‘Rust Belt’s New Americans’ Showcases Erie’s Refugee Population

Categories:  Events    Arts & Culture/Entertainment
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at 2:30 PM
‘Rust Belt’s New Americans’ Showcases Erie’s Refugee Population by Erie Reader Staff
Maitham Basha-Agha

Thursday, Jan. 26

Erie’s population of new Americans is growing. As you walk down Parade Street, enter a hospital, or drive past a school, you will witness many cultures represented in Erie. From Halal Meat Market on 26th and Parade to the Islamic Mosque on 25th and Holland, this city’s diversity is on the rise and truly worth appreciating.

Erie is home to thousands of new Americans who operate businesses and contribute to the local economy on a regular basis. Newer arrivals hold jobs in the manufacturing field, some going on to attend universities, or perhaps pursue careers in fields such as healthcare and education.

As the refugee population around the world reaches unprecedented levels, Erie continues to receive newcomers from the Congo, Somalia, Syria, and other war-torn countries, in a way recouping our diminishing population.

It’s a lengthy process to be resettled in a city. Many of these individuals and their families were forced to leave their homeland due to war and persecution. Many have lived in multiple countries and refugee camps prior to making the snowy, Rust Belt city of Erie their new home. Here they are introduced to American culture; and taught how to drive, how to take the bus, and how to apply for a job.

On Thursday, Jan. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m., Erie Reader photojournalist Maitham Basha-Agha, and local photographer Erica Whiting, will showcase photos of 30 individuals along with a snippet of their stories.

This two-hour photo exhibition will take place at Bloom Collaborative.

6 p.m. // Bloom Collaborative, 138 E. 26th St. // For more information, please contact Maitham at maitham@eriereader or 218.3062

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