Seattle Opera debuted its world premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns on Feb. 25. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by The New York Times bestselling author Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns unfolds the complex story of Mariam and Laila, two women in Afghanistan who are generations apart but whose fates collide due to circumstance, pain, and tragedy. They become united under the same household against their common enemies — the Taliban that oppresses outside their walls, and the abusive husband who oppresses within them.
The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission.
One week after Russia began its recent invasion of Ukraine, roughly 1 million Ukrainians have fled the country, and Seattle residents from Ukraine are among the millions more who are dealing with the emotional and personal effects of the war.
“We wake up, and the first thing we do is check to see if our hometowns are still there,” Yuriy Zaremba, a community organizer, told the Emerald. “The fog of war is setting in, and we do have a lot of family out there. So we’ve just been trying to make sure that they’re okay.”
(This piece was originally published as part of the Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
As part of the inaugural Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project, three local high school students, Jazmine Petty-Yeates, TQ Vu, and Tommy Mac, had the opportunity to participate in a workshop and develop stories connected to community while also exploring the complexities of their intersecting identities. The workshop was facilitated by journalists and community storytellers Bunthay Cheam and Jenna Hanchard to increase access to journalism for BIPOC and employ youth. The project was in collaboration with the Port Community Action Team and sponsored by the Port of Seattle. The workshop helped students become better listeners and storycatchers to continue passing down and honoring the stories of our communities using their medium of choice.
Words From TQ
For the 16 years I’ve been breathing, my dad has always been there for me. Maybe not exactly when he went into the house right before I fell off my bike and got the worst cut I could’ve imagined. But when I struggled with telling the time or having trouble with my brand new iPad not connecting to the Wi-Fi, my dad was always to the rescue. Bringing me home extra Safeway donuts or buying an extra hamburger when he stopped by Dick’s for lunch. My dad and I have always had a good relationship. But that’s because good father-daughter relationships only require a good father and not necessarily a good daughter. Because I thought I knew everything about my dad, from how he chewed his food to how long it took him to shower or drive to places. It wasn’t like he didn’t tell me stories, either. In fact, I heard many of them from his childhood. How he once chased a chicken onto a roof or how he played soccer barefoot in the streets.
What I never considered was how arduous his experiences might have been. The experiences that have put me where I am now. Although I try to not take everything I have for granted, hearing about his journey here made me realize that I continue to anyway. Because the way he described these experiences made me sound like I was being a complete crybaby over a boy not responding to one of my texts. Because when I finally processed the stories themselves, I could barely imagine myself in his shoes and persevering through these experiences. Because when I stepped into a new building, the only thing you could possibly compare to my dad stepping into a new country was the feeling we both felt.