New Haven

The United States is often portrayed as a very religious nation, and perhaps with good reason: two-thirds of Americans say they believe in God. But an increasing number of Americans say they’re atheists.

According to the Pew Research Center, 3.1 percent of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6 percent in a similarly large survey in 2007. The movement is bouyed by high-profile figures like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens — people who have described religion not merely as wrong, but as a force for evil.

David Ritter / Albatross Productions

It’s been five years since Chef Mazzin left his restaurant, his home, and many of his loved ones in the city of Homs, Syria. Mazzin and his family spent most of those years in a refugee camp in Jordan waiting for the U.S. to grant them asylum. At an art opening this month at Yale University called “Refugees: Stories of Lives, Dreams and Scars”, Mazzin saw drone video footage of his hometown reduced to rubble.

The University of Connecticut announced that it will be giving at least $5,000 a year in scholarships to each qualifying high school student in New Haven who chooses to attend UConn.

To qualify, public and charter school students in New Haven must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average. They also have to have good records in attendance and public service.

UConn President Susan Herbst announced the new funding during a press conference at a local high school on Tuesday.

Reflecting On U.S. Response To Syrian Refugees

Nov 23, 2015
By Cassandra Basler

Connecticut welcomed a Syrian refugee family that was turned away by the governor of Indiana last week. A nonprofit in New Haven that works with refugees from Syria, and all over the world, said their refugee clients face challenges ahead.

Syrian American Artist Recreates Home

Nov 16, 2015
By Cassandra Basler

By day, Syrian-American Mohamad Hafez designs skyscrapers made of steel and glass. By night, the architect recreates the streets of his home country out of plaster and found objects. Hafez said he wants to preserve the culture of a country that’s been torn apart by civil war.