THANK YOU!!

We want to thank everyone who attended the fundraiser last Sunday. Claremont United Church of Christ hosted an amazing evening where we came together, shared a delicious meal, shared our stories, danced the night away to amazing live Arabic music and most of all, let our newly arrived refugee families know that we welcome them, we stand with them and are here for them as they resettle in America!

One of the highlights of the evening was when the Los Angeles Arabs Orchestra played a very famous song, that is dear to our families hearts. It is a song about Syria and the lyrics narrate that while many Syrians have had to leave their home have had to leave, they still have love their heart for their country and the beauty it once held. It was a powerful moment to see our family members dancing and expressing pure joy, as our supporters watched in awe at the power that comes welcoming your neighbor.

Wishing all of you amazing humans, our Canopy supporters, a fantastic Friday!

YALLA

Christy
Founder, Claremont Canopy

The Canopy family has grown!

There is nothing more joyous than the arrival of a new baby! Canopy family members, Mohammad and Rwida welcomed their baby girl on Monday, Mirna. This is their first baby and they are beaming with pride. The delivery was a bit of a surprise and I spent 5 hours helping this soon to be mama get through labor pains, but by the end of Monday a healthy baby girl was now part of the Canopy family. Rwida and Mohammad are from Homs, Syria and have been in Southern California for a little over 2 years. If you want to send a gift card to sweet Miirna, click here!

I had the honor of connecting with an inspiring young man who is in medical school at one of our local universities! His family fled Iraq and came on refugee status to the United States in 1999. He came knowing no English and talked about the challenges and fear that accompany resettlement. 20 years later….he’s a college grad, in his second year of medical school and excited what the future will bring! He plans on volunteering with Canopy and speaking with our children, what a great mentor he will be for our kids! The opportunities are endless and he can be a great source of hope and motivation for the next generation of new arrivals!

Claremont United Church of Christ is hosting an event to help raise money for Canopy and their Refugee Assistance Fund. There will be a delicious Syrian meal, as well as live music by the Los Angeles Arab Quartet. If you want to learn more about the event, click here! We want to send our sincere thank you to CUCC for supporting our mission and our families!

Have a fabulous Friday!

Christy

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August is here!

Greetings to our amazing Canopy supporters and families! It has been a busy few weeks with lots of amazing opportunities for us to spread our Canopy mission with government leaders and the community at large.

I serve on the board of the Inland Valley Interfaith Working Group for Middle East Peace. Last week we were able to meet with our representative, Congresswoman Judy Chu! It was a great meeting discussing ways the United States can support peace efforts in the Middle East. I was able to also spend some time with Congresswoman Chu telling her all about Canopy, our mission and our amazing families. She was thrilled to know about our efforts and will stay in touch and be of help if needed! We are lucky to have such an amazing woman representing our district.

I also work with the Muslim Public Affairs Council here in Southern California, a national public affairs non-profit organization working to promote and strengthen understanding and polices that impact American Muslims. It is a wonderful interfaith collaboration of coming together to promote peace. Yesterday they held a forum with Congressman Adam Schiff, Salam Al-Marayati from MPAC, and representatives from All Saints Church in Pasadena as well as folks from IKAR. It was a fantastic coming together of leaders that use their voices to promote peace and stand up to hate crimes in the United States. I was inspired by their efforts and the discussions on embracing diversity and welcoming your neighbors. Which is exactly what we are all about here at Canopy. I value these opportunities to meet with local leaders and government officials to let them know about Canopy, but to also give gratitude using their voices to promote peace and togetherness.

Lastly and exciting opportunity came about with one of the Miry’s List partners in Los Angeles. Soul Pancake, a production company that produces short films with the purpose of educating and uplifting their viewers by providing human content that is meant to inspire and empower its audience. They are in the midst of producing a film called Truth and Myth. They are specifically interviewing immigrants and letting them in their own words say what myths and truths are being portrayed about them in the media. Two of our amazing young women, sisters, Nabila and Marwa from Afghanistan were casted to be in the film. So last Thursday I drove them into LA and they very eloquently were able to speak their truth. Educate the thousands that will watch this film on their truths, their story. It was as very moving afternoon and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

As always, I thank you for your support! Together we are amazing. During these uncertain times in our country I urge you now more than ever to welcome your neighbor, embrace diversity and stand with your fellow brothers and sisters. Lets throw away labels, we are all one, we are all human.

Yalla!
Christy

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Summer Update!

As summer begins to wrap up and the kids are getting ready to get back to school this August, I wanted to check in and let you know what Canopy has been up to! Summer gets a little hot here in SoCal so we’ve all been busy trying to beat the heat!

Our Canopy kids are busy with summer school and local camps! We would like to send our sincere thank you to the fabulous people at the Claremont Education Foundation for making it possible for some of our kiddos to participate in the SLICE summer enrichment classes. We would also like to thank the amazing humans at the Inland Valley Repertory Theatere program in Claremont, they sponsored two of our young kiddos to attend their two week long theater camp. It warms my heart to see the community rallying around our new arrival children and making sure they have the opportunity to participate in local summer programs. We would not be here, and we would not be making this impact, without you!

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Our canopy continues to have a broader reach, we are adding one to two families every few weeks! We recently met with a family from Kuwait and were taken by adorable Faisal. He is an 8 year old cutie who loves America and loves dominating the soccer field. Mom is attending college here and they are both looking forward to the day when Dad and Faisal’s two little sisters can join them here in Southern California.

