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Afghan Refugees Flock to Queens

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Midway through the word, Husneia Qurbani took a moment to think. Then she finished triumphantly: “B-A-N-I.” She smiled, pleased, and said a few words in her native Pashtu.

“She says she just learned how to spell her name last week,” said Yalda Atif, a fellow Afghan expatriate who stepped in to translate at the Queens-based non-profit Women for Afghan Women, where Qurbani takes English lessons.

Qurbani, 58, the wife of an Afghan political refugee, left Afghanistan during the civil war that led to the Taliban’s rise to power. She has been living in New York for over two decades, but she never learned English. As a stay-at-home mother of five, she said, she did not see the need.

“I had never taken any classes of anything before,” she said through her translator. “I had never been to school, so it did not even cross my mind for a long time.”

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Stores Weather a (Lack of) Storm

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Inside Sister’s Community Hardware on Fulton Street, bags of potting soil and fertilizer are piled near the counter among a heap of ice melter.

The ice melter bags are left over from New York’s warmest winter in 11 years. With recent mid-April temperatures hitting the mid-80s, there’s little chance Sister’s Community Hardware will be selling much ice melter anytime soon.

“It’s kind of crippling,” said John Sireno, the manager of the Fort Greene store. “Because you have to eat all that until the next season and it’s horrible, because you really need that money now.”

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I Marched Along: Women in Egypt

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

“I Marched Along” is an ongoing multi-media project featuring a series of documentary-style interviews with Egyptian citizens, activists, politicians and public figures who discuss if and how the upheaval in Egypt will impact women.

Go here to see more.

Budget Cuts Hit Home

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Last month, Tameeka Ford Norville was sitting in her lilac-colored office at the Ingersoll Community Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where she runs an after-school program, when the phone rang. Shots had been fired in the housing projects next door, a resident told her. Ms. Ford Norville locked the center’s doors and told her staff to make sure the children were accounted for.

Then she sat in her office and cried.

A feeling of hopelessness, all too familiar to Ms. Ford Norville, came rushing over her. She had first felt it when her 26-year-old brother, Jamal Ford, was murdered in East New York six years ago. The killer was 16.

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New Life for Tragic Cafe

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Food Co-op Seeks Diversity

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Probation Office Set For Harlem

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Pole Dancing Muscles In

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Temples Confront Changing Times

Thursday, April 5th, 2012