|Ryan Ghimirey waving his|
native country's flag on July 4
In 1991, my friend Tulasi Ram Ghimirey and his community of 100,000 ethnic-Nepalese were exiled from Bhutan, their homeland, in an ethnic cleansing. They fled to neighboring southeastern Nepal, where they subsisted in United Nations-run refugee camps. In 2000, Tulasi came to New York City, and soon after he settled in Atlanta, Georgia. Last July Fourth, we met at the Atlanta Bhutanese Refugee Support Group holiday picnic in an auspicious encounter that launched our friendship.
You are going to my dream land. There is a little history about it.
It was January 2000. I came to USA and only few Bhutanese were in America. Around 7 to 10 Bhutanese were in New York City. (you read about me [in Crossing the Boulevard] how we used to stay in Woodside in One bedroom apt)
My interest in getting education in Human Rights and educating my innocent people was in my mind.
Through the org. where I was working in kathmandu, Nepal, I got connected to this org. (PDHRE) and, of course, with Shulamith koenig who is the leading person there. She invited me and my friends to her office. We spend few hrs with her.
Her only goal was to give education to the needy and support the poor. Ain't that great.
I turned my face towards my friend who was in the States for little over a year. My question was "which part of the world this kind of people are born?"
His answer was Israel and she is a Jewish.
Just I marked in my brain that one day I will visit Israel.
It was time to leave her. She called me and friend and gave the CHECK of $500 for personal use. Basically we spend that money for food and clothes. No volunteers or the donation was there in those days.
Now we have several good people comforting my community. I feel proud.
Tamar I am proud of you.
You just surprised me by sending me a early Birthday wish. Thank you so much and I will always take your advice and suggestion.
I wish you a happy and safe Journey.
— Tulasi Ghimirey.
- July Fourth picnic with Atlanta's new Bhutanese neighbors (includes video)
- Tulasi Ghimirey's Thanksgiving letter
- Bhutan refugee finds Shangri-La in Atlanta (Emory University Report)