On a regular afternoon in the bustling capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Cathy Luque was walking with her young one-year-old son. They were approached by a man, a known local drug dealer, on a motorbike who buzzed right up to them and offered her some chilling advice, “You better make sure to take good care of the kid.” After that, it didn’t take long for 1st Lieutenant Captain Select Jaime Luque and his wife Cathy to decide they needed to make a drastic change.
I grew up in a Muslim home in Palestine. My father was a dentist, politician, community leader, and civil rights activist. My mother was a Liberal Arts professor who taught poetry and Arabic language in An Najah University.
When I was a young girl in Palestine, I grew up embracing the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
A few days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, my husband left to perform the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. As the Hurricane approached and in the days before it, my phone was ringing like crazy with weather warnings and cautions to leave South Padre Island. With my experience from growing up in a war zone, I quickly began to think about the safety of my children, and my husband and I thought it would be best for us to leave the island for safety.
New stories will begin, new futures will start, new hopes will appear, fears will be overcome, challenges will melt away; this is what newcomers face when they begin their path in the United States.
“Once upon a time, in the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, one of the most beautiful cities in Syria…” this is how Iman Akroum started her conversation with me. Iman and I can both understand each other, missing home is not easy for both of us. When we first met, we shared our own private stories; we shared our tears and talked about leaving our home.
Tara Hamilton has written another volume from her heart. The first was Cook, Grow, Love where she unfolded a legacy of sharing love through food that ultimately led her to become a chef and a farmer as well as a “farmacist,” and local food advocate in the Fresno area.
I immigrated to this great country in 1974, from Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, as a seven-year old on the tailwind of my Syrian-born father's dream of a better life for his wife and eleven children. My father was French by a twist of fate because Syria was under French Mandate.