The World Affairs Council of Rhode Island hosted a unique event on March 5th at North Restaurant in downtown Providence as six Afghan evacuees and a Syrian refugee were welcomed to RI by eleven of our WACRI members.  The group was welcomed culturally with the music of renowned Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum and a generous offering of food and drink. WACRI Board member Benjamin Nydayishimiye and Programming Committee co-Chair Joyce Bernau organized the meeting and introduced various refugee-speakers who told their dramatic and heroic stories of fleeing Afghanistan and Syria under the most stressful of circumstances involving personal sacrifice and loss.  Their stories of fleeing Afghanistan at the time of the withdrawal of American troops in 2021 mirrored the accounts we in the US observed from our television screens.  Most in the group were English translators or those who worked closely with the US forces and State Department, and several we met were teachers at the elementary or secondary level.  Most hope to further their education in the US, specifically in RI.

    The international meeting of hearts and minds that characterized the first in-person WACRI event since the Covid disruption of our programming had a special value-added component insofar as it was a gathering with special purpose at the core of our mission of international education and exchange. So successful was the event, that plans began to develop for a gathering out of doors as the better weather arrives featuring American ethnic cooking combined with Afghan and Syrian foods.  Stay tuned for more WACRI events in the Spring....   


The World Affairs Council Of Rhode Island is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

Mailing Address: 36 Webster Avenue, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software