Boise's IRC Hosts Free Screening of 'Escaping Syria' Doc Tonight 

Tonight, in the midst of heated discussions about refugees, Boise's International Rescue Committee is hosting a free screening of Escaping Syria, a 30-minute documentary that follows four Syrian families as they wade through the hardships of life in refugee resettlement camps in Kurdistan and Lebanon.

click to enlarge The free screening on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. is at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy. - INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE
  • International Rescue Committee
  • The free screening on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. is at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy.
"This is an opportunity for people to learn," said IRC Executive Director Julianne Donnelly Tzul. "We have a lot of opposition right now, with 31 governors who have signed a letter wanting to stop incoming refugees, including our own. We're going to have a lot of information about the security vetting procedures and how thorough it is."

Tzul said in order to get into the United States, it takes about two years to go through the 14-step process for clearance. 

The documentary will be shown at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy in the Boise Philharmonic Building (516 S. 9th St.) and after, Tzul will take questions from the crowd. IRC staff will host an open house at the event, where attendees can learn more about resettling refugee families in Idaho.

"Folks can learn how we get people into jobs, help families in crisis and integrate families into Boise in the longterm," Tzul said. 

This is also an opportunity for Idahoans to submit stories in which refugees have positively affected their lives. Tzul said her organization is working on building a campaign highlighting Idahoans from all walks of life.

"These are authentic voices from folks that are already here, and feel it is important work to engage in and feel safe opening our home to refugees," Tzul said. "This is something really beautiful about our community: many people in Boise have gotten to know refugees personally. It's not like they're absorbed into a big, anonymous, alienating city."

Tzul said almost 40 refugees from Syria have been resettled in Idaho so far. She said those being pushed out of their homes now won't be here for a couple more years. 

Tonight's event also features a handful of vendors from the former Boise International Market, which was lost to flames earlier this year.

"The point of the evening is to touch people's thoughts," Tzul said.
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