BOISE -- As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Boise's founding we can't help but think about those first hardy souls to populate our city.

Back in 1863, most of them had fresh immigration stories which is so well illustrated at the Basque Museum.

Today, you might be surprised at the number of recent immigrants to Boise. Many are refugees.

One such family is from Uzbekistan. KTVB's Dee Sarton arranged to interview them last week, long before the arrest of a suspected terrorist also from Uzbekistan. This family wants you to know, the hundreds of Uzbeks now settled in Boise are friendly, hard working, and love their new home.

One place to meet some of these immigrants would be the Russian Food Festival which just happens to be is this weekend. The event will put on display two of the obvious contributions immigrants bring to our community: music and food. You have to look and listen a little harder to understand there's much more.

Abdurahmon Utyev brought his family to Boise in 2003, escaping persecution in Uzbekistan because his grape farm was too successful.

What's problem? My work. Who doesn't like my job, said Utyev. So you were being too productive and so you became persecuted? asked Sarton. Yes, replied Utyev. So you had to come here where you can work hard and provide for your family? asked Sarton. Yes, replied Utyev again.

Often working two full time jobs, while learning English, this family's work ethic runs deep.

They did work hard jobs to pay for house and car insurance to bring us here, give us a good education, said Utyev.

Larry Jones, the director of World Relief, which helps refugees resettle, says this is a family that represents our past and our future.

The communities that helped build Boise were immigrant communities, said Jones. To me they represent the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty especially for those yearning to breathe free. That's what it's all about, that's what this country's all about.

Life is good, (to) live is good. People is happy and good life, saidDilmurod Turayev.

And they want to share their culture with their new friends in Boise through food and music.

If you'd like to go to the Russian Food Festival, it runs until 9 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Saturday at the Russian Orhtodox church on North 29th in Boise.

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