In a world where journeys of hope often begin with uncertainty and challenges, Mozaic stands as a beacon of support for refugees. On September 30th, 85 newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees were embraced with open arms at a heartwarming welcome luncheon held at the Westin Hotel in the Dulles Airport area. This event, a testament to Mozaic’s commitment to nurturing a sense of belonging and community, left an indelible mark on all who attended.
Mozaic’s dedication to refugees goes beyond mere words. The organization took proactive steps to ensure that every guest could attend the luncheon by arranging transportation, leaving no one behind. The program, thoughtfully curated, featured speakers whose stories resonated deeply with the audience. One highlight was the emcee, a former Syrian asylum seeker, Mays, whose journey from adversity to success in education and employment was nothing short of inspiring. Her story served as a powerful reminder of the resilience that resides within each refugee.
Another speaker, a young Syrian refugee, shared her remarkable journey of walking from the Syrian border to Jordan and the hurdles faced in accessing education. Her poignant narrative touched hearts as she recounted her mother’s determined pursuit of a beauty school education, supported by Mozaic, which ultimately led to the establishment of her own home salon after obtaining her license.
The Afghan refugee community was well represented by Mozaic’s sewing studio instructor, who shared her own story of acquiring sewing skills in Afghanistan—a vital means of self-improvement in her homeland. Her journey served as a testament to the strength and determination of refugees.
The stage lit up with gratitude as sewing class students, part of Mozaic’s educational initiatives, expressed their appreciation for the organization’s support. Their smiles were a testament to the impact Mozaic has had on their lives.
Education took center stage as MOMNetwork‘s founder, Shellie McKinny, delivered an informative presentation on the crucial role of mothers in their children’s education and the services they can access in school to preserve their faith and culture.
Attendees were provided with valuable resources, with translated materials accessible via QR codes, ensuring that language barriers wouldn’t hinder access to vital information. The luncheon wasn’t just about speeches; it was a celebration of cultures and a testament to unity. An engaging icebreaker allowed attendees to connect across their diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of togetherness.
Mozaic’s youth volunteers extended an inviting hand to new refugee youth, introducing them to the Mozaic Girl Youth Club—a safe space for girl’s activities and connection through board games, movie nights, arts and crafts, homework assistance, and more, every Saturday at the Mozaic center.
The event featured live performances that touched the soul, celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad through heartfelt nasheeds performed by the Oulabi sisters and a moving presentation by the Al-Husna ensemble.
Distinguished guests, including Alyssa from Archewell Foundation, who flew from CA to attend this gathering, Wendy from Nova Friends of Refugees, Dana from VA Office of Refugee Resettlement, Shellie from MOMNetwork, and two beloved local long-term supporters, graced the occasion with their presence.
Mozaic’s founder, in her heartfelt welcome address, reminded everyone that throughout history, revered individuals have embarked on journeys like those of the refugees: “I want to remind you that throughout history, even the most revered individuals faced journeys similar to yours. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a refugee. Many other prophets embarked on similar journeys in their lives. This shows us that seeking refuge and a better life is a fundamental part of the human experience.”
Board members played a pivotal role in making the refugees feel welcomed, emphasizing that they were not guests but valued members of the community. The luncheon was more than a meal; it was a gesture of significance and inclusion. Tears of joy flowed freely, and heartfelt words were exchanged, marking a turning point in the lives of the attendees. The event ended, but the connections made, and the optimism kindled during this luncheon were just the beginning.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors of this dinner: Haute Hijab for donating 130 hijabs, which were included in the favor bags prepared for our valued volunteers, Nova Friends and Refugees, Wendy Chan, and Archewell Foundation. Special thanks go out to the Mozaic staff, board, and volunteers whose tireless efforts made this event possible. Your dedication and the joy and happiness it brought to the newcomers are deeply appreciated.
This welcome luncheon was not just an event; it was a beautiful beginning—a testament to Mozaic’s unwavering commitment to providing refuge, support, and hope to those embarking on their journey towards a brighter future. You too, can join us in this transformative journey, helping families improving their lives in America by attending Ansar & Muhajireen Training