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23
JUL
2021

Somali-American Designer Debuts Hijabs at Nordstrom 

A Somali-American fashion designer is launching a line of headscarves with a major North American retailer to give Muslim women more options and to make hijabs more visible to U.S. shoppers. VOA Somali’s Maxamud Mascadde has our story from the Midwest state of Minnesota, narrated by Radhia Adam.
19
JUL
2021

Teaching Others the Tradition of Making Babkas

Pastry chef Shimi Aaron fell in love with babkas — a dessert that originated in Eastern Europe in the 19th century. Aaron started making his own, and today he is teaching others how to make this unusual pastry. Genia Dulot met with the chef to hear his story.Camera: Genia Dulot
 
16
JUL
2021

Maryland-Based Visual Artist Finds Inspiration in US Social Issues

Suzanne Firstenberg is a self-described social issues artist who finds inspiration in America —  economic inequality, racism and climate change, among other issues. She doesn’t limit herself to any particular medium but instead uses whatever she thinks works best to draw attention to the most pressing issues of our time. Maxim Moskalkov talked to the artist about her works and inspiration.
Camera: Sergey Sokolov
15
JUL
2021

US Modeling Agency Steps Toward Diversity in Fashion

Briana Mariah, founder of We Speak model agency, believes models should reflect the world, and her agency finds and promotes a unique and diverse group of people. Karina Bafradzhian reports from Washington D.C.Camera: David Gogokhia
11
JUL
2021

It's Game On for Olympics Despite COVID Surge and Lockdown

Olympic officials have barred spectators from the games amid spiking coronavirus cases in Japan.  Organizers have long said they will push forward with the Olympics, but experts say the highly transmissible delta variant should give them pause.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi has more.Produced by: Arash Arabasadi  
09
JUL
2021

71-Year-Old Ballroom Dancer Doesn't Believe in Aging

At the age of 55, Alisa Leht fell in love with ballroom dancing. Today – at 71 – she is on the dance floor every other day, training for hours and taking part in dancing competitions. Liliya Anisimova met with Leht to talk about her passion. Anna Rice narrates her story.  Camera: Liliya Anisimova   
 
07
JUL
2021

In North India, Artisans Weave a New Garment to Woo Customers

At a workshop in Kullu district in North India, dozens of artisans bend over hand-operated looms, deftly weaving a garment called the sari in vibrant shades of pink and orange.The sari is an unstitched, flowing garment worn by women in India and in South Asian countries like Bangladesh. It is a new addition to the hilly region’s handloom industry, which for decades focused on making shawls and stoles with traditional patterns from woolen yarn.The hope is that adding the handwoven sari to shop shelves will draw in new customers and boost incomes for hundreds of women in the region, who have very few employment avenues available in the primarily rural district.Looms have long been a part of many village homes nestled on hilly slopes, where women use yarn from sheep to make traditional woolen wraps known as “pattu” for the family.In recent decades, they made a living weaving shawls to sell to the tens of thousands of tourists who came to the Himalayan district. But it was becoming harder to attract a younger, more fashion-conscious generation that now prefers coats to the traditional shawl.“I just wanted that this art should not die, this handloom art. So, we thought let us give them some new ideas,” said Richa Verma, the Deputy Commissioner of Kullu. “We are very hopeful that the tourist who is coming to this district will take the sari as a souvenir and boost income opportunities for local people.”They will be among the country’s first woolen saris, which are usually made of cotton and silk. The artisans are optimistic because saris are an intrinsic part of most women’s wardrobes in the country.At the workshops, broader looms have replaced the old, narrower ones because the fabric for saris is woven in a wider width compared to shawls and stoles.“This work is very good for women. We educate our children, and we are managing to live well,” said Vimla Devi, a resident.Saris are hung out to dry in Lalitpur, Nepal, April 17, 2019.Sales of handwoven garments, often made from local yarn, have been growing in recent years as people begin to appreciate their qualities, said Paljor Bodh, the head of Bodh Shawl Weavers, one of the region’s well-known manufacturers of shawls who has lent his support to the sari project. His workshop employs about 60 artisans. Boutique stores in large cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, have helped market their product ...
21
JUN
2021

Russian-Estonian Film 'Minsk' Examines 2020 Crackdown in Belarus 

A Russian-Estonian film ‘Minsk’ looks at the Belarus government’s crackdown on protesters in August 2020. The movie – all 90 minutes of it – was filmed in one shot and will be released in time for the one-year anniversary of the brutal events. Iryna Solomko has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.Camera: Iryna Solomko  
15
JUN
2021

Tree to Table: Cicadas Make for Culinary Adventure at DC Restaurant

Parts of the United States are being invaded by a mass brood of cicadas that emerges from the ground once every 17 years.  For most people the noisy insects are a nuisance, but for others, they’re a meal. VOA's Alam Burnahan has details in this story narrated by Irfan Ihsan.
Camera: Alam Burhanan, Irfan Ihsan, Ronan Zakaria

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