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“Alsarah was born in Sudan to politically active parents,” writes NPR‘s Nurith Aizenman. “When she was still a child a coup there forced the family to flee to Yemen. Then, after civil war broke out in Yemen, they had to flee again, this time to Amherst, Massachusetts — all by the time Alsarah was 12. But please, says the singer-songwriter, don’t pigeonhole her as some sort of ‘refugee artist.'”
“I was a refugee coming in,” Alsarah told Aizenman. “I know what it feels like when you first land somewhere and you don’t have any of the resources, you don’t know the system…I’ve had all these other phases of identity happen since then.”Born in Sudan and raised in Brooklyn—singer Alsarah learns to remix her identities Tweet This!
“Last year, 22-year-old Alice Aedy decided to board a plane to Greece,” writes the Guardian’s Eleni Stefanou. “She arrived in the north and signed up as a volunteer for Help Refugees, Europe’s largest grassroots distributor of aid. A self-taught documentary photographer, she quietly produced a moving body of work over the course of a year.”
“I have captured moments of grief and suffering, but mostly I found dignity and often joy,” Aedy told Stefanou. “…Meeting the innocent victims of this crisis has reminded me of our extraordinary capacity to turn a blind eye. To ignore our responsibility to help those caught up in a war fought at their expense. They didn’t choose to be refugees. No one wants to be a refugee.”“Meeting the innocent victims of this crisis has reminded me of our extraordinary capacity to turn a blind eye.” Tweet This!
“…the band formed two years ago and started covering folk songs from the sub-Indian continent, but adding the garage-punk sound of their South Asian diaspora mashup,” writes Noisey’s Zab Mustefa. “In the week Trump won the election, Doctors & Engineers were due to launch their debut album; instead, they felt an overwhelming feeling to sit back and absorb the fact that four years of Trump’s government would be opposed to their ‘immigrant kid music’ and support for social justice causes.”
“I remember we had a debate—our release show was at the end of that week, and there was a big part of us that didn’t want to go,” 32-year-old Sri Panchalam, civil rights lawyer and lead singer of LA-based psychedelic Desi punk band Doctors & Engineers, told Mustefa. “We were like, what is happening? Why is it suddenly dangerous to be who I was, even more dangerous than it was to be before?”“We were like, what is happening? Why is it suddenly dangerous to be who I was, even more dangerous than it was to be before?” Tweet This!
“On a recent, chilly Monday morning, a photoshoot was taking place in an East Williamsburg, Brooklyn warehouse,” writes WNYC’sMary Wang. “Stylists were bustling about and photographers were shouting directions, but what set this scene apart were the models. They were covered from head-to-toe, baring only their faces and hands. The models were women of faith, represented by Underwraps, which bills itself as a modest modeling agency.”
“I brought the essentials that every model should have: mascara, eyeliner,” Jaharrah Ali, who has been modeling for Underwraps for two years, told Wang. “But the most important thing for me is that I always bring a long-sleeve black shirt because I would like my arms to stay covered during photoshoots.”
“Perhaps no Afghan’s story better embodied America’s aspirations for Afghanistan than that of Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, the first female fixed-wing pilot in the fledgling Afghan Air Force,” writes The New York Times’ Ernesto Londoño. “She was celebrated in Washington in 2015 when the State Department honored her with its annual Women of Courage award. ‘She continues to fly despite threats from the Taliban and even members of her own extended family,’ the first lady, Michelle Obama, said in a statement. On Thursday, on the eve of her scheduled return to Afghanistan from a 15-month training course at Air Force bases in Texas, Florida and Arkansas, Captain Rahmani broke a sobering piece of news to her American trainers. She still wants to be a military pilot, but not under her country’s flag. This summer, she filed a petition seeking asylum in the United States, where she hopes to eventually join the Air Force.”
“Things are not changing,” …Captain Rahmani recently said in an interview. “Things are getting worse and worse.”
altM’s weekly roundup of news Tweet This!
This list was curated by Kaitlin Montgomery, altM News Editor