California

Conflict & Justice

An Eritrean refugee endured brutal torture. But he may find hope on a ranch in California

Philemon Semere has a harrowing story to tell. For seven months, the Eritrean refugee was held captive in the middle of the Sinai desert for a huge ransom. He managed to be set free last year after his family paid some of the $25,000 his captors demanded. Now, an American woman is offering him a place to stay and work — on her remote ranch in California.

Lifestyle & Belief

An Iraqi who served the US military gets a new life, and gender identity, in America

In Iraq, Salma was officially considered a man. She is intersex — someone born with indeterminate gender — and has chosen to live as a woman. After serving as an interpreter for the US military during the Iraq war, she received death threats and a grant of asylum in the US. Now, a new program is helping her and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees establish new lives in America.