Refugees enjoy first Thanksgiving dinner

Refugees enjoy first Thanksgiving dinner

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by Kim Fields
Idaho's Newschannel 7

Bio | Email | Follow: @KimFieldsKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 7:24 PM

BOISE -- Next week, families across Idaho will come together for Thanksgiving.  It's a tradition that has been celebrated for years. 

But Sunday night, nearly 150 refugees celebrated their first Thanksgiving in America.

Each of the refugees fled to America for different reasons, but Sunday night they came together for one purpose -- to give thanks.

The dinner at Crossroads Alliance Church is about as American as you can get. There are potatoes, green beans and turkey.  But those who have come for the fellowship, they are the faces of the world. They are refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and more.

"They were being punished by governments, being punished by their neighbors because they were Muslim or because they were Christian," said Pastor Dave Minick of the Crossroads Alliance Church. "Whatever the situation, many of them had to flee for their lives."

Bushra Mohmmed, 13, is from Yemen. She's been in America for almost a year. "I love, I really love the United States," Mohmmed said.

At Sunday night's Thanksgiving dinner, Bushra is thankful for the local doctors who will operate on her legs. She broke them in Yemen when she was two, and they never properly healed.  Doctors here will make her better.

"They help everyone, " Mohmmed said.

Other refugees come to America for safety, jobs or to provide a better future for their kids.  Each reason and story is unique, but one common thread brought the refugees together Sunday night -- to mark the end of difficult times and the beginning of a new life, one free of persecution. For that reason the refugees will always be thankful.       

"Iraq they have no fun because of the situation, the war," said Saad Alshemasawi, who is now an American citizen. "Here, they feel the safety at home. They carry something inside and they want to show the American people that they are happy here. " 

This is the seventh year the Crossroads Alliance Church has held the Thanksgiving refugee dinner with the help of World Relief.

 

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