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Bassel Atassi: Holding onto a family identity after Syria went from a home country to a ghost country

Medical Mission to Jordan: After more than a decade of Civil War in Syria, and continuing conflicts like the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine that further displaced millions of civilians, understanding the longterm conditions that war refugees face remains relevant. But as public attention fades, such topics do not capture headlines today, even as the impact continues to be felt here in Milwaukee. Medical professionals spend many years learning, growing, and accomplishing work in their field. For those who were not born in the United States, or are from immigrant families, the path to medical school is often...

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Diane Baima: A holiday season filled with thoughts of Milwaukee but with the trauma of war in Ukraine

People often ask me how we are doing, how is the situation in Ukraine, what it is like to live through an invasion. Usually, I am so busy that I do not have time to process how I am doing. The internet works sporadically, so I can only follow the news sometimes. When the electricity is on, my husband Yurii and I are trying to do what we must while we can. Clean, cook, shop, take care of animals, and such. And it is December, so it gets dark by 5:00 p.m. Recently Yurii and I went to the...

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Diane Baima: Former Milwaukee teacher shares stories of life in rural Ukraine during 9 months of war

Diane Baima grew up in America’s midwest, being born and raised in Minnesota, attending college in Madison, and later working in Milwaukee. Her love of education would eventually bring her to Ukraine, where her hope for a peaceful post-Soviet era collided with the reality of Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion. Her fascination with Soviet culture culminated towards the end of the Cold War, as tensions thawed and “perestroika” showed the possibilities of friendship between the two bitter rivals. In her teenager years, Baima believed that learning another language could help bring peace to countries divided by political ideology. Language study...

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Justin Aprahamian: Sanford’s James Beard Award-winning chef offsets inflation with culinary passion

Of the many complex factors affecting the American economy after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, food inflation has hit families particularly hard in 2022. The unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February directly threatened the global food chain. Because of Russia’s interference with Ukraine’s agricultural exports, millions starved while prices skyrocketed. No part of the world has been immune to the impact of food inflation, including Milwaukee. And the additional hardship arrived just after widespread COVID vaccinations allowed the public to resume the in-person dining experience at their favorite dinning spots. Justin Aprahamian, chef and owner of the...

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Jonathan Brostoff and Mark Chambers sworn in as newest members of the Milwaukee Common Council

Jonathan Brostoff and Mark Chambers were sworn in as the newest members of the Milwaukee Common Council on November 16, surrounded by fellow elected officials, family, friends, and community leaders. Alderman Chambers will represent the city’s 2nd District and Alderman Brostoff the 3rd District, filling the two vacant seats after a special election on November 8. City Clerk Jim Owczarski swore in Alderman Chambers. In his address to the Common Council, he pointed to a pin he was wearing and acknowledged the influence of his late friend. Jamaul Jones was a pedestrian killed by a car in 2021. “Jamaul...

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