BOUNTIFUL—It’s a taste of their home that will help Syrian refugees build a new life in Utah.
The Jasmine Community of Utah will host a fundraising dinner Feb. 25 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the UCC Bountiful Community Church in Bountiful (150 N. 400 East). Nour Eddin Abdul Bari, a Syrian-born refugee who runs Noor al Sham Catering, will provide a traditional Syrian dinner in order to help fund the group’s efforts to support refugees settling into new lives in Utah.
“We want to help the refugees integrate in the best way possible to the community,” said Nour Eddin, speaking through a translator. “It will have a big effect on their lives and futures.”
Nour Eddin, one of the founders of the Jasmine Community of Utah, fled Damascus in 2011 and spent some time in Libya and Egypt before coming to the U.S. in March 2015. With support from the International Rescue Committee, the Spice Kitchen Incubator program, and a community member who donated a van, he was able to open his catering company and provide for his wife and children.
Now he wants to help other refugees receive the same start.
“I came to Utah and knew no one,” he said. “I saw how people who came into my life made a huge difference. That’s what made me want to help people.”
Rema Kayyali, who started the Jasmine Community with Nour Eddin and others, first met him during her own volunteer work with the refugee and immigrant community.An immigrant herself, she started working with refugees, taking them to appointments and helping them get resources in addition to her work as a translator.
“I knew how alone they could feel, and how much support from the community could change their lives,” she said.
When she started helping more people than she could really handle on her own, she started connecting them to others in the community. It’s from there that the Jasmine Community of Utah was born.
“It’s important for them to see that someone cares,” said Kayyali. “It changes the whole experience, and they think that maybe there is some hope in this land.”
Register online at eventbrite.com/e/fundraising-dinner-for-local-refugees-tickets-31232114094 to secure your seat or seats.Though there’s no set cost, the suggested donation is $15 per adult and $10 per child age 6-12 (those under 5 are welcome to eat free). Dine in and carry out options are available.
For more information about the Jasmine Community of Utah, visit facebook.com/utahjasmine. For more information about volunteering with the group, or making a donation separate from the dinner, email Kayyali at Rema.firstname.lastname@example.org.