birthplace, the city of Hargeisa, for the first time.

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Arab American Business Leader Makes $2 Million Gift To Arab American Nat’l Museum

Dearborn, Mich. – Southeast Michigan businessman and internationally renowned philanthropist Russell J. Ebeid has made a $2 million legacy gift to the Arab American National Museum (AANM). This gift – the first and largest of its kind in the history of the AANM’s parent organization, ACCESS – was announced during the 43rd annual ACCESS Dinner last Saturday evening, April 12, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

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Indie Rock Band Wins Over Toughest Critics: Their Immigrant Parents

Indie Rock Band Wins Over Toughest Critics: Their Immigrant Parents

As Daniel Chae tells it, he and his bandmates often liked to jam inside their cars while on their way somewhere. They all lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles, meaning these could be long drives. Run River North’s lead singer Alex Hwang would start strumming his guitar from the backseat, while the others would start singing and harmonizing. So as they prepared to release their first single in 2012 and were brainstorming of unorthodox—and low-budget—ways to shoot a music video, the idea of performing their song, “Fight to Keep,” inside lead singer-songwriter Hwang’s Honda Fit naturally came up.

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Black British Presence Will Share Spotlight at Academy Awards

Black British Presence Will Share Spotlight at Academy Awards

The 2014 Academy Awards will be broadcast Sunday, and one of the world’s most-watched television shows also will feature a strong black British presence in American films.

“12 Years a Slave” was directed by Steven McQueen, a black British director. Black British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, plays the lead character in the film, which has been nominated for nine Oscars.

McQueen has been nominated for best director. Ejiofor has been nominated for best actor and “12 Years a Slave” has been nominated for best picture.

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Arab American Women Push Back Against Pressure to Marry

Arab American Women Push Back Against Pressure to Marry

DEARBORN — Discussing the pressure that many Arab American women experience to get married by a young age, Angela, a 22-year-old student at the University of Michigan – Dearborn who didn’t want to be identified, said, “There shouldn’t be an age limit. It shouldn’t be like once you are 25 that is it, you are too old, and you cannot get married, or if you are 30, oh, you can’t have kids. It is wrong.”

It is no secret that there is a lot of pressure on Arab American women to get married at a young age. Many find it difficult to concentrate on pursuing higher education because of cultural limitations.

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Three Arab Films Nominated for Academy Awards

Three Arab films have made their way onto the Academy Awards’ nomination list this year. “The Square,” directed by Jehane Noujaim and produced by Karim Amer, was nominated in the Documentary Feature category. This is the first Academy Award nomination for both Noujaim and Amer.

The film depicts a unified front in Egypt during the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square against the then president, Hosni Mubarak. The film debuted on Netflix on Jan. 17. Noujaim tweeted her excitement, “#Overthemoon #Oscar nom @thesquarefilm is for the blood, hopes, and dreams of Egyptians whose power and beauty and courage we saw in Tahrir.” This is the first Egyptian-made film to be nominated for an Oscar.

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Fighting on Two Fronts -- Arizona Latinos Stand Against Anti-Gay Bill

Fighting on Two Fronts — Arizona Latinos Stand Against Anti-Gay Bill

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Isela Meraz was among the thousands who gathered outside the Arizona State Legislature last week to protest the right-to-refuse service bill now on the governor’s desk. For Latinos, the bill stirs up painful memories of SB 1070, the state law that criminalized undocumented immigrants four years ago.

Meraz, who is both gay and undocumented, now finds herself fighting on two fronts.

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Will Phoenix Document the 'Undocumented'?

Will Phoenix Document the ‘Undocumented’?

PHOENIX, Ariz. — It was tough to convince Viridiana Hernández to call the Phoenix police when her house was broken into. She now has a work permit, under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan, which temporarily protects her from deportation.

But when someone broke into her house in 2012, her only form of identification was a matrícula consular (a Mexican consular ID card), and she was afraid it might raise suspicions that she was an undocumented immigrant.

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