The Global/Local section focuses on connections between Minnesotans and the world.

St. Jean Baptiste Day June 24: Adding to a conversation about heritage and culture

In Minneapolis, this Tuesday, June 24, the Canada Consul-General is hosting a celebration of St-Jean Baptiste, sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Minneapolis. The flier is here: La St-Jean Baptiste la Fete Nationale du Quebec. All are welcome, at a very moderate cost. Unfortunately, I’ll be out of state at the time of Fete de la St-Jean Baptiste. Otherwise, no question I’d be there. It will be a festive event.


OPINION | Glencore, PolyMet, Iran — and the Minnesota connection

The nations of the world have expressed their concern about the Iranian regime’s apparent drive to develop nuclear weapons. Iran, a purveyor of international terrorism and an avowed enemy of Israel, is the target of an international sanctions regime designed to hinder its nuclear program.


FBI investigates city's Somali community

Agents from the Minneapolis office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are collecting information from Cedar-Riverside residents as part of an ongoing investigation spurred by recent allegations of American citizens joining Syrian rebels overseas.


Back to Iraq: The propaganda mill begins to churn…again

Pre-note: three interesting links at the end of this post.

First Comment from Kathy M, June 18:

To your point of questioning what our media tells us…You may have heard that the religious leader of Shia Muslims was fomenting violence. This article is considerably nuanced…complexity we Americans tend to overlook.
More comments at end of this post.


FBI's new Syria-jihad probe worries Twin Cities' Somali community

A new climate of fear hovers over the Twin Cities’ Somali community after the FBI said last week that it’s investigating Minnesota Somali men who may have gone to fight with Islamist groups in Syria.


My run-in with art pieces in Laos

The door was open. I dropped in, of course. It became a gallery. Paper, paint, textiles— all scattered across tables and floors. I quietly called across the room, hoping to not wake anyone up but still intrigued to step in like the curious explorer mae always scolded me as a child. No one answered back. I walked through a maze of art pieces hoisted along the walls from top to bottom and rows of old books and sheets of paper tightly and neatly stacked high on broken tables. The pieces spoke of an artist who had more than one love. There were influences of Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh in the impressionist brush strokes and style of bright colors. This was an artist who was privileged enough to have studied from a Westernized paintbrush, but held a Lao eye to what the pieces had to say about the Lao consciousness. I sat on a bench, the only bench, and waited in anticipation. After 20 minutes of sitting and observing, no footsteps in the distance was heard. No artist. I walked out, but I was already inspired.


Minneapolis Afghan man fights misconceptions about his homeland

To capitalize on positive Afghan stories, Munhazim embarked on a photography project in 2010, returning to Kabul and capturing images of the daily life of Afghans. (Photo by Qais Munhazim)

It didn’t take long for Qais Munhazim to learn about the misconceptions many Americans have about his home country, Afghanistan.


A sheriff visits the Jewish state

Matt Bostrom: It was a great setting to ask questions and interact. (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)

Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom has the highest regard for the folks who organized his recent group tour of Israel.


COMMUNITY VOICES | #OromoProtests in Perspective

Oromo students protesting in Burayu. (Image courtesy of

Since April 25th, thousands of high school and university students across Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, have turned out in peaceful protest against a government land grab that stands to displace millions of indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands. Even though the country’s constitution theoretically allows for peaceful demonstrations, the student protesters, along with local populations in many cities and towns, have faced a ruthless crackdown from Ethiopian Special Forces, known as the Agazi Commandos. These forces have used excessive violence by indiscriminately shooting into crowds in an attempt to quash the protests. Children as young as eleven years old have been killed, according to statement issued by Amnesty International on May 13, and reports of fatal injuries, torture, imprisonment, disappearances and killings have been coming out of Ethiopia since then.


Reflections of New Minnesotans: Finding home and place

10,000 journeys to 10,000 lakes: that's the theme for this year's annual Twin Cities World Refugee Day celebration. [TCDP editor's note: Twin Cities World Refugee Day is June 14.] With over 100,000 refugees resettled here, Minnesota has a rich diversity of cultures and stories from these communities.

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