North Dakota Screen&Discuss Sparks Discussion on World Refugee Day

June 25, 2020

Global Friends Coalition screened and discussed three NIRV films this past Saturday, June 20 in honor of World Refugee Day. Over 40 people came together over Zoom and Facebook to watch Worlds Apart at Home by Abdirahman AbdiNavigating Hope by Sayed Najib Hashimi and Pulse of a Dream by Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba.

These films reinforce the importance of having “pathways to citizenship and education” that are “clear, affordable and accessible [so as] to help folks transition and thrive in their new homes,” wrote one attendee.

After the films, a panel discussion included Reggie Tarr, Liberian refugee and Site Supervisor of Resettlement Services at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota; Thomas Mah, also a Liberian refugee; Laxmi Dhimal, a Bhutanese refugee who works in healthcare and helps her husband run and operate Hamro Bazaar, a small market; Sundus Hassan, a student who came with her Somali family and is now a student at Northland Community Technical College and an employee at a group home in Grand Forks; and NIRV filmmaker Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba (of Uganda).

The event was streamed live and you can watch the footage on Global Friends Coaltion’s Facebook page.

More selected comments:

  • I learned about “how some people fear to go to the health centers because they fear they may be deported or arrested.”
  • “It was very challenging to know how people in our community have struggled with COVID-19.”
  • “I think it is just amazing to think that people have had to flee their home country, go to a refugee camp, come to America, learn a new language and new job skills and think that people look down upon them. They should be praised for their hard work and resilience.”
  • “The films showed that many of the refugees have very promising careers in their home country but end up having to give up their career for a job to pay the bills when they come to the United States.”
  • These films inspire me to “connect with more Vietnamese people” in my area.
  • “I think being able to explain the definition of a refugee as someone who doesn’t choose to be in that situation may help to get people to think differently and be more open minded to helping and welcoming refugees.”

A special thanks to ​Cynthia Shabb and Adam Fortwengler of Global Friends Coalition for organizing and hosting this event.


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