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Adding More Chairs to the Kitchen Table

Amnesty International is putting on a dinner and discussion on Wednesday, November 14, at 7- 8:30 p.m. in dining rooms C & D to discuss immigration and the struggles of refugees.

This “Longer Table” dinner is set to promote building a longer table for more people to gather at and interact, rather than shutting people out. There will be two speakers present for the dinner and discussion. Sarah Huffman, a volunteer from CRIS (Community Refugee & Immigration Services), and Murtadha Al-Shaikhli, a refugee. They will discuss immigration and give real-life stories of the struggles that immigrants are facing.

 Murtadha Al-Shaikhli is a refugee from Iraq who has settled in the Columbus area. Before settling in Ohio, not only was he forced to be stuck in Ukraine for more than a year due to travel bans and had to repeat the arduous process of having a background check for a visa, he also had to travel back to Iraq. This trip to Iraq was dangerous for him since he had fled from there nine years previously.

Murtadha Al-Shaikhli is the only Iraqi refugee in the last six months who has been able to be relocated in Columbus. There has been a drastic reduction in refugees resettling in Columbus this year, and this has caused many families to become separated. Advocates say there are hundreds of stories of families who don’t know when they will be reunited.

Immigration is a big topic right now, and Amnesty International’s Longer Table will present a great opportunity about the issue.

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