Local News

Raleigh Unity Day opens conversation amid controversial executive order

Posted January 28

— The Raleigh Day of Unity was held at the Apex Mosque Saturday with the purpose of bringing people of different faiths and cultures together for activities, food and conversation. Organizers also provided bags of necessities to immigrant and refugee families who attended.

Organizer and community activist Faisal Khan described it as a celebratory event and what can happen when people come together, but there is also an underlying fear.

"There is some fear, he said. "There is some concern what might happen given the fact that Donald Trump had put a ban on Muslims, Muslim refugees, Muslim immigrants. even Muslims with green cards from those seven majority Muslim countries. So there is some concern."

"We have seen there's been a lot of hateful rhetoric about refugees and Muslims and which is, you know, not true."

Organizers said the multi-faith event was planned weeks before President Donald Trumps controversial executive order concerning immigration," he said. "There is some concern and families are very worried. And as a community, not only Muslims."

According to a spokesperson from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, there have been no detainees today and all international flights have concluded for Saturday. Duke University issued a statement to students, faculty and staff who might be affected by Friday's executive order limiting immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

"With the unclear text of the executive order and out of an abundance of caution, we strongly recommend that foreign nationals from the affected countries avoid all international travel for the immediate future. At this point, we do not anticipate that those individuals with existing lawful status will be impacted by the executive order," the university released in the statement.

Abdullah Albayati was at the even for the celebration of unity, but he said his heart is heavy.

"I left my fiancé there, and actually I will not know when I will see her again," he said.

After applying and waiting eight years for approval, Albayatio and his family arrived in the United States under refugee status. They've been here eight months and said they've always felt welcome. Now they also feel uncertain.

"After this decision I don't know when I will see her again or when I can go back to another country to see her, and I don't know if I can come back or if I will stay inside the United States," he said.

Albayati's father said through an interpreter how he views America after being here just eight months. He said the beauty of America is the diversity, and there's a mix of cultures and a mix of nationalities.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Judy Loftin Jan 29, 2017
    user avatar

    Is the man in the photo ill? He looks like he needs a Dr.

  • Kenneth Jones Jan 29, 2017
    user avatar

    Where was the heart ache and outrage when Obama did this in 2011? crickets..