Yazidi refugees celebrate new cultural center

Published: Mar. 3, 2017 at 10:31 PM CST
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"It's very important for them to show that we resisted for thousands of years and trying to preserve our culture and we can do it here in the United States too", says Hadi Pir,Yazidi Cultural Center Director.

The Yazidi community held a "Welcome Home" grand opening today for their brand new cultural center in Lincoln.

Lincoln hosts one of the largest Yazidi communities in North America. The Yazidi community turned to America for freedom and peace.

"When you have been faced with a genocide in the 21st century, something as small as having a center in America where people can come and re-connect with their people is so important," says Laila Khoudeida, Director of Women Affairs at Yazda.

The Yazidi Cultural Center was started in Lincoln so families could build a strong foundation and bring the community together so that they can be better established in the United States.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry played a role in making the Yazidi Community Center possible.

"They have the right to be able to return, they have the right to be able to be protected, they have the right to be intergrated in goverments structures that allow for them to have a stable future",Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.

The Community Center will offer english as a second language classes as well as citizenship classes and assistance with immigration papers. The center will also offer classes so that yazidi children can come to learn to read and write in their own language so that it doesn't get lost.