Author: JMC Mosaic

Search continues for family history

By Chasity Blair Where do I come from? Where did my family members come from? The answer: Scottish, English, Indian and Irish, according to my mom. Unfortunately, there are no records that prove this to be true. These vague unproven answers fuel more questions. I don’t know the names of my family members who immigrated or why they traveled to the United States. What is clear, however, is my determination to find the answers despite the challenge of a lack of recorded history. Armed with websites like, that are useful in finding bits and pieces of possible genealogical...

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Mapping family ties to William Clark

By Emily Case From the time I was little, Grandma Helen has insisted that we’re related to William Clark— yes, one of the explorers of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Helen Case lives in Minden, Nebraska, a small town in the south central part of the state. It’s close to my hometown in Gibbon. She lives alone in the farmhouse where my dad grew up, continuing to run an antiques business she’s had for years. Treasures and trinkets fill the sheds flanking her large white house and expansive cornfields surround the property. When she tells me stories about Clark,...

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Bosnian refugees in Lincoln sew their way to an American Dream

By Nicole Rauner Emsud and Samka Deumic’s family had nothing but two suitcases of worn-down clothes when they came to America in 1993 and started a new life from scratch in Lincoln, Nebraska. Today, they recently moved their successful clothing business into their dream store — an 8,000-square-foot building they helped design in southeast Lincoln. Their American Dream story was not without hardship, they said. It took hard work and savings. The Deumic’s spent nine months at a refugee camp in Croatia from fleeing a brutal war in Bosnia. First Plymouth Congregational Church sponsored the family when they first arrived in Lincoln, which helped them find an apartment and even supplied hand-me-down clothes for the children. Today, Emsud and Samka are proud of what they have built and want to pass it on to their children and grandchildren. “America has the best freedom and the work,” Emsud said.   The first two years were a jolt for the family. The Deumic’s rented an apartment, started English classes and the kids started school. But being the first Bosnian refugees in Lincoln added an additional struggle. “The first two years I cried all the time,” Samka said. “When you don’t speak the language, you don’t have nothing, no family. It was hard.” In Bosnia, Emsud’s family owned multiple clothing shops. But, overnight they had nothing. After spending time in the refugee...

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Karen refugee and mother learns to balance two cultures

By Molly Chapple Awi Khan Nuam says her role as a mother is a careful balancing act as she raises four sons in a completely new and vastly different culture. But it’s working so far, says Awi Khan Nuam, a Karen refugee who has been in the United States since 2008. She says she is happy to be in America, where she believes anything is possible if you work for it. Raising children is not always easy for refugee families because of the cultural differences. Many refugee parents have a difficult time learning the new American ways of raising...

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Arabic Conversation Tables provide perspective and debunk stereotypes

By Layla Younis Several weeks ago, Paige DeDecker joined 10 other University of Nebraska-Lincoln students at the Arabic Conversation Tables to watch a documentary about Mandaeism, a minority religion practiced in the Middle East. DeDecker, who grew up in a small town — Flower Mound, Texas — said she attends the weekly conversation tables to feel more worldly. The sophomore, who is studying music and minoring in Arabic, said she was exposed to stereotypes about the Middle East and North Africa while growing up. “I know some people who make off-color jokes,” she said. “I know people who seeing...

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