14 people become American citizens during World Refugee celebration

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 14:40:46-04

BOISE, Idaho — 14 People from eight different countries earned their American citizenship and were celebrated during World Refugee Day in downtown Boise.

Those countries included Iraq, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Bhutan, Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We talked with a family from Afghanistan both husband and wife took the oath of citizenship with their young child by their side."

“Today is very special for me and we are so excited and happy," said Spozhmai Niazi who stood beside her husband Wakil.

Nisreen Almasri is from Syria and her daughter told us she is proud of her mother and everyone who became an American Citizens because it was a grueling process not only to get to Idaho but pass the citizenship test.

"Yeah, my mom is one of those and I feel very happy for my mom and everyone because they really studied hard to take the citizenship," said Fvayan Almasri. "It is not easy for them because English is not their first language and they had challenges to learn English and to pass that test.”

World Refugee Day included a who day of music, dancing and food as different cultures from around the world came together in downtown Boise.

Idaho has resettled refugees since 1975, the Idaho Office for Refugees told us they have helped more than 700 people make Idaho their home since 2021 and they estimate around 200 refugees from Ukraine have made their way to Idaho since March.

This event lets all of these people come together for a day of fun in downtown Boise.

"You see the different culture how they are and you see about their country and the things they bring," said Fvayan Almasri. "It’s very beautiful."

I bonded with Salam Bunyan who worked with American soldiers in his home country of Iraq, as I was once an soldier in deployed to Iraq.

Salam has been in Boise for 15 years, he makes Mediterranean food at Tarbush Kitchen on Overland and like everyone I talked to he's happy to be in Idaho and at this celebration.

"That’s Boise always welcome, always amazing it is like a flower you see all the color and all the smell," said Salam.

The festivities ended at 1:00 p.m. at that time the party moved over to Julia Davis Park for a Juneteenth Jubilee celebration.