• Chasing the dream: Afghans pursue cricket in Akron

    By Jacob Hansen At 16 years old, Homayoon Ahmadzai had to make a difficult decision between trying to play for Afghanistan’s national team or moving to the United States. “It was tough to leave our country but you know at that time we haven’t had much education there. So it was like, good and bad,” […]

    Chasing the dream: Afghans pursue cricket in Akron

  • Overcoming barriers at Akron Crossings

    By Morgan McGrath Akron Crossings is in North Hill, tucked among a long stretch of residential areas. Bena Paisley is the founder of this non-profit, community-centric organization, and her central goal is to help refugees adjust to the United States through the guidance of Christianity.  “I encourage them [refugees] to be patient with themselves, and […]

  • Overcoming obstacles in refugee healthcare

    By Alencia Lang Sujata Burgess commutes between the Akron and Cleveland locations of the International Community Health Center (ICHC). When asked what her responsibilities included, she said “everything” with a light laugh. As the director of operations, she is behind all of the administrative work for the ICHC, including overseeing safety procedures, ordering medical supplies, […]

  • How one organization helps refugees get their citizenship

    By Helena Sepulveda “When I moved here, I discovered that Akron was a refugee city, and I didn’t really know what that meant, ” said Pastor Cary Duckett, a California native who is the executive director of the International Welcome Center. The center is a faith-based organization that works to assist refugees in becoming acclimated […]

  • Nepali refugees share their culture in Akron through food

    Restaurants like Nepali Kitchen help add unique flavors to North Hill By Andrew Kuder Akron’s North Hill area is nicknamed “Akron’s International District.” It features restaurants, grocery stores and more businesses from Afghan, Nepali, Karen, Bhutanese, and Vietnamese refugees, among many other groups. A majority of these places are run by refugees, and they offer […]

  • Starting over in Akron

    by Kelly Krabill When Fazal Baryalai awoke on a Saturday morning in March after a late night driving Uber customers, his family was already downstairs. Shai tea, an Arabic drink served to visitors, was already in a pitcher on the coffee table waiting to be poured into ornately designed crystal glasses. As I sipped the […]

  • ‘My favorite thing is driving’: Afghan women embrace independence in Akron

    By Catie Pusateri Every year on March 21, Tamana Ziar and her extended family gather to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. They meet in Paghman, a town just outside Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, for picnics and games to celebrate the coming of spring.  Her family members would play soccer together, and her parents […]