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Baby Jonathan

Syracuse was in the finishing stretch of winter when I pulled up to my friend’s home. She was nine months and counting pregnant, stocked up on baby items for the anticipated arrival in the 5×8′ space that was to be the baby’s nursery. It was walled in by various boxes and dressers from its to-be-aunties [...]


It was my favorite spot in my teen hood home. The day would do all that days do, and I would take the ride they took me on. Yet irregardless of how one differed from the next, there was this consistent space and stretch of time that nestled its way into the final hours. I [...]

Syrian Refugees

While I certainly find shoes to be a crucial part of a good outfit, I am not that girl who drools at shoes. Being a five foot tall person, I find a good pair of heels makes the difference on people treating me like a respectable adult or a child they pat on the head [...]

His eyes looked into mine with a certain kind of intensity as he shook my hand and welcomed me into their family’s home. Each of the children smiled shyly, trying out their few words of English to greet us as visitors. Mom leaned in for the traditional double kiss and ushered us to the small [...]

Onondaga Lakeshore

Ali is a passionate, compassionate man with eyes that search for the overlooked. He is quick to speak encouragement into those who he sees sharing his burden, and a matchmaker for the the overlooked to the lovers of people. A resettled refugee himself, Ali had been in Syracuse for just a short period of time [...]

Christmas Dinner at Delmonicos

I sat in Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse watching the clock tick with a fully set room awaiting the arrival of our family members. Tables were set with water glasses, silverware and small plates, and the wait staff briefed on what to expect. For many of our guests, this would be their first time in such a [...]

Snapshots of Congo

Grief. It’s a messy thing. It chases you down irregardless of your greatest guards against it, slapping your face like a cold wind on a subzero day. He was born in 1982. So was I. He called his friend right before the clock struck midnight and his head hit the pillow. She is my sister. [...]

Burmese boys

The three of us squeezed onto the small couch as the final stragglers from the evening programming made their way out the door. Somehow the two of them had broken away from the rest of their siblings and neighborhood kids to get a little alone time in the Hopeprint Home, a coveted treasure. Making teeth [...]

Climbing Apple Trees

The hour drew close and the ladies gathered at our home, some children in tow as well as a few brothers. We loaded onto the bus this chilly Sunday afternoon, ready to embark on a special outing: apple picking. For most of us who live in Central New York, the tradition of apple picking is [...]


It’s been one month since the students from Cornell came to Hopeprint to work with a select group of our Congolese women. Coming into the day, we had selected them because they were among the most discouraged, disheartened and visibly struggling women we were working with. Of course, looking at the history of the conflict [...]