In 1980, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Zubair Popal fled the country with his wife, Shamim, two young sons and infant daughter.
“There was no hope for me to stay,” he recalls. “I thought about the future of my kids. And in those days when the Soviet Union went to a country and invaded that country, they never left.”
Eventually, the Popals landed in America and rebuilt their lives. Today, the family owns several successful restaurants in Washington, D.C., including the acclaimed Lapis, which serves Afghan cuisine. On a recent evening, they opened up the restaurant to host a free dinner welcoming refugees in their city.
“We came here exactly like these people – we had no place to stay,” Zubair Popal recalls. He chokes up and takes a long pause before adding, “It reminds me of the days we came … I know for these people it’s very hard, very hard.”
The dinner was part of Refugees Welcome, a campaign that encourages locals across the U.S. to host similar meals for refugees in their community — and to break barriers by breaking bread together.
“The intention is to really humanize the refugee issue and to say, let’s meet each other as neighbors. Let’s talk about ways that we’re similar rather than ways that we’re different,” says Amy Benziger, the U.S. lead for the campaign, which was launched in February and is sponsored by UNICEF, among other partners.
Hestia comforts the children of broken homes, she appears to
them as a school councilor that always has cookies. They cry in her arms, and
she lets them stay with her for as long as she can. She stopped calling home,
stopped making strongly worded comments to the parents. All there is left are
broken homes and suffering children.
Hera sits next to her sister, holds her hand and thinks
about the broken marriages that lead to broken homes. She listens to the
couples yelling at each other while she walks on the streets. She holds the
crying women, she listens to the hopeless men. All of the power that a goddess
of marriage possesses cannot help the people who were betrayed by their closest
After a long day, Demeter sits on the ground in her garden, holds
a cup of tea in hands that have dirt all over them. She wishes that more people
would remember what is under all of the concrete. She feels the dying of her
world, and curses those who do not care for it.
See, this is the kind of Republican/Conservative bullshit that pisses me off! First, they think it’s impossible to care about more than one thing at a time. Like no one could possibly care about Americans AND refugees. But, the deeper issue – the issue they’re trying like hell to cover up – is that they don’t give a flying frak about our homeless children either! If they did, they wouldn’t be cutting welfare, food stamps, unemployment, and disability! They wouldn’t be fighting so hard against raising the minimum wage! They wouldn’t be cutting education spending – from pre-school to college! They wouldn’t be cutting money for housing! They wouldn’t be killing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)! They wouldn’t be cutting funding for Planned Parenthood! They wouldn’t be cutting funding for veterans! They wouldn’t continually blame the poor for being poor! They wouldn’t be spending 8-14 BILLION dollars on a wall the majority of Americans don’t want, and most experts say won’t work, instead of helping either Americans or refugees! These hypocritical chuckleheads cry “America First,” but their actions have made it all too clear they don’t care about Americans either! Well, unless those Americans have the word “millionaire” after their name.
A short “Imperial Problem Child” moment, part of a series
1. Twenty-three They’d picked him up on Lothal, where he’d been involved in relief efforts. No arrest this time, surprisingly. An officer had simply come to stand at his elbow, cough nervously, and murmur that his presence was required on the Executor.
“Take over for me, will you?” Luke had asked, clapping the man on the shoulder. “We’re setting up emergency clinics in the districts most effected by the fire, and I need some more hands to move the food to the refugee camp.” The officer had looked utterly bewildered, but had begun directing stormtroopers to do as he’d said.
He was a little nervous on the shuttle. Vader hadn’t come to get him personally this time, and he couldn’t decide if that was good or bad. His father had been…distant, lately. Focused on the tenuous alliance between the Executor and the Rebellion, moving pieces into place for their coup – it felt dangerous to be even thinking about it. As such he’d been impatient lately, almost curt with Luke. Hopefully he wasn’t about to be scolded for wasting time.
When he arrived on the bridge of the super star destroyer, he found Vader staring out into the stars, contemplatively. He felt surprisingly peaceful, which was encouraging. Luke passed the Admiral and Ciena Ree, getting a sense of an oddly furtive attitude about them. He paused to glance at them oddly, then resumed walking, coming to stand just to Vader’s right.
“Luke,” the rumbling baritone made it sound almost like a question.
“Father,” Luke nodded and tried not to fidget as Vader turned to glance down at him.
“Son, come with me.” He gestured, and then left the bridge, with Luke trailing behind.
Soup for Syria: Recipes To Celebrate Our Shared Humanity isn’t filled with food one might find in war-torn Aleppo.
Instead, you’ll find soup recipes to connect home chefs with cultures across the globe.
The book, published in October 2015, is more relevant than ever: All profits will now go toward “various nonprofits” that are funding food relief efforts. It has already raised $300,000, NPR reported Friday. Read more
Next week, between 150 and 200 people will gather for a Passover seder at Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Va. When the traditional Passover question is posed — “Why is this night different from all other nights?” — there’s a new answer. Guests at the Seder, co-sponsored by the refugee aid agency ReEstablish Richmond, will include approximately two dozen locally resettled immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Passover, after all, is the ultimate refugee holiday. It’s about an ancient flight to freedom by Israelites who were oppressed in Egypt. And the world is currently facing an unprecedented refugee crisis, with 65.3 million refugees worldwide.
One new version of the Haggada, from the American Jewish World Service, makes a direct connection: “Around the world today, courageous people are making similar journeys — leaving behind violence, poverty and persecution and seeking security, freedom, prosperity and peace.”
Against this backdrop, a number of Jewish organizations are offering new readings and rituals to include at the festive meal known as the Seder. These additions, says Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, are in keeping with the fact that the Haggada — the text read at the Seder — has always been flexible, “less of a fixed text than a user guide to tell the story.”
what kind of pictures do you think that your characters would post on instagram?
