(Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Thoughts on a not-so-simple arson in the Central District

Why would someone want to burn down a beloved immigrant-owned business?
Aug 17, 2013

Zimbabwe poet finds inspiration in Seattle’s youth arts scene

Slam poet Michael Mabwe is back in Seattle, and looking to harness the energy of local youth arts organization to drive political change in Zimbabwe.
Feb 19, 2013

Artist Zanele Muholi brings the African lesbian experience to UW

What’s more incredible than visual, activist art about black lesbian life in South Africa? Only that the artist, Zanele Muholi, is in Seattle this week showing off her new documentary, Difficult Love.
Jan 29, 2013

Kitchen Stories: A Salvadoran Palestinian’s Baklava rocks Seattle

Too many weeks ago, I was invited to Janne Abullarade’s home for a super duper special treat: homemade baklava. Janne was born in El Salvador to Palestinian parents and has been living in Seattle for thirteen years, where she works as an AIDS researcher. But she’s also arguably the most famous un-official baklava maker in the […]
Dec 31, 2012

Women (not zombies) take over SAM: Elles exhibit pairs spectacular art with cynical marketing

Oh my god! Run! Women are taking over the Seattle Art Museum! SAM is currently running two related exhibitions devoted to female artists from around the globe. The first Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris is a selection of the 200 works that were exhibited at Centre Pompidou in France since 2009. This […]
Oct 23, 2012

Israeli politics get personal: dissident Miko Peled in Seattle this week

Israeli peace activist Miko Peled is in Seattle this week to give a presentation called “Beyond the Zionist Paradigm: New Hope for Israel/Palestine.” I saw him at the University Temple United Methodist Church last night, and he’ll speak again at the University of Washington’s Smith Hall on Thursday at 6:30pm in room 205. Peled was […]
Oct 2, 2012

Dinner with Alma: Stories of family and reunification abroad

There is nothing quite like the stories that unfold when good friends gather to share an honest, home-cooked meal. For this special dinner, I hosted four of my friends to eat, drink and talk about their travels abroad in search of family they have never met. I made vegetables in green curry with coconut milk, […]
Sep 19, 2012
TSA Body Scanner Images

The trouble with traveling while Arab

I waited too long to book a flight home to visit my family in Amman to be picky about my flights. The only option under $2000 was a four hour layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The price and timing was fine. The racial profiling and accusation that I might be a terrorist was not.
Aug 9, 2012

Kitchen Stories: Gluten-free bread that defies the fad

Until I came to Seattle, I’d only met one person in my life who had a wheat allergy. But it seems that for the past year I have heard nothing but “I don’t eat gluten.” Is this the new fad? The new Atkins? What is up with the United States and people with allergies and […]
Jul 12, 2012

Iranian-American candidates weigh in on foreign policy

This election season Washington has an unprecedented number of candidates who are of Iranian heritage. Sahar Fathi and Cyrus Habib for are running for State Representative (in the 36th and 48th districts respectively), and Shahram Hadian is running for Governor. Though Hadian isn’t likely to make it past the primary, Fathi and Habib both have decent chances […]
Jun 8, 2012
Colin Powell UN WMD

Colin Powell is coming to Seattle. Will that work for you?

Colin Powell is coming to Seattle on Wednesday for a conversation around his new book It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. City Club (which also supports the Globalist), is organizing the event and has put up billboards around town. In the online advertisement, they urge you to join the conversation with Powell as he […]
Jun 1, 2012

Why do they hate us? It’s single-minded activism

I can’t stop thinking about an article I read a couple weeks ago. Why Do They Hate Us: The real war on women in the Middle East, by Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, was published in Foreign Policy Magazine, and provoked a huge reaction. The article focused on the war against women in the Arab world; she […]
May 4, 2012

Can a Mediterranean joint revive the corner of 23rd and Union?

If you pass through the intersection of 23rd and Union (as I do every day) you will see a gas station, an empty lot with a cavernous sink hole, and a one-story building with multiple businesses including Earl’s Hair Cuts, a tax broker, and a state liquor store. And on the northeast corner you’ll find […]
Apr 20, 2012
Postal service, Mailman

A love letter to the sexiest part of the federal government

I have a love affair with the United States Postal Service. It began when I first immigrated to the US in 1996. I was fascinated by the efficiency: it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, 45 cents and the mail arrives anywhere else in America within three days! I don’t have a thing […]
Apr 5, 2012
Las Vegas strip sunrise

Full disclosure on my weekend in Vegas

Las Vegas must be heaven for those who don’t get the chance to travel much: Paris, Venice, New York, even Giza. All the wonders of the world packed into one place. When my aunt suggested we go there for a family reunion of sorts a couple weeks ago, I recalled what a friend once told […]
Mar 28, 2012

Why I’m celebrating World Water Day, rain or shine.

Growing up in Jordan, we were taught in school just how scarce water is. There were constant campaigns on how to use water, how important it is to turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, even how to collect the water while waiting for it to warm up before a […]
Mar 21, 2012
Chris Shaw sautés the eggplant for Obayashi Sam's Natto Pasta

Kitchen Stories: Obayashi San’s Natto Pasta

This month’s Kitchen Story originated in Japan and traveled all the way to Seattle ceramicist Chris Shaw’s kitchen in Beacon Hill. On a cold, drizzly Monday night, I stopped at Viet Wah to buy some veggies, and then hopped the 36 bus from the International District to Chris’ house. Chris showed me how to make […]
Mar 6, 2012

MIA’s “Bad Girls” video: how empowering are stereotypes?

In the two weeks since it was released, M.I.A.‘s video for Bad Girls has garnered over 10 million views on YouTube and a ton of attention. The outlandish video created a frenzy that was only encouraged when she flipped the bird to 110 million viewers during the halftime show at the Super Bowl. The video […]
Feb 21, 2012

If I saw it on TV then it must be true: Lebanon’s Rabih Mroué comes to town

Rabih Mroué, a Lebanese actor and playwright, was at Seattle’s On the Boards in January, as part of his first tour in the US. He was presenting his one-man performance piece Looking for a missing employee. I was excited to see the performance. Mroué’s work is familiar to me and being this far away from […]
Feb 1, 2012

Who is an immigrant?

I am an immigrant. I landed in Florida with my mother on August 11, 1996 at age 18. For six years I had to carry a laminated card that read Resident Alien on me at all times. In November 2002, at age 24, I was granted US citizenship and a passport. On the day of […]
Jan 27, 2012