John Rudoff

Tears for the Country He Left

In a small town in the northwest part of Cambodia called Chongkal, the 5-year-old boy could not cry. His father had been taken by Khmer Rouge soldiers, bound for

As a child, I used to take the train up from Berkeley to visit grandma Jessie in Sacramento. I thought her trim little bungalow in E Street was a palace. In the hot summer months, we drank root beer floats in the back porch. In the cooler months we shared hot tea and her buttery warm bread, warm from the oven. Jim Lommasson

Grandma Jessie’s Scottish Shortbread

My grandmother, Jessie King, was born in 1889 in a house on Holburn Street in Aberdeen, Scotland. Jessie was one of 13 children, 11 of whom survived childhood.

©2014 Jeffrey Ball

A Doctor with No Cure for His Country

The rigid, highly competitive public education system of Syria sent Hisham Amin Bismar into engineering. Leaving his country and then watching it

Kim Oanh Nguyen

A Career Wrapped in Banana Leaves

The first thing to know about Phet Schwader is that his first name is pronounced “Pet.” Unless it marks the start of a word, the letter “H” is typically

Sankar Raman

Leaving a Land of Chaos

Toys are everywhere in the small apartment in Vancouver, Washington. A sheet of paper posted at a child’s eye level shows the first, impressive attempts of a

Sankar Raman

Abdi Nor Iftin: Call Him American

Abdi Nor Iftin knew just what America would look like. It would look like a giant New York City. Tall, tall buildings would soar to the sky. Humans would scurry

Sankar Raman

“I Lived in Order to Tell the World”

The guy on the MAX train shot an angry glare at a younger man sitting nearby. Emmanuel Turaturanye was dressed in the plaid shirt and down jacket of the Pacific […]

Sankar Raman

Be a Blade of Grass, Not a Tall Tree

Among a total of 13 siblings, it was Sivheng who most resembled their father. Kilin Ung  was a businessman who traded in the teak and rosewood

Sankar Raman

Love in the Midst of Mayhem

It was a simple wedding and, but for the bombs exploding outside, a quiet one. She wore a plain gray skirt, a white blouse and a white hijab befitting a […]

Sankar Raman

Fleeing a 21st Century Genocide

It was such an idyllic childhood for Mohammed Husson Ali. Nearly all the 1300 families in the Burmese village of Myo Thu Gyi were farmers.

Sankar Raman

Miracles, Memories and a Message

Life’s hardest lessons can come at a steep cost. Tragedy, trauma and misfortune often breed bitterness, anger and hatred. Les and Eva Aigner, octogenarian Nazi

Sankar Raman

Determination Born in a Refugee Camp

After generations of peaceful living in the mountainous country of Bhutan, the family of Nabin Dhimal was abruptly forced to flee in 1989, when the Bhutan government

Photo Provided by Dr. Sidou

When the President Was Shot

She was a young assistant professor of medicine who had changed her specialty from surgery to anesthesiology when she moved from Connecticut to