Friday Feature: What’s Changing in Cuba?

cuba

Photo Credit:  Patrick Oppman in CNN

Read, see and hear what Cuba is like now in a multi-media feature from CNN.  Images, a video and article from Patrick Oppman focus on the effects of increased travel and reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.

For all of us who resettle Cuban payrolees, we’ve felt the changes in recent and ongoing surges in Cuban arrivals.  Check out previous Higher Friday Features and other posts highlighting ongoing changes affecting Cuban clients.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: Land of Gold by Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar Land of GoldVirtuoso sitar player Anoushka Shankar’s new album, Land of Gold is a heartfelt response to “the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty.”

“I had given birth to my second child and I was deeply troubled by the intense contrast between my ability to provide for my baby, and others who desperately wanted to provide the same security for their children but were unable to do so,” says Shankar. 

Enjoy the album trailer below and read more about Land of Gold here.  

Friday Feature: Waking Lions

WAKING-LIONS-front-647x1024Looking for your next refugee read? After winning several awards for her debut novel, One Night, MarkovitchIsraeli novelist, screen-writer and psychologist Ayelet Gundar-Goshen has published her second novel, Waking Lions

The novel, which contrasts the difficult reality of Eritrean refugees with the lives of privileged Israelis, is already a best seller in Germany and is quickly gaining attention elsewhere.

For Gundar-Goshen’s reflections on her book, Israeli identity, and refugee issues, check out this thought provoking interview from The Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/13/ayelet-gundar-goshen-israel-waking-lions-interview

Friday Feature: George and Amal Clooney Talk to Syrian Refugees

Any resource that deepens our knowledge about the Syrian refugee experience is valuable, especially when it raises positive public awareness.  And George Clooney!  Ok, and Amal, too.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: “Home” by Warsan Shire

Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay

Read the entire poem that exemplifies the Somali tradition of poetry and storytelling.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: The Raft of Lampedusa by Jason deCaires Taylor

“The work is not intended as a tribute or memorial to the many lives lost but as a stark reminder of the collective responsibility of our now global community.”  Read more about the sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor, and his sculpture The Raft of Lampedusa.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: Cuba Collection

Friday Feature: The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer (2001)

pickupA review in salon.com explains why The Pickup by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer speaks directly to our work.

The Pickup enables a comparison between the refugee experience of an undocumented asylum seeker and the wife who returns with him to his unnamed Arabic-speaking country of origin.

If you find it difficult to imagine how you would thrive – or not – in a similar situation to those faced every day by our clients, reading this novel is the remedy.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: Mulatu Astatke and Ethio Jazz

Before whatever forces refugees to flee, their culture and history shape who they are and what they bring to their new lives in the U.S.  In 70’s Ethiopia toward the end of Haile Selassie’s 1930 – 1974 reign, Mulatu Astatke blended western jazz with traditional Ethiopian music into a genre known as Ethio Jazz.  I can’t stop listening to it.

Obscure? Maybe. But still influential. You can recognize the song Yegelle Tezeta (featured below) in samples from Somali Canadian refugee artist K’naan.  Nas and Ziggy Marley have sampled Ethio Jazz, too.  Astatke songs were also featured in the 2002 Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers.

And, if you want to learn more about Haile Selassie to put the music into the context of Ethiopia’s rich history, check out The Emperor, a 1972 book by Ryszard Kapuscinski.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

Friday Feature: City of Thorns by Ben Rawlance

City of ThornsDadaab, in Kenya, is the largest refugee camp in the world with half a million predominantly Somali refugees. It’s like living in “a cross between Atlanta and Tatooine” according to the author of this new book, City of Thorns:  Nine Lives in the Worlds Largest Refugee Camp.

NPR’s Fresh Air interview with the author talks alot about limited work opportunities and some of the legal and contextual realities around employment and transferable skills in the cam.  Click here to read or listen.

You can also read and listen to a book review here.  Thanks to Peer Advisor Bonni Cutler with Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, CA for spotting this timely new book.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)