Immigrants in today’s tenser-than-normal America are often accused of rejecting assimilation and of not making enough of an effort to fit into their host country and adopt its values, unspoken rules, and cultural quirks. But in a bustling Starbucks in Minneapolis, a group of Somali men have defied that notion.


Don't Tell Donald Trump: There's a City in Michigan That's Majority Muslim, Teen Vogue, February 2017

Hamtramck, Michigan, made history last year by becoming the first city in the country to elect a majority-Muslim city council. How a city that has offered sanctuary to so many different groups of people is dealing with discrimination, misinformation and immigration in the age of Trump.


How Armenians From Across the World Built a Community Through Food in Los Angeles, Eater/Museum of Food and Drink, January 2017

More Armenians now live outside Armenia, in cities around the world, than in it. This is the result of thousands of years of hardship: wars, revolutions, and genocide that have forced Armenians to disperse again and again as refugees. Armenian food culture reflects this dispersal, pulling from other traditions to produce a varied cuisine that changes from one community to another.

 


 Tiny, Murderous Wasps Are Fighting the Bizarre Effects of Climate Change, GOOD, December 2016

Michigan's Band Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians refuges to stand by and watch as a weird green bug chewed through their sacred trees.

 


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The Complicated History of Headscarves, Racked, December 2016

Since ancient times, across so many cultures and for myriad reasons, women have covered their hair — an act tied up in competing notions of freedom and oppression.


MLS Wants a Detroit Expansion Team, but Detroit City FC Fans Want Them to Get Lost, SB Nation, December 2016

An unlikely semi-pro soccer team in Detroit and its impassioned, rabid fans take on professional league expansion in the Midwest


Inside a Talent Agency for Transgender People, Rolling Stone, November 2016

The transgender community is gaining more visibility in Hollywood than ever before, but the results aren't exactly translating to real life. Transgender Talent aims to change that.


America's Only Floating Post Office Delivers More than Mail to Detroit's Ships, Atlas Obscura, July 2016

Serving the ships that keep America's industrial region alive for over 140 years, the J.W. Westcott Company in Detroit has been dropping off everything from love letters to pizza to and even a goat.


Fighting to Breathe in Mongolia, Al Jazeera America, December 2015

In one of the world's coldest and remote cities, the pollution is unbearable, and impacting the most vulnerable part of the population. Project supported with a grant from the International Reporting Project.


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The Lost Generation, Newsweek, November 2015

In a new age of visibility, a forgotten generation of aging trans people are in the shadows, and are systematically locked out of the healthcare system.


Hidden Treasures of a Remote Record Shop, BBC News Magazine, October 2015

The first record shop in Mongolia to ever open, and the once-forbidden Soviet music that can now be found there.


L.A.'s Black Midwives Aim to End Racial Disparities at Birth, Al Jazeera America, September 2015

A movement of black midwives is working to stem the rates of African-American babies dying for preventable reasons. 


Saving L.A.'s Last Sanitarium, LA Weekly, July 2015

In a small town in the hills of Los Angeles, community activists attempt to save a property where pioneering feminists changed the face of mental healthcare for women.

 


Armenian Genocide, as Power Ballad, Foreign Policy, May 2015

Glitter, glam and ethnic nationalism: the tricky politics of the South Caucasus come to Eurovision


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Thinning the Herd, GOOD magazine, May 2015

Conservationists explore birth control in the fight for stable animal populations - including a herd of Hollywood bison on an island off the coast of California


Extreme Memory Tournament: Meet the Mongolian Masters of the Mnemonic, The Guardian, May 2015

As Mongolia battles the world’s best mental athletes in San Diego, a team member explains the country’s recent success: ‘We are Genghis Khan’s kids’


Keeping the Faith American Druze and Their Struggle for Survival, Al Jazeera America, April 2015

Followers of one of the world's tiniest yet tight knit religions attempt to bring their faith into the 21st century by adding younger members into the fold


Picture Brides: How An Informal Network of Genocide Survivors Rebuilt a Nation, EurasiaNet, April 2015

They came by the hundreds, even thousands — ethnic Armenian women who had survived the World-War-I-era massacres in Turkey and were brought by ship to the United States to meet the equally anxious Armenian men, complete strangers, who would become their partners for life.

