Idaho News 6: Celebrating World Refugee Day in Boise with a cultural block party
"It is a lot more fun if we are seeing the crowd's reaction and we can feel their energy," said the Makatas Dancers coach. "It is a little more fun when you are in person so this is great, this is fantastic."
KTVB: World Refugee Day celebration held at Sunset Park
"Last year we couldn't celebrate in person, so it's nice that we're able to do so this year in addition to coming out of COVID," said Georgette Siqueiros, the community engagement coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Boise. "This year's also a really great year for refugee resettlement. We're seeing a return to historic norms, as far as the number of people that were allowed to resettle in the U.S., so we're very excited about that."
Times-News: Hidden no more: Residents gather for Refugee Day
Twin Falls residents Kasi and Erik Allen come to the refugee event every year.
“I think it’s the most special event our community has each year,” Kasi Allen said.
Allen said it’s fun to try the different foods each year and see the community supporting refugees. “I think it helps to have more visibility,” Allen said. “So often I think Twin Falls has diversity but it’s hidden.”
Idaho Capital Sun: ‘Thankful to God, I’m safe.’ Three refugees became Idahoans. Here are their stories
Azad Ghulami, 37
Azad, a Hazara refugee from the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan, arrived in Boise in March. He came alone, without his wife or 7-year-old daughter. He doesn’t know how long it will take to reunite with them here, he said. But he’s trying to be patient. He is just starting to build a life here. He found a security job at a call center and got a driver’s license. “Thankful to God, I’m safe and arrived in this country," he said.
Halima Hamud, 22
Halima is on track to graduate next May from Boise State University, after becoming one of just five BSU students to win the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
“For me, I want to continue my advocacy work for refugee women, and I want to go to graduate school and work on some learning about public policy, and learning about international work,” she said.
Palina Louangketh, 44
Palina is working to build the Idaho Museum of the International Diaspora in Boise — an interactive museum to share the stories of refugees through art, food, music, film and more. She was inspired by her own family’s two-year journey from Laos. “Nobody wants to leave their home,” she said. “That’s why it’s called their home.”
Idaho News 6: 'Everybody has a different journey'
Joetta Julugbeh, Miss Africa Idaho 2019 and a captain for the Makatas Dancers, says celebrating World Refugee Day in person is important to share everybody's unique journey. “With everything that is going on and sometimes it’s hard as a black woman for people to see the good,” she said, “and World Refugee Day is one of those events where you see everyone together and it's exactly what it’s supposed to be like."
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager