There were multicolored plastic eggs filled with sweet jelly beans, eggs dipped in dye and Easter baskets stuffed with goodies.
music. There was lots of music and dancing Saturday at a St.
Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church hall in Troy during Breaking Barriers
Spring Fling, an Easter-themed get-together for refugees and immigrants with special needs and their families.
Barriers, a program run through the Chaldean Community Foundation in
Sterling Heights, holds events like this monthly, said Sue Kattula, who
heads the program, which helps connect families with services.
Ibrahim, through a translator, said the program helped get his
daughter, 23-year-old Fatin Ibrahim, who has Down syndrome, into a
special needs school and helped him navigate guardianship issues.
Dallo, a case manager with Breaking Barriers providing
translation, said Ibrahim said that his family came to the U.S. nine
years ago from Iraq as asylum seekers and are now citizens. As Ibrahim's
daughter, wearing a dress for the occasion, enjoyed a slice of pizza,
he said he was happy for get-togethers like the one Saturday, Dallo
"He said, 'everyone is singing, dancing, eating,'" Dallo said Ibrahim said.
Breaking Barriers, started in 2012, holds a themed social event each
month. They have included a summer picnic, a Hollywood-style dinner
celebration and events centered on holidays, she said.
Saturday, there were hundreds of eggs on hand ready to be dipped in
dye, colorful baskets filled with treats like potato chips, candy and
chocolate bunnies, yellow Peeps, decorating the tables and, of course,
the music, which inevitably leads to dancing.
The dancing is what Sameerah Alqas-hanna said her son, 20-year-old Anas Hendi, who has Down syndrome, enjoys most.
family came to the U.S. nearly a year ago as refugees from Iraq, after
first spending a year and seven months in Jordan, Dallo said,
translating Alqas-hanna. He said her family has been coming to the
Breaking Barriers events for months.
"We never miss one," Dallo said Alqas-hanna said. "She said, 'Because you look forward to this event.'"