Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Thanksgiving dinner- ECDC

The ECDC (Ethiopian Community Development Council) holds an annual First Thanksgiving Dinner for new immigrants and refugees. It is a poignant and uplifting occasion. It had special significance this year, given the incoming presidential administration's stated plans and harsh words regarding immigration. There were hundreds of new immigrants there, and hundreds of local volunteers providing food and fellowship. Especially moving were the words of welcome and sanctuary offered by Arlington County Board Chairperson Libby Garvey on behalf of all of us in the community. Ahn Phan of Senator Mark Warner's office, and representatives from the Obama White House and State Department also offered generous words of welcome. 

Many of the attendees had just arrived from the miseries of Syria, and there were numerous others from South Sudan, Eritrea, Pakistan, and other nations in distress. 

A particularly moving and joyous moment was a rousing spontaneous dance by a large group of newly-arrived Syrian men. 

May they all be safe here, and become productive citizens, woven peacefully into the fabric of our diverse and inclusive nation.

Many thanks to Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, Sara Zullo, and the hardworking creative staff at ECDC for their good work and kind hearts.

Photography by Lloyd Wolf.








Arlington County Board chairperson, Libby Garvey















Ahn Phan of Senator Mark Warner's office reading a proclamation of welcome.











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