The agony of Syrian journalists

Loumay Alesali Medill Reports Issam Khoury has been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, and forced to flee his country because of his journalism and political activism over the last 15 years in Syria, a country torn apart by revolution and the reprisals of a brutal regime led by Bashar al-Assad. Hundreds of articles, many on […]

Chicago woman living her passion for eight decades

Loumay Alesali Medill Reports Doris Humphries, 93, has been dancing since childhood. She used to nail bottles caps to the soles of her shoes, so she can hear herself when she tried to do tap routines she saw in movies. “It is just something I love, and I get into it. I just feel the […]

Local blogger on healthy food in Chicago and beyond

Loumay Alesali Medill Reports From Havana to Athens to Lima and many more destinations around the world, Sapna the Chicago vegetarian traveler, blogger and Instagrammer delivers international journeys to people’s fingertips with one click, or swipe. She started her blog,, six years ago to share her traveling experiences with people and help them find […]

Local candy store takes customers on a sweet adventure

By Loumay Alesali Medill Reports Customers at Windy City Sweets come for the variety of handmade fine chocolates and candies, but they also get a unique experience. Store owner John Manchester builds strong relationship with shoppers through a welcoming customer service, making small conversations and having holiday or special-occasion-themed candy.

Syrian refugee women building a new life in Illinois

Loumay Alesali Medill Reports The journey of Hanan Fayoumi and her four children from Damascus, Syria to Rockford was full of struggles and unpredictability. She left her home with her husband and kids after violence escalated in 2012 and went to her parents’ big house in a safe village. They stayed with all of her […]

The private sector brings change to Cuba

Loumay Alesali Medill Reports For years, Luis Manuel Rodriguez made vaccines for a living. He liked his job, but he didn’t earn enough to support his family and improve his life. Attracted by the money available in the tourist industry, he quit his job as a chemical engineer and became a waiter in a popular […]

Bringing 18th century elegance to the 21st century

By Loumay Alesali Medill Reports Antique furniture restoration is the business that Ziggy Osak started after turning his hobby into a passionate career. He opened his first workshop at his home garage in Evanston in 1984, then started his first shop on Main Street in Evanston in 1987. The store is named Evanstonia because Osak […]