Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get your daily grip on culture

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Welcome to The Grip, Boise’s first global culture blog.

The Grip is an online home for the growing international population of Boise and a place to learn about Idaho’s newest residents. To fulfill this mission, we have contracted with our first two bloggers. Both settled in Boise as refugees in recent years, fleeing war in their homelands.

8205/1242794071-fidel_nshombo.jpgFidel Nshombo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but lived in five different countries and speaks eight languages and dialects, including French and Swahili. Fidel is a poet and local activist who regularly speaks to groups about the refugee experience.

7de5/1242793855-luma_jasim.jpgLuma Jasim hails from Baghdad and is an accomplished graphic artist and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. She has worked in Iraq, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as a designer and will be illustrating her blog, as you can see in the post below.

We are looking for at least one more blogger from the refugee community for the first phase of this project. Email us if you would like a job description.

Boise Weekly received a diversity grant from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies to launch The Grip. The funding will last for the first few months of this blog, after which we will seek additional funding. The grant is meant to increase diversity in our newsroom and encourage a new and diverse generation of alt weekly journalists.

And in case you hadn’t noticed, between 1998 and 2008, 5,343 refugees were relocated to Boise from Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. Almost 1,000 refugees came to Boise between Oct. 2007 and Sept. 2008. Most recently, the majority of Boise’s refugees are from Somalia, Burma, Iraq and Bhutan.

That’s the stats. Bookmark this page if you want to discover who we are becoming and please, join the conversation.

Salaam, asante and happy reading!

Nathaniel Hoffman
Editor, The Grip

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