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The Siberian Seven: Escaping Religious Persecution in the U.S.S.R.

From its inception, the Soviet Union became the first state in the world to actively attempt to eliminate religion from society. Religion was viewed by Soviet leadership as counter-intuitive to scientific reason and as a threat to the consolidation and exertion of state power. Correspondingly, under Soviet religious policy, tens of thousands of houses of worship […]

On Loan to the U.S. Senate—A Change in Perspective

Among the American general public, the United States Congress is commonly found to have a poor reputation, stereotyped as inefficient and known for perpetual gridlock and dysfunctional legislation. Most of these perceptions are propagated by interest groups and the media, passed along to citizens with little or no first hand experience with daily life on […]

The Iraqi Revolution — of 1958

In 1958, the 14 July Revolution ended the thirty-seven-year Hashemite monarchy of Iraq in a coup d’état and established the Republic of Iraq. The Free Officer group, led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim and his associate Colonel Abdul Salam Arif, was inspired by Pan-Arab nationalism and Nasser of Egypt’s 1952 overthrow of the Egyptian monarchy. […]

Thanksgiving: How U.S. Diplomats Celebrate an American Tradition Around the World

Gobble, gobble!  Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday —  one that U.S. embassies, foreign service families, and American expats of all kinds celebrate around the world.  We dipped into our oral history collection for some Thanksgiving memories. At its best, Thanksgiving is a celebration of food, family, friends, and cross-cultural exchange and understanding.  Happy Thanksgiving!