Syrian Community Picnic Serves as Welcome for Recent Refugees

Traveling from New York, New Jersey, Baltimore and elsewhere, several members of the Syrian community gathered at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston (Va) to welcome recent refugees to the Washington, DC area. The event also served as a fundraiser with donations going to refugees in Syria and neighboring countries.

Although thousands of miles from their homeland, Syrians living in the United States suffer from the devastation which has taken place in Syria since March of 2011. That is when peaceful demonstrations aimed at bringing about democracy in Syria grew into a bloody revolution once the regime of President Bashar Assad met those demonstrators with sniper bullets, torture and imprisonment and eventually bombings and chemical warfare. Over 300,000 people have been killed since, including innocent children and women. 

Many Syrians living outside of Syria have lost family members. Others have family living amongst the several millions in refugee camps in hopes of one day being reunited. And, many have family still living in Syria and fear for their safety.

Yet life goes on although with sadness and fear. The picnic was a way of helping to ease those emotions while at the same time making a small contribution toward the refugee crisis and helping the new arrivals settle into the area and make new friends. Children’s games, food and a friendly soccer match between those from NY/NJ area and those from Virginia brought smiles to the faces of many … at least for one day.

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