Seattleites joined Mayor Murray, Rep. Adam Smith and immigrant rights advocates at a rally outside the Federal Building Thursday, heralding Obama's executive action and demanding further steps toward immigration reform. (Photo by Alex Garland)

Obama announces largest immigration overhaul in decades

Despite warnings from Republicans, the president took unilateral action Thursday that shields millions from deportation.

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Categories: Columnists, Featured, Immigration, Politics

Ukrainian soldiers in the city of Slovyansk this summer, anticipating an attack by Russian separatists. (Photo by Sasha Maksymenko)

Local Ukrainians see an irreparable rift with Russia

As the ground war continues, so does the information war, further dividing once kindred Russians and Ukrainians.

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Categories: Featured, Perspectives, Politics

Chinese students make up the largest portion of international students in the University of Washington. (Photo by Irene Lu)

Chinese students swoon at visa extension announcement

Longer visa validity will mean a big break for Chinese students, and more Chinese visitors to Seattle.

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Categories: Education, Politics

The boy who painted this visual story dreamed of a world where impoverished ethnic Burmese villagers were considered as worthy of human rights as wealthy city dwellers. (Image courtesy of Erika Berg)

Young refugees from Burma speak through art

Soldiers from the local ethnic army escorted Kyaw Eh’s family as they made the long trek on foot to the Thai-Burma border. ("Wounded Journey" painting by Kyaw Eh, courtesy of Erika Berg)

Soldiers from the local ethnic army escorted Kyaw Eh’s family as they made the long trek on foot to the Thai-Burma border. (“Wounded Journey” painting by Kyaw Eh, courtesy of Erika Berg)

“We need your help.”

This is how Seattleite Erika Berg has started each of the more than forty visual storytelling workshops she has conducted for refugee youth from Burma (also known as Myanmar).

“These kids were so used to asking others for help. And then we put the focus on them, and they were so bewildered – ‘What’s so special about me?’” Berg said.

Next, Berg passes out paper, watercolor crayons and pencils. She asks children questions about their experiences and memories, and they are free to draw in response. In a project that has stretched from King County to India to Thailand to Burma itself, Berg has collected more than 1,200 of these hand-drawn paintings and pictures, or “visual stories.” Set to release in February 2015, the collected visual stories in Berg’s upcoming book “Forced to Flee” humanize events and issues in Burma that are often politicized in headlines and human rights reports.

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Immigration, Politics

Gender roles in pre-war Syria were much more progressive than under ISIS control, with women moving freely and holding high positions in the Assad Regime. But the constitution still included many misogynist clauses. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

ISIS brutality toward women a shocking symptom of a larger disease

A video of ISIS stoning a woman to death last month shocked the world. Having grown up in the region, I wasn't that surprised to see it.

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Categories: Conflict, Gender, Opinion, Perspectives

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