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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Building Bridges for Refugees

Staples High School’s Building Bridges Club has scheduled a documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis followed by a panel discussion for Saturday, April 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the school’s auditorium, club members announced.

The program will begin with the film “Salam Neighbor,” produced by two Greens Farms Academy graduates, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci.

According to event planners, the two filmmakers had lived in a refugee camp to produce the award-winning work.

Building Bridges was founded by Kion Bruno, the grandson of Iranian immigrants who aims to “build bridges of understanding” between Americans and people from the Middle East.

At 4:15 p.m. a panel moderated by Kion will include two Syrian refugees living locally. One is Mohamed who arrived with his family this past summer.

According to Kion, the refugees are being sponsored by a coalition of nine Westport churches and synagogues, as well as Muslim residents in partnership with International Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS) in New Haven.

Kion said that of the more than 10 million displaced Syrian refugees, only about 13,000 were admitted to the United States last year.

“We are proud that the Staples Building Bridges Club is fulfilling its mission by sponsoring an event that unites our community,” said Kion.

“By bringing together important government leaders, refugee families, refugee support agencies, high school students and many members of the local community, we hope to help victims of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

“This will be an incredible learning moment for Westport and a great show of unity for a tremendously important cause,” he added.

Westport’s First Selectman Jim Marpe said that his town “has always welcomed citizens from all over the world and we will continue to do so now and into the future.”

“Westport is a place where we live by values that embrace equality, inclusiveness, open-mindedness, respect for each other and support for the basic rights and dignities of all people,” said Marpe.

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Posted 03/23/17 at 08:20 PM  Permalink



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