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I serve on the board of a local interfaith group in Claremont, the Inland Valley Interfaith Working Group for Peace in the Middle East. We had our monthly meeting this week at the local Mosque to discuss our upcoming meeting with Representative Judy Chu! (We also are busy planning our annual interfaith walk for the fall. Stay tuned!) I leave these meetings filled with hope for our world. This group consists of local faith leaders from ALL faiths. We stand united in our efforts to find ways to promote peace both locally and abroad. We represent a diverse group of people and beliefs, but are dedicated to be an example of unity and peace, as we work together to make the world a better place.

In today’s world it is more important than ever to welcome your neighbor, embrace our differences and empower individuals to help. We at Canopy are working to counteract the effects of dehumanizing the migration experience. We will continue to use our voices to increase awareness of the resettlement experience and with your help, we can work together to make America a safe and welcoming place for all.

Together, we got this!

YALLA!

Christy
Director and Founder, Claremont Canopy

A look back at World Refugee Day 2019

On June 19, in honor of World Refugee Day, Canopy dedicated our Instagram story to our amazing families. We spent all day sharing photos and memories of our Canopy Moms, Dads and kiddos.

For those of our supporters that do not have an Instagram account, we have compiled the story into video format for you! Enjoy.

We are so honored to stand with and support these amazing and wonderful new arrival families.

YALLA!

World Refugee Day!

Today is World Refugee Day, a day for the world to commemorate the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees and show support for families forced to leave their homes due to persecution or conflict.

More than 68 million people around the world are refugees or internally displaced. According to the recent report published by the UNHCR (The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), in 2017 someone was displaced every two seconds. Today, the number of refugees worldwide has reached a record high.

On World Refugee Day, I present you with a call to action. We must all think about what more we can do to help. The answer begins with unity and solidarity. We stand together, or we fail. As long as there are wars and persecution, there will be refugees. On World Refugee Day, I ask you to remember them, stand with them and welcome them into our community.

Their story is one of resilience and courage. Ours must be one of compassion and action.

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Help Canopy support our friends who have resettled in Southern California, as they wait for America to welcome more refugees so they can once again be reunited with friends and family. Stand with us as we continue to help them find their footing in this foreign country, whether it be by helping send their kids to college, finding employment opportunities, or simply providing the necessary items to care for their newborn babies.

Together we are stronger!

https://www.claremontcanopy.org/donate

YALLA!

Christy
Director and Founder, Claremont Canopy

 

Graduation!

The school year has ended here in Claremont, we are always beaming with pride at the end of the year with the accomplishments of our Canopy kiddos but this year was a special one. We had FOUR of our Canopy girls graduate from Claremont High School. These girls have all only been in the United States for a few years, they came to this country speaking no English and uncertain what their future in America would be. As we sat in the bleachers, we heard the names of these young women be called we watched them cross the stage and get their diploma as their proud parents and family members snapped photos and cheered. It was a very moving moment. When you ask each and every one of our families why they fled their country and came to America they all answer, “to give our children a chance at a better life.” That afternoon was a big step in this process and their journey of resettlement. Rama, Nermen, Dayla and Miriam, we are so very proud of you and can’t wait to see what amazing things you will accomplish as you head off to college next fall. The future is yours!

The story of these four girls is not a unique one, let alone a finished one. Visit our donations page to donate to these girls journeys toward a higher education; or make a general contribution to ensure we can continue to provide resources to all our Canopy kiddos!

We adore you and we are so happy you and your families are here!

Yalla!

Christy

Claremont Canopy Family Iftar!

We held our 2nd annual Claremont Canopy family Iftar. We all agree at Canopy this is our favorite event of the year. It is a time for us to come together and have a wonderful evening with our families. The Canopy team does all the cooking, it is a true labor of love! Thank you Anne, Brenda, Amy, Brian and Jennifer for all the work you did to make this a wonderful evening. And thank you to the Meat Cellar in Claremont who generously donated enough beef Kebabs for all our guests. They were delicious.

We usually have the Iftar at one of our homes but do to the extended “California Winter” the rain left us scrambling for a new venue! Thankfully the pastors of Claremont United Church of Christ, who are steadfast Canopy supporters, offered their banquet hall for us to use for the evening. It was a beautiful and very powerful moment when our Muslim brothers and sisters broke the fast in prayer, surrounded by those of us at Canopy that adore them and in a house of worship that welcomes all expressions of faith.

We made a ridiculous amount of food. I even attempted the Syrian salad Fattoush, I almost had it but had to call in Maysaa at the last minute to help me with the dressing! So close! We had halal lamb, chicken and beef, with beautiful salads and too many sides to count. We ended the evening with coffee, sweets and even a Yalla cake. It was wonderful to spend the evening together and show our Canopy families just how happy we are to have them in our community. We are already looking forward to next year’s Iftar!

Yalla!

Christy
Director and Founder, Claremont Canopy

2nd Annual Iftar in a Jar!

Claremont Canopy held our second Iftar in a Jar event on May 6! The community gathered and donated items to help us help our Muslim neighbors prepare for the holy month of Ramadan! The Yalla baskets included new scarves for the women, socks for the men, some new household items and gifts for the kiddos. Each family member also received an Iftar jar that is filled with dates, snacks and other goodies that can be eaten when they break the fast each day. Thank you to everyone who donated to make this event successful. We are so grateful for our supportive and welcoming community! YALLA!

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim neighbors! Sunday was the start of the holy month of Ramadan for many of our Claremont Canopy families! If you are not familiar with Ramadan, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles put together this visual guide on what our Muslim friends have to look forward to this month.

Worldwide, nearly 2 billion people celebrate Ramadan!

Ramadan Kareem everyone!

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