• The Plight of Children in Burma
    The Plight of Children in Burma

    Burma’s children are in danger. Across the country, the government has forced its people to move to new areas as they confiscate land, inciting ethnic violence, and squash opposition. These relocations threaten the health, security, education, and environment of Burmese children.

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  • A Classroom After Nargis
    Education in Burma

    While researching my article on the Burmese refugee community in Pittsburgh, I heard time and again that the refugees struggle with adapting to the American education system. They are used to a pedagogy based almost entirely on rote memorization. This is to ensure that the students won’t develop the kind of critical thinking skills that would enable to them to criticize the government or organize opposition. The government also strictly controls what information is available to students, leading to a skewed perspective on history and politics.

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  • Map of a Shooting Gallery Protestors of March 1988
    Map of a Shooting Gallery: Protestors of March 1988

    In explaining the horrors he experienced in Burma, words are not always enough for Than What. He witness the violence of the 8888 Uprising during which Burmese officials gunned down students who had gathered to protest the economic policies of the government. After witnessing the death of friends and classmates, Than What made fifty photocopies of a publication telling the history of the student protest movement and help distribute the unofficial newspaper. In 2002, he was forced to flee Burma because of his political involvement and currently lives in Pittsburgh.

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  • Soheil-Najm-Translates-Iraqi-Poetry
    Soheil Najm Translates Iraqi Poetry

    For the Iraqi translator and poet Soheil Najm, poetry offers an opportunity to start a conversation across cultural barriers. Najm is the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq, an anthology of Iraqi poets in translation. He has also translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and Jose Saramago. Soheil Najm presents Ra’ad Zamil’s poem, offering a glimpse into the struggles of a generation of Iraqis who have survived Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and are trying to make a life in Iraqi’s nascent democracy.

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  • Sherrie Flick and Nancy Krygowski

    The crowd at Gist Street. Photo by Jonathan Green (Popcity.) The first Friday of each month around 6:30pm, a line begins to form along Gist Street in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood. If it’s raining, people clutch umbrellas. [...]

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