The future of America is as bright or as dark as the future of our immigrants. The battle over the travel ban echoes our history from the founding, slicing deep into the heart of American sympathies: Are refugees and migrants coming ashore to be seen as humble "guests of the nation" or as American as anyone, just for getting through the gate? In the February 9 edition of Open Source, host Christopher Lydon talks with Persian preceptor Sheida Dayani and others about the "who we are" question, between Immigration Nation and Fortress America, traversing all sorts of social, political, and historical terrains. Dayani also reads her poem "The Ordinary Man of this Neighborhood."
Lebanese-American artist Helen Zughaib's work is on display this month at CGIS, under the auspices of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Her paintings have been displayed widely in public collections, at the White House, the Library of Congress, and elsewhere; they often lend themselves to diplomatic optimism, even as they depict people in desperate situations: fleeing catastrophe in Syria, leaving home to emigrate to America, selling tiny items in the street to feed their families. Read more about The Everyday Dignity of Helen Zughaib’s Refugees
A crowd of Harvard affiliates filled Ticknor lounge Monday to hear performances celebrating Middle Eastern people and cultures following President Donald Trump’s executive order that suspended immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Read the story in the Harvard Crimson.