I grew up on East 105th Street, in Cleveland, Ohio. I went to Gracemont Elementary school. My mother would bring me a “snack” at recess because we lived just a block and a half from Gracemont. The snack consisted of an apple, a scrambled egg sandwich, cookies, potato chips and a drink. This was atten thirty in the morning. I’d walk home for lunch bytwelve fifteen! Mama always took care of me.

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Born in a Shi’ite village in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War, a war from 1975-1990 mainly involving internal and regional disputes between local Muslim and Christian populations, Ibrahim Yassin watched as the Syrians, Palestineans, and Hezbollah destabilized and horrifically pillaged his homeland, disrupting the lives of his friends, family, and community.

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Most American college graduates choose to start families, launch careers, and settle down into “adulthood.” University of Minnesota-Twin Cities graduate Sophie Stillman chose a unique path with her winter study abroad experience in Jerusalem catapulting her post-graduate life into that of service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

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