High Country News on Refugees in the West


When this week's High Country News arrived I was psyched to see a cover story on "The Newest Westerners" under the striking picture of a Somali woman in a classic Western American town. But as I flipped through the stories, I couldn't believe they didn't have anything from Boise refugees.

Then I read Jonathan Thompson's Editor's Note, and recalled our chat at Leku Ona a year ago. Thompson, who has been reading The Grip (and quotes Fidel!), did what HCN does best; take a nugget of an idea and explore how it plays out in the wider Western states.

The package contains stories from an African market in Greeley, a Sudanese orphan going to college in Tucson and an Iraqi journalist remaking his life in Berkeley, among other tales [some of these links may be behind a not-for-profit paywall].

The vignettes in HCN provide snapshots into refugee lives in several Western states, much as this blog attempts to do for Boise. And they also provide a recognition that immigrants from around the world are helping to shape the future of the Intermountain West. Give them a read.