The Book

A Nation of Nations

Tom Gjelten

Tom Gjelten

Mark Keam (Sun Yeop Kim)

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keamMark Keam, whose Korean name was Sun Yeop Kim, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of fourteen.

As a young man, he was fascinated by politics and by the promise of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, with its vision of an alliance between minorities and immigrants of color. In Northern Virginia, he became a political activist, organizing Fairfax County in support of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

In 2009, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, having defeated fellow immigrant Esam Omeish in the Democratic primary.

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Victor Alarcón, Sr., followed his sisters-in-law to the United States even though he had no contacts there and spoke no English.

Anwar Omeish

Muslims are now one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the USA.


Like most Americans, Tom Gjelten comes from an immigrant family. His grandfather, Nicolai Ordahl, was born and raised on a farm in Norway.