Fort Worth

Fort Worth refugee community honors World Refugee Day 2016

Burundian dance group Akaranga performs at a World Refugee Day celebration at Refugee Services of Texas Saturday . Refugees from eight or nine countries attended the event.
Burundian dance group Akaranga performs at a World Refugee Day celebration at Refugee Services of Texas Saturday . Refugees from eight or nine countries attended the event. Special to the Star-Telegram

Standing with refugees is the theme of World Refugee Day 2016 — an annual global event by the United Nations that puts attention on families fleeing their homelands because of violence, persecution and conflict.

World Refugee Day is held on June 20, but in Fort Worth refugees and their allies celebrated Saturday with soccer, drumming and dancing. The event was marked with fun, but also served as a reminder that people in flight remains a global issue. The celebration comes just days after a federal judge dismissed a Texas lawsuit over the resettlement of Syrian refugees.

Laila Amara, area director for Refugee Services of Texas in Fort Worth, said the urge Texas lawmakers and leaders to welcome and support refugees in Texas.

“We take the pledge to continue welcoming and supporting refugees during this critical time,” Amara said in a statement. “Let this year’s World Refugee Day serve as a reminder of our moral obligation to welcome families from all over the world who are fleeing unimaginable circumstances. Resettling more refugees as the world experiences the largest numbers since World War II is fundamental to who we are as Texans and places us on the right side of history.”

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

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