Laia: Food/Family/Bae/fundraising for refugees
Helene: Weaponry, battle montages, weaponry, friends, travel pics, weaponry, the occasional moody pic of Elias with cryptic captions that she thinks don’t give away how she feels but that totally give away how she feels.
Elias: adventure travel pics, non adventure travel pics, weaponry, pets, stuff to embarrass friends, nights out, the occasional thoughtful art piece, lots of black and whites of bae
Commandant: she’d just take her username so no one else could get it and post up picture of a dagger and then would somehow amass like 3 million followers and no one would know how she did it but we’d all still be afraid.
UGANDA. Near Gulu. September 23, 2016. At the Pagarinya refugee camp in Adjumani District, Jeffrey Michael, a severely disabled boy crawls in the dirt near his tent.
For the mentally handicapped living in the refugee camp is a constant struggle to get proper medication, and wheelchair access. The outbreak of violence in the capital Juba last July created a humanitarian crisis in northern Uganda as thousands of South Sudanese sought refugee there. The country is hosting the lion’s share of South Sudanese refugees, with 373,626, more than a third of them arriving since early July. The fighting was a major setback to peace efforts in South Sudan, coming as the troubled new nation prepared to celebrate its fifth anniversary, amid a short lived peace deal between supporters of President Salva Kiir and former First Vice President Riek Machar.
South Sudan now joins Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries which have produced more than a million refugees. While some South Sudanese may attempt to head for Europe, the numbers within east Africa are comparable in scale to recent refugee flows to Europe from the Middle East, and their traumatic experiences due to war are often just as hellish. More than 85 percent of the refugees in this recent influx are women and children. Many children have lost one or both of their parents, some forced to become primary caregivers to siblings. With the large influx of refugees in July 2015, relief agencies had to implement stringent food rationing in the refugee settlements. Currently the international humanitarian organisations lack the necessary funds to meet the needs of the more than 200,000 refugees.
Erie, Pennsylvania, a city of roughly 100,000 residents, contains seven food deserts. In these locations residents don’t have reasonable access to healthy, affordable food. But one refugee-run grocery story is reversing that trend.
Located in the heart of Erie in a 4,000-square-foot space that was previously inhabited by a music store, U.K. Supermarket opened in 2013 and has been selling more affordable vegetables, lentils and other foods. After living in refugee camps in Nepal for most of his life, the store’s founder, Pradip Upreti, moved to Erie in 2009 at age 20. Now he’s providing a much needed service.
Since 2010, two years after emigrating to the United States from Bhutan,
Rita Neopaney, has been tending her plot on what she calls a “culturally
significant community garden.” She and some 100 other refugees are part
of New Farms for New Americans, a program started by AALV,
a Burlington, Vermont, based social services organization for immigrants and
refugees. The program is one among several around the country using
farms, community gardens and fresh food to help new immigrants resettle
and integrate into their new communities.
“What’s important is that you deliver assistance for children in need.”
Paul Molinaro has been the Regional Chief of Supply and Logistics at UNICEF Middle East and North Africa for the past three years. He has previously worked with UNICEF country offices, Supply Division and other UN agencies.
Anders hadn’t drank or ate as much as he had in the Wardens for years. He’d abstained from doing so, so he could save his money for important things. Like food for the refugees who needed his help, or medicine for them. He only used the smallest amount of money on food or drink for himself while living in Kirkwall.
Anders was selfless, and he was always thinking of others above himself. It… well it made Fenris tear his hair out some nights. Anders didn’t even feed himself enough, or drink enough fluids, the man was skin and bones, and Fenris had fallen in love with him.
He wanted Anders to want things besides a little affection, sex, a cat, or to look good. He wanted Anders to think of himself… just a little, just the tiniest bit would be nice. But.. in a way, it was Anders’ selflessness that had made Fenris finally stop arguing with him and listen. With Anders, what had made him finally stop arguing and listen, was when Fenris asked him if he hated him.
It was one of the purest things any of them had seen, watching them fall in love. Two torn souls, putting each other back together. Both formerly enslaved, and both finding a new freedom and romance together.
But they all knew Anders was a bit of a martyr, and he didn’t drink or eat enough, especially with what the taint was doing to him. Luckily he had Justice, the spirit often kept him going when it seemed like his body would just give out from healing so much.
The spirit loved Anders, just like Fenris did. Actually introducing Justice into the relationship had taken a lot of work, but it had been very much worth it. Even so… Fenris really needed to figure out how to feed his lover, and have him actually take it.
It started with Fenris asking Hawke for more work, to save up more money, so he could feed them both, and the refugees as well. She of course helped Fenris find more work, and he showed up with food and drink pretty often. Anders.. always gave it out before taking any for himself. Fenris was slightly proud of Anders for helping them all, and slightly annoyed that Anders didn’t take care of himself well enough.
Finally, after a week of it happening, Anders looked at Fenris.
“Why do you keep doing this?” he whispered.
Fenris sighed. “Because of you, you inspired me to… and because you need to eat and drink more. We’re together now, I’m not going to let you drop over dead. I know Justice won’t either but… Justice can’t go do extra work for food or drinks for you all, I can.” Fenris explained.
Anders frowned. “Fenris… the taint, it’s going to take me early as is.” he whispered.
“Well I’m going to have to cure it, if that’s the case.” he remarked.
Anders smiled a little at him, and Fenris blushed but looked at Anders with those puppy eyes. “I adore you, my mage.” Fenris whispered.
Anders smirked, blushing a little too before he leaned in and kissed Fenris.