Immigrant Tales

Eliana Inspires Eliazer, En Español

by Markeshia Ricks | Feb 5, 2016 4:14 pm

Markeshia Ricks Photo Eliazer asked Eliana Matalon in Spanish how to deal with the memories — of gangs snatching people and killing them in front of him —that he has of trying to get from Guatemala to the United States.

Matalon, a Holocaust survivor, replied in the same tongue: Don’t dwell on them. Focus on getting an education. Improve yourself. Become a good man.

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An Immigrant Becomes A Citizen

by Josiah Brown | Jan 29, 2016 7:00 am | Comments (5)

On Jan. 7, at the Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building in Hartford, my wife (Sahar Usmani-Brown) was among the 55 new U.S. citizens sworn in at a naturalization ceremony.

In her case, it came some 14 years after—having grown up in New Delhi—she received a J-1 visa, which was eventually followed by permanent residency in the U.S.: a “green card.”

Participants had to take an “Oath of Allegiance,” before everyone recited or read the Pledge of Allegiance, as well.

It appeared that, with the possible exceptions of Australia and Antarctica, every continent was represented among the 55 new citizens (eight of whom reportedly requested name changes).

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A Master Finds A Home

by Lucy Gellman | Jan 18, 2016 3:02 pm | Comments (2)

Kathleen Cei Photos Ute Brinkmann had a realization when she was 18 years old and finishing up years of playing — and falling in love with — the double bass in youth orchestras across her native Germany: She could continue onto the professional level, where the collegiality of younger players gave way for stiff competition and musicians who were physically bigger and stronger than she. Or she could learn how to fix the instruments on which that competition played.

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