Dramatic Changes in the Last Few Days. Sultana’s friends in the U.S. have been busy trying to create conditions more favorable for her next student…
We call her “Susan the Hatmaker” with all the affection the title can carry. This woman was willing to send her address to a stranger (who texts with improper grammar, no less), to make him a hat, to respond with an open heart. Who is she?
“From our country, the greeting is literally, ‘Have you eaten today?'”
We can help change Sultana’s Story, and we want you to be involved. On Tuesday, June 14th from 9:00am to noon, Central Standard Time, we’re asking hundreds of thousands of people to blitz Twitter and other social media with the hashtag #LetSultanaLearn.
She has been cooking for 40 years and still her eyes light up with passion when she talks about it. “I’ve got to go to work today and make the best salads I can for these kids,” she says. “Feeding people is important. People have to eat every single day, it keeps your brain and your body going.”
“I do great business during white elephant gift-giving season. A lot of people buy them as gag gifts, but many others have told me that I’ve saved their lives.”
“I wake up early before anyone else in my family. For 30 minutes I bike and listen to music. And then I make tea for myself and drink it and read a book. Most of the time I read philosophy in the morning. And then I do some calculus problems.
“I believe forming relationships is key to being a good police officer.”
What are you looking forward to most about coming to the United States?
“I’m most excited to see the sky without walls.”
“On weekends we’d go to parties from house to house with their friends and neighbors. My grandparents and their friends would play cards and dance. It was an honor if I got to step in for my grandmother. It fueled my love of Irish dancing.”
My friend, Sultana, is an Afghan Muslim student hoping to come to Iowa to attend the University. She’s overcome some amazing barriers to pursue education and her dream of becoming a physicist, including threats of kidnapping, rape, and acid burning.
The problem is, she’s not normal. She’s outstanding. She’s strong and intelligent and caring and has overcome experiences in her life that most of her peers–thankfully–will never have to face. Her history, her abilities, and her grit have shaped her into a person that others will always treat as special, because she is, well…special.
I always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt so that I can make a fair assessment of them. And I think that if you can’t get to that point as an adult, you will be seriously handicapped in whatever you’re trying to accomplish, because good people come in all shapes, forms, and sizes, but so do bad people. And sometimes you just gotta do the hard work and sit down and get to know a person before you can find out who’s who in this world.
Please watch and share this video if you believe it represents Eastern Iowa the way you think it should be. Click read more below to read a message from us about why we created “From Iowa With Love”.
Everywhere I go with Jean Brenneman, she can find someone she knows. She loves to make friends. She’s a very outgoing person, but even when she’s not trying to strike up a friendship, people seem drawn to her.
A new video from Corridor Characters, produced by Flow Media. Take a walk with us through Cedar Rapids’ “ghetto” and see what life is really…
Like many places in the Philippines, powerful storms and flooding were a frequent problem. “I remember the lights would go off,” Elwie explains, “and we used to make shapes out of our hands with the candle light, and we would make our own little canoes and we’d canoe through the neighborhood. The water was only like a foot deep, but we were kids, so it seemed so high to us. So we would canoe through our village and get everyone smiling, waving at people and flinging the water. We made the best out of what we had.”
(Click below to read Elwie’s full story.)
Check out this video we made! The City of Cedar Rapids asked us to create this in order to introduce CR at the Iowa League…
“Let’s start off with food being free and not poisoned, and then let’s see how many social justice issues remain.”
When Jacinto was 12 years old, he left his parents and siblings in Guatemala and set out on a journey to Iowa. He came to the very heart of the nation which had devastated his own for decades. The nation that funded the killing of his uncle and thousands of others was the same that provided him with a new future.
The Rwandan genocide was a hundred-day killing spree that left somewhere between 500,000 to 1 million people dead. Ten-year old Erick survived, with machete scars on his neck to remind him of all the family and friends he lost. He walked seven days with other refugees until he reached a protective camp across the border in Tanzania. He lived in the camp until he was 22 years old. Then he came to the U.S., and eventually Cedar Rapids, IA.
“I decided I was going to be a different person. I was never going to lie again, never going to cheat, never going to put myself around people who were not good for me and were not going to help me out in life and were not about good things for their own lives. And once I made that change, that choice, I feel like things just sort of started clicking. And I’ve noticed throughout my life that the more I make those kind of choices, the more good things happen.”
“As a kid I would look out my second-floor window, and I would see guys across the park shooting at each other. I remember times hearing stories of people dying. We would be in what they call the projects. That’s where we lived. And I would be walking, and my mom would say, ‘Hey, you smell that? That’s a dead body.’”
“When I hear him talk, I hear myself talking. I don’t care if it’s the golf course or the garden, we’re both dealing with children. What I love about it too is having people approach me in public and acknowledge that some of the same stuff I’m teaching in gardening is directly applicable to the content and life skill stuff he teaches and coaches.”
“Right now I’m working on an urban farming project where we’re going to start using aquaponics to grow lettuce at New Bo. And then I’m also building an autonomous drone that visually tests for nitrogen on farm fields. And I’m also working with Shawn Cornally, the founder of Big, to develop our student information system that we call Barbeque.”
“Within my monastery experience, I had a deep, profound sense that I could go anywhere and do anything and everything was going to be okay. Just this really deep sense that everything’s going to be okay. And I think that, in terms of trying to search for a career, or meaning, or what am I supposed to do with my life, that was kind of the culmination of that. So, once I let go of trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life, that was kind of when I figured it out.”
“After I finished school at Iowa I thought, Oh, you have to go elsewhere, you know? I should move to Denver or Chicago or further west. Cool, creative cities where real opportunities exist. But at some point it just clicked that you don’t have to go elsewhere to do something cool. People are doing really amazing things here, and I wanted to be one of them.”
“Independent of nationality, socio-economic status or religious preference, most of us seem to share a fundamental understanding that we are part of a bigger story. Most of us understand that we are but a single piece of a 7 billion pieces puzzle. But we are a very important piece, as without any one of us the puzzle will not be completed. To the puzzle maker, each piece is important and each piece matters.”
“The first time I sent my grants off to the M.S. Society, the critique came back and said, basically, ‘Wahls is full of shit. She clearly does not understand the pathophysiology of M.S.’ And that’s because my explanations are so radical: that we create an inflamed, disease-prone body by our diet and lifestyle. But now I have the preliminary data that shows the best reduction in fatigue ever reported. Now it becomes very hard for them to say I’m full of shit. Now it’s like, ‘Well, very impressive preliminary data. Please make these changes and resubmit.’ So, in five years I’ve gone from being an idiot to maybe being an idiot savant.”
“My second son was in Afghanistan. Before he went he was stationed in Savannah, Georgia, and he loved it there. We talked about when we get this thing going, he’d open a shop downtown in Savannah for the tourists and call on grocery stores in the Southeast. He called me two years ago on my birthday, and wanted to know if I’d keep his dogs because he was going to Savannah to find a place to live. He was in Fairbanks, Alaska. And four days later he died. Undiagnosed severe coronary artery disease. Twenty-six years old. So I decided I had to get this thing going. I took something I knew I would do someday and turned it into something that we’re going to do now. So that’s why we’re here.”