Love was scarce, but the hunger for survival wasn’t.


The Armenian Rugs That Tells Two Stories, BBC News Magazine, April 2015

Two rugs unravel the history of the US's first humanitarian aid effort and the tragic fate of Armenians in Turkey 100 years ago 


Meet the Obsessive Botanist Who Became King of Rare Specimens, The Guardian, April 2015

Mark Dimmitt is as unique a specimen as the plants he loves - his quest to find the 'holy grail of botany' is legendary


Copenhagen to Kobani, Berlin to Erbil, Foreign Policy, January 2015

The Islamic State's assault in Syria and Iraq has given Europe's Kurdish diaspora a new sense of purpose.


Getting Their Kicks on Route 66, Narratively, December 2014

In a desolate desert ghost town, hundreds of road trippers from around the world have left their hearts and soles dangling from California’s unlikeliest tourist attraction.

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A Murder in Bristol, Iran Wire, December 2014 [Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

The story of one of the most shocking modern murders in the UK, and how a community was left to deal with its aftermath


To Live and Die in East London: The Muslim Undertakers, Roads & Kingdoms/Slate, October 2014

As the city’s Muslim population soars, burial services are in growing demand. Meet the motley crew that ushers the dead to the afterlife.

 


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Long Persecuted Yazidis Find Second Homeland in Armenia, Al Jazeera America, September 2014

Happy in their adopted home in the South Caucasus, the religious minority watches in horror as ISIL pursues their people.


Amelia, Reincarnated, The Magazine, June 2014

A feature on a young pilot retracing her namesake’s journey.


From Beirut to Bangkok via Bombay, LA Weekly, May 2014

A weekly Middle Eastern dance party offers a home for a mix of immigrants and has become a love letter to the communities in L.A. often not thought about.


‘Our Second Mother': Iran’s Converted Christians Find Sanctuary in Germany, The Guardian/Tehran Bureau, May 2014

Crackdown on Muslim-turned-Christians has seen an increasing number seek refuge, giving religious life a small boost in one of the most ‘godless’ places on earth. Made possible by the International Reporting Project.


Inside Out, Los Angeles Magazine, May 2014

At Club Nur, Middle Eastern gay patrons can be themselves in more ways than one.


Main Squeeze, The Magazine, April 2014

A long form piece on the how the accordion has come bellowing back, seen through the eyes of one of the last accordion repairmen in the country. 


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The Legend of Ali Baba: The Incredible Story of Armenian Genocide Survivor and World Wrestling Champ Harry Ekizian, Ianyan Magazine, April 2014 [Republished at AGOS newspaper, Istanbul, Turkey]


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Iran’s Oppressed Christians, International New York Times, March 2014

A piece on the  growing number of Iranian Muslim-born Christian converts under threat in the Islamic Republic. Made possible by the International Reporting Project. 



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L.A.’s Tomb Tourists, Roads & Kingdoms, October 2013

Death Hags: The unofficial ambassadors of L.A.’s underbelly.


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Cannabis for Elders: A Precarious StateThe Atlantic, July 2013

Uncovering the perplexing challenges associated with medical marijuana usage for seniors, especially those resided in assisted living facilities. [Made possible through a Metlife Journalists in Aging Fellowship]
 


Placenta: It’s What’s for Dinner, LA Weekly, June 2013

Increasingly, new mothers are choosing to eat their afterbirth as a way to combat postpartum depression, ushering in a new industry called placenta encapsulation.



 CSI: Wildlife, Mental Floss, March/April 2013 [Print]

There’s only one lab in the world equipped to handle crimes against animals. Just don’t ask the scientists to find Big Foot.

 


Persian New Year on Skid Row, BBC, March 2013 [Farsi].  English version here.

The Iranian Diaspora Shares the Nowruz Holiday with some of L.A.’s most vulnerable residents: the homeless of Skid Row.

 


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Breaking the Grip of OligarchsForeign Policy, November 2012

A feature piece on the vast power of oligarchs in Post-Soviet Armenia and how a series of tragic events has led to an awakening against them.