President Obama reads letters and emails from US citizens who are willing to take in Syrian refugees, something governors of several states say they will not allow.
The Syrian conflict can seem like a distant reality for most Americans, but for 26-year-old Syrian American activist Suzan Boulad, there was a time when it was too close for comfort — when the thud of the shells landing was no longer coming from YouTube, but from outside the house where she sat, huddled under flickering lights, wondering how close they were.
The walls of the house would shake every few minutes. She was in a village outside of Idlib, Syria, in an area then controlled by the Free Syrian Army that was being bombarded by forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. It was March 2013, a time in the war when the Free Syrian Army was still ascendant and ISIS had yet to fully emerge. It was a moment fraught with risk for Boulad and the Syrian activists she was working with — but also one still full of possibility.
She had come to Syria with a delegation of American activists. Earlier that day they had participated in a protest in the city of Kafranbel, a city famous for its anti-regime protests featuring clever signs written in English, often with pop culture references.
Raised in the Sacramento area, she often visited her native Syria as a child and was hushed by anxious relatives whenever the conversation veered toward Assad. When the anti-regime protests begin in 2011, she followed along via Twitter, quickly becoming absorbed in the cycle of protests, causality reports and more protests that marked that stage of the Syrian version of the Arab Spring. (more…)
President Barack Obama and his family Wednesday carried on a tradition they started seven years ago of doing service around the Thanksgiving holiday —this time at at a Washington, DC organization that serves the homeless population.
Workers at Walker Methodist Health Center are fighting management again to keep their union — and at the same time try to negotiate for a living wage. A rare employer-initiated election to decertify the union will likely happen sometime in December.