Syrian refugees, Mayfair residents "breaking bread, breaking barriers"

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There has been a great deal of talk about Syrian refugees.

Both because of the war in Syria and because of the controversial travel ban which now prohibits Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S. indefinitely.

But on Tuesday night, Syrian refugees from Northeast Philadelphia shared food and company with residents of Mayfair.

It was the third "Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers" dinner at Reading Terminal Market.

On the menu was Middle Eastern cuisine and southern food.

The event was planned long before the President Donald Trump's travel ban.

For 17-year-old Toka Bdaiwi who fled a war-torn Syria just seven months ago, it was deeper than food.

She said because of the war she wasn't feeling secure and when she came to the US, she said 'Thank God' because the people were very, very supportive.

The goal was to show the beauty in diversity.

Perhaps a chef can explain it better.

"Each ingredient individually is OK, but when you mix it all together, it kind of makes it better kind - like when you bring refugees in from different countries. You bring someone who is good at this and good at that, that's what makes America the greatest nation in the world," chef Jack McDavid said.

For many, Tuesday night was a time to bridge a seemingly widening gap; for others though it was a time to extend to others the welcoming hand that this country long ago offered them.

"Being a long time resident of Philadelphia I also deem it necessary to welcome any immigrant that will be coming to Philadelphia," refugee Toka Antofa said.

There is more food on the way, at least in six to eight weeks when these same guests will return after having shared this with their community and they'll discuss over dinner, what they've learned.
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