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Newly settled Afghan refugees celebrate first Thanksgiving dinner

CHICAGO – City and state politicians welcomed newly settled Afghan refugees to Chicago with a special Thanksgiving dinner.

For many families, Tuesday’s dinner was an opportunity to experience the true meaning of Thanksgiving – to be grateful for all that you have in spite of great difficulties.

Afghan refugee Safia says she is grateful.

“They give me new life. A new start, ”she said.

As Afghan refugees flee war-torn Afghanistan, Tuesday’s dinner was a taste of how Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving.

“We are rich in our diversity,” said MP Jan Schakowsky.

Local and state officials joined 34 Afghan refugees for a turkey feast at Golden House Diner, a restaurant owned for years by immigrant families in the diverse Uptown neighborhood.

The dinner was aimed at uplifting those who still suffer from trauma after being violently separated from their families.

“Even now I want to cry,” Safia said.

But with the change, Afghan refugees now have the opportunity to plant new roots.

“Chicago was the first city to declare itself a sanctuary city,” said Congressman Chuy Garcia.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicagoans need to protect the city’s rich history.

“The truth is, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t show how welcoming we are, if we don’t show our values ​​and actions,” Lightfoot said.

Senior local and state officials say Thanksgiving is not just a meal, but a chance for new opportunities, especially for women and children who have suffered so much at the hands of the Taliban.

“I feel blessed,” says Safia, “because I am here. “


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