On a particularly humid Thursday evening, just minutes before sunset, chitchats and laughter could be heard from Trans.lation: Vickery Meadow, an intimate Dallas immigrant community art studio, where GenR Dallas members and Syrian and Iraqi refugees gathered to break fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Salads and kebabs were passed as the group talked about interests, cultural background, life in the US, and the very ingredients of the food they were sharing.
GenR Dallas members, eager to meet and welcome the new members of their community, planned the Iftar to connect with refugees in a warm and culturally rich setting, hear their stories, relate to their experiences as well as inspire a strong community and neighborly relationships. Sarah, a GenR member, spoke fondly of the event as “one of [her] favorite Ramadan memories to date” and described how “being with family, building community and feeling a sense of home is really important” during Ramadan. She further expressed her joy and gratitude that this sense of home was found among “those who attended and for those far from home during this month.”
During the Iftar, a Muslim woman expressed her concern regarding the growing anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiments in the community, and emphasized how spaces like these, where people from different backgrounds and walks of life meet and mingle, are essential to eradicate intolerance and strengthen the community’s unity. GenR Dallas members expressed similar sentiments affirming that not only hearing the stories of refugees, but sharing these stories and raising awareness is instrumental to wiping out hate and amplifying love. The evening closed with warm goodbyes before all returned to their homes with a plate of leftovers and a renewed faith in Dallas and community.
Story: Dima Alhesan