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Voices from the Frontlines »

[11 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

Zina Bhaia
By permission from
I graduated from Baghdad University in 2002 with an English-language degree and was hired to translate English movies into Arabic, supposedly for Iraqi TV audiences, but really for Saddam’s son Oday, a crazy man I fortunately never met. After the American invasion, I worked for a French organization distributing artificial legs to Iraqis maimed in the war. My spine was curved badly from having had polio as an infant, and, for the first time in my life, walking with crutches actually helped me get that job. …

Voices from the Frontlines »

[11 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

Stephannie Fox-Dixon
Stand up for
what you believe in.
Stand up for
others–be true.
When others oppress,
repress, and digress,
believe in yourself–
see through.
No matter our faith,
our creed or our race,
we all need each other–
our sisters and brothers.
Let’s help one another
to see and discover
a path with a
life-size world-view.
Editor’s Note: Stephannie is one of the two high school students from Elkader, Iowa, who wrote winning essays about Abd el-Kader, the 19th century Muslim humanitarian for whom their town is named. Click on Read All Stories for more background.

Voices from the Frontlines »

[11 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]
Election with Peace – and Almost Parity!

Sellina Kanyerere-Mkweteza
The 2009 Presidential and Parliamentarian elections shook Malawi on the 19th May. I found myself waking up at 3 am to find myself a place in the line. At 6.00 am, the voting started. Slowly the lines moved towards the ballot boxes. My four year old daughter accompanied us. She was so eager to dip her index finger in the ink, but we convinced her that she would vote in the afternoon because all the children would vote during that time. Well, she is a kid, so parents are …

Voices from the Frontlines »

[4 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]
Iowa and Algeria Share a Hero

Mary Liepold
From our good friend David Crumm at Read the Spirit comes a story in the spirit of President Obama’s June 4 address to the Muslim world. Historian John W. Kiser (center) wrote a book about a Muslim hero, Emir Abd el-Kader. High school students in Elkader, Iowa, read the book and wrote essays about its subject. Here are excerpts from two of the best.
From Rebecca Roberts (pictured at right):
“Elkader is an odd name for a little town. It is especially odd for one in the middle of nowhere in …