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An Ethiopian woman at her community center holds a candle in remembrance for the Christians killed by ISIS Center. (Photo by Agazit Afeworki for the South Seattle Emerald.)
An Ethiopian woman at her community center holds a candle in remembrance for the Christians killed by ISIS. (Photo by Agazit Afeworki for the South Seattle Emerald.)

This story originally appeared on the South Seattle Emerald.

Seattle’s Eritrean and Ethiopian communities held separate vigils on April 25 and May 1 at the Ethiopian Community Center and Rainier Valley Cultural Center to honor the Eritrean and Ethiopian men brutally executed in a video by the terrorist organization ISIS last month.

During both events, community members moved from prayers and mourning to speak extensively about what may have caused their countrymen to be in Libya. Some at the open forums faulted their country’s economy and for not providing opportunities for youth to stay at home.

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Bruce Lee is buried in Lake View Cemetery next to his son Brandon, who died in 1993. (Photo by Chetanya Robinson)
Bruce Lee is buried in Lake View Cemetery next to his son Brandon, who died in 1993. (Photo by Chetanya Robinson)

Next to Volunteer Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood lies a spot that’s visited by 10,000 people every year. Through the gates of Lake View Cemetery and halfway up a hill with clear views of Lake Washington, the space is shielded by evergreen shrubs.

This is where Bruce Lee, legendary Chinese American martial artist and film star, was laid to rest in 1973. His grave is not only a Seattle tourist attraction but a national and global pilgrimage site.

Lee was 32 years old when he died from a brain swelling caused by an allergic reaction to painkillers. But in many ways he lives on still.

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Mary September and her son in front of the federal building in downtown Seattle during a Nov. 20 immigration reform rally. (Photo by Mohamud Yussuf / OneAmerica).

It’s Christmas Day, and my eight-year-old son and I are in Denver on a layover to Austin to be with my sister’s family.

The airport TV screens are filled with year-end stats and reviews. I am pondering a few stats of my own: 4,272 is the number of days I’ve been married and 1,170 is the number of days my husband and I have been living on separate continents. Our son has been alive 2,598 days, and he has spent 45 percent of his life away from his dad. And on this day especially, it became abundantly clear to me we have spent far too many Christmases apart.

Three years ago, I left my life in rural Malawi — and 15 bouts of malaria — to return to the states with my son. I thought I was coming home. I assumed my family would be welcome, but instead, have found that on the issue of keeping my family together, my country is more my adversary than my advocate.