November 25, 2011

Tulasi Ghimirey's Thanksgiving Letter 2011

Tulasi loves growing vegetables
In 2000, Tulasi Ghimirey arrived in the U.S. from United Nations-run refugee camps in southeastern Nepal. There, 100,000 fellow ethnic-Nepali Bhutanese refugees landed in 1990 following ethnic cleansing in Bhutan, their homeland. Through combined efforts of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Third Country Resettlement Program and the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program, about 60,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in the U.S. Tulasi lives in Atlanta with his wife, Kumari, and son, Ryan. 

Dear friends, volunteers, and well-wishers of me, my family, and the Bhutanese community,

I never wait for Thanksgiving to arrive to thank this country and its citizens. Giving and Thanking someone is the ultimate happiness prescription.
At night, I still dream of those days, especially the torture that I have gone through, in Bhutan. I find myself running, crying, and begging for help. Those camouflage outfits of the Bhutanese Army haunt me always.

When I get conscious from my dream, I find myself in the fancier house in America. My pounding heart slows down realizing that I am in America and not in Bhutan. The next thing I do before putting my body under the quilt is to Thank this great country because I will never be tortured again. I don’t have to get punched in my face until I am found guilty. What humane laws this country has. I can proudly say that I am a human being because humans are treated as human beings here. 

Thank God for the bountiful blessing bestowed upon America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! I salute our armed and unarmed forces who are making tremendous sacrifices to keep us SAFE and FREE. Thanksgiving would not even exist without their selfless service. And, as I feast on delicious food, I remember the American farmers who feed us and the world safe nutritious food. 

We still have many people struggling to put food on the table as we work to recover from our economic downturn. Our food shelves feel increased demand during the holiday season so I encourage you to donate or make a charitable contribution.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Related posts
Emory University article on Tulasi
Bhutan refugee finds Shangri-La in Atlanta

November 07, 2011

In Tel Aviv: Levinsky Park

Levinsky Park is a hub of activity
Thanks to massive efforts in and around this patch of green between the sketchy, rundown Neve Shaanan neighborhood and the Central Bus Station, many low-income and impoverished Israelis, undocumented workers, refugees, and asylum seekers can obtain token basic services. As a rule, nongovernmental and volunteer humanitarian organizations offer food, shelter, childcare, legal advice, and health care. Area adults and children can enjoy, too, nurturing facilities — a multilingual library, playground, and basketball court that often lift their spirits and fuel their hopes for solutions to ostensibly intransigent human problems.

Watch the video (6:45 minutes).

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