On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, I attended the Refugee Ball, or “An Alternative Inaugural Ball”, between 5 PM and 9 PM. I arrived around 6. The event was held at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in downtown Washington DC near the Verizon Center and near Calvary Baptist Church. There was a process of going through security, which was to be expected.
I have twelve clips:
I heard musical performances by Karna Gyaltsen (Tibet) and Amal Nourelhuda (Sudan)
Then Jason Dzubow and Sameen Ahmadnia spoke, looking back to the days of the Soviet Union.
Loide Jorge led a singing of “We Shall Overcome”.
Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS said that his group was open to refugees precisely because it was Jewish.
Michael Namulan, who arrived from Azerbaijan and successfully received asylum in June 2015, abut the time of Obergefell, spoke of torture of gay men in Muslim countries. (This country is Shiite, like iran.)
Next there was a musical performance by Kinobe, emphasizing music of the Congo.
Law professor and immigration judge The Honorable Paul W. Schmidt spoke about the need for due process of law.
Next there was a musical and dance performance (the “ball”) by Maritu Legesse and Teddy Jijo.
Finally, there was a brief speech by Dr. Kate Sugarman, and a longer one by Lindsey Wilkes, which mentioned DC Center Global and the need for housing assistance.
(Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10 AM EST)