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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A family from Afghanistan is cooking a community meal for Bismarck residents to thank those who helped them resettle in North Dakota two years ago.

The Amiri family moved to the United States in 2016, The Bismarck Tribune reported. They’re from Afghanistan, but had been living in Quetta, Pakistan since 2004 to escape war. The family’s Hazara ethnic group had long faced violence and persecution in Quetta.

“We were not safe over there, so we applied for refugee status,” said Muhammad Amiri.

Muhammad, his mother and three sisters resettled in the U.S. with the help of the Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.

The family plans to host their charity dinner for the organization at the United Church of Christ on May 4. They plan to make a traditional Afghan meal that will include kabuli palau, a dish with rice with carrots and raisin, and korma, a chicken or vegetable plate with sauce.

“When we got here, we didn’t have anybody. We didn’t have friends, family, nothing. But (the community) welcomed us. Right now, we have families here — they’re friends, but they’re like family to us,” said Muhammad Amiri, 22. “The community helped us, so we just want to give back to them (and say) thank you.”

Resettlement Coordinator Turdukan Tostokova secured funding for the meal through Thrivent Financial’s Thrivent Action Team, which awards grants to help groups with unmet needs in their communities.

Tostokova said she hopes to make the event annual or semi-annual.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,