When Your Fear Goes Through the Roof–A Repost

I’ve worked for hours on a piece that isn’t ready yet…. I’m trying to wrangle some of my heart’s response to the past couple of weeks into words. It hasn’t gone smoothly. So until I get it done I give you this piece I wrote in November 2015. The situations have changed. Perhaps the fear […]

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Caution and Compassion: A False Choice

On Saturday night, my husband and I sat in the small kitchen of an apartment in a nearby city. This apartment is now ‘home’ to seven refugees – all young men. The apartment is heated solely by electricity, an expensive option in our cold northeast winters. All of the appliances are also electric. The electricity […]

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An Appeal to Choose Fact over Fear 

“Including those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), the chance of an American perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by a foreigner over the 41-year period studied here is 1 in 3.6 million per year. The hazard posed by foreigners who entered on different visa categories […]

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The Travelers

“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.” ― Jonathan Safran Foer The picture of the sculpture is so remarkable I think that it cannot be real. It must be a photograph, digitally […]

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1500 Olive Trees

Friends, I wrote this back in January, but I know many of us have been hurting over what is going on in Aleppo, so I am reposting. There comes a time on any trip where you feel overwhelmed, when tiredness and lack of control of your surroundings can creep into the journey. I think it […]

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Refugee Sunday – A Day of Sharing

Each year, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America set aside the Sunday before Thanksgiving as a time to specifically remember refugees and highlight the humanitarian  work that they do through International Orthodox Christian Charities. Today is the day set aside for 2016. It is hard to get our heads around the […]

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The Loneliness of Immigration

My husband and I repatriated to this country many years ago. We came from the city of Cairo, Egypt and arrived at Dulles Airport with five children, 26 suitcases, and an Egyptian Siamese cat. It was the sum total of everything we owned. The first two years were excruciating. We didn’t know anything about living […]

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When Pictures Wake us Up

The world grows tired but pictures wake us up. The world is weary of words, but pictures change the conversation. I write about refugees, knowing that there are those shaking their heads “yeah, yeah, we know already.” This is coded language for the longer “We know there are refugees, we know there are overwhelming needs. […]

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Small Things for the Kingdom

“Long ago, it seemed, I had been ruined for the ordinary.”  It was six years ago that I had the opportunity to go to Pakistan, place of my childhood and land that I love, to work with displaced people. Massive floods had uprooted millions of people and Pakistan was feeling the after effects. Villages sat empty, every […]

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There’s so Much to Do

I wake up thinking “There is so much to do!” Housework and writing; communicating and catching up; praying and reflecting.  But I’m caught in this trap of media watching. It’s a vicious cycle of anger and laughter and sadness – but mostly anger. There’s so much to do, but I’m caught. I’m right where the […]

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And Lady Liberty Weeps….

  “Give me your tired, your poor,” she says. Ah, but first we must verify income and employability; we must make sure these people fit with “our way of life.” We must make sure these creatures are not leeches who steal jobs from those who really belong. “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Make sure the […]

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Imagine for a Moment…

“Rootlessness — the implied weakness of it — is treated as a failure. That is plainly schizophrenic: In a world where one in seven people is displaced, the failure must be of planetary scale. It belongs to all of us. This is a century of dislocation not merely of body and home, but also of […]

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Podcast -On Refugees, Fear, and Politics

Good morning! After an incredible weekend with my people at Families in Global Transition, I am sending you to a podcast that Anita Lustrea did with me last week. We talked about Pakistan, refugees, fear, politics, and how America needs a spanking. I would love to have you take a listen and let me know […]

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For Sale Cheap: Kidneys and Children

“An entire criminal infrastructure has developed over the past 18 months around exploiting the migrant flow.” Brian Donald, Europol Chief of Staff to Observer   It was five in the evening and we had just returned from South Lebanon. We had an hour before our evening appointment and so we collapsed on the bed, drained. […]

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Scraps from the Table

“Pity and what it offers are scraps from the table. Justice is a seat at the table.”* Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan. Three vastly different countries with different histories and different politics. They don’t even speak the same dialects of Arabic, but they are lumped together in the two-dimensional view that the Western world has of the Middle […]

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On Being Bold on my Birthday

So….today is my birthday! For years, I would wander around my workplace, Eeyore-like, thinking “No one is going to wish me a happy birthday. I hate this. I hate being here.” And then I watched my gorgeous and sassy friend from Portugal on her birthday. She let everyone, I mean EVERYONE, know about her birthday. […]

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It’s a Baby!

  I have several friends who have had babies in the past year. These babies are beautiful — a couple of them boys, a couple of them girls. I watch in amazement as they grow week by week – one week soft, sweet-smelling lumps that look around at the world they came into in wonder; the […]

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Valley of Weeping

We arrived in the Bekaa Valley and immediately felt the temperature change. It was cold and damp, the sun hidden behind a grey cloud. We entered a cold, concrete warehouse full of large, blue bags and boxes. This is where food and supplies are stored for refugees in the area. A truck was parked outside and volunteers were […]

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