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by KAREN HANNA | December 27, 2006
HAGERSTOWN - His wrists branded by the restraints he once wore, Samba Guisse says he believes he finally has the freedom others died to enjoy. "I like America, and the people (of) America because I love my liberty. I have my liberty, and the liberty of my family," said Guisse, a native of Mauritania who survived 17 years in exile and 16 months in prison. On Aug. 18, he started a new life. Guisse is one of 217 refugees who have moved to Hagerstown over the last two years, since the Virginia Council of Churches, an affiliate of Church World Service, opened a resettlement office here, according to figures provided about a week ago by the office.
By TIM ROWLAND | May 20, 2007
The political refugees whom the Virginia Council of Churches has relocated in Washington County no longer need fear that commandos will burst into their homes late at night, raping their sisters, killing their parents and severing their limbs. So they have that going for them. In fact, given the big picture, they might not even care that they are being verbally pilloried by the community at large and denied a pittance in tax dollars. Next to getting your arm chopped off, an anonymous tongue-lashing in "Mail Call" probably seems like a bouquet of roses.
By HEATHER KEELS | September 28, 2010
From his five months of living in a community of resettled refugees in Clarkston, Ga., there is one conversation journalist Warren St. John says he will remember more than any other. St. John, author of "Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference," said Tuesday during a presentation at South Hagerstown High School that one of the most eye-opening exchanges he had while writing the book was talking with Shamshoun Dikori, a youth from central Sudan, about his experience coming to the United States at age 15. "He said that in his village in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, if a stranger walked into town, everyone in the village would come out to meet that person, they'd bring a lot of food, and they'd have a lot of questions," St. John said.
August 4, 2009
Storm knocks out power Jonathan Street project getting a bit rocky Refugees tell of new life in U.S. Ultimate fans meet ultimate fighter Summer camps still popular
By GEORGE MILLER | October 13, 2007
To the editor: Now that the decision to close the Hagerstown Refugee Office has been made, I am compelled to comment on what I feel is a great injustice to our fellow man. The little town of Hagerstown will not have any great impact on the world's problems but it will continue to be recognized as a place where people of different backgrounds, races and religions are not openly welcomed. I have been involved with the refugee resettlement effort in Hagerstown since January 2005 and I am saddened and disappointed, not because of what the refugees will miss by not coming to the Hagerstown area, but rather by what the local region will miss by not befriending the refugees.
By | September 11, 2007
We will be chatting at noon today with Dave Jordan, executive director of Community Action Council, and Richard Cline, director of the Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Program. Our guests will speak and answer questions about the Sept. 19 HCC forum on refugees resettlement. You can participate by sending your questions to us by clicking here. Jenny: Why Hagerstown? Because this is a Virginia Council of Churches effort, why not Virginia? Richard: Refugee resettlement has taken place in Western Maryland, including Hagerstown, since the 1980s.
May 5, 2005
Thursday, May 5 8 p.m. on ABC "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" The hit 2002 comedy gets its broadcast premiere. Nia Vardalos, an Oscar nominee for the screenplay, stars as the woman whose ambition to move beyond her family's Greek restaurant leads to a cross-cultural romance - something that definitely is not in keeping with family tradition. 9 p.m. on PBS "Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness" Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania, is credited with saving the lives of more than 2,000 Jewish refugees who were fleeing from the Nazis in 1939.
September 13, 2007
A public forum will be held Wednesday to discuss the refugee resettlement program in Hagerstown. The program will be at 7 p.m. at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater. Representatives from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration; the Maryland Office of New Americans; Church World Services; and the Virginia Council of Churches are scheduled to attend.
September 17, 2007
Questions remain about resettlement of refugees in this area To the editor: I would like to address the question of the resettlement of refugees in Hagerstown. Bob Maginnis raised some interesting questions in his column of Aug. 29 concerning the poor public relations effort by the Virginia Council of Churches. It would appear that the VCC has not learned anything about public relations since its last episode. I have yet to see any announcement to the local public that there will be a meeting to address concerns about the possible resettlement of more refugees in this area.
By RUSSELL WILLIAMS | October 13, 2007
Let the reader understand, in the following I am not taking a position for or against refugees or immigrants be they legal or illegal. I am simply doing some comparing and contrasting and asking questions about the differences that I have noticed between the attitudes toward legal refugees and the attitudes toward illegal immigrants. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, I went to a public discussion about last year's resettlement into Washington County of 47 refugees and the possibility that another 50 or so might be resettled here this year.
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