These Dinner Parties Serve Up A Simple Message: Refugees Welcome

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In 1980, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Zubair Popal fled the country with his wife, Shamim, two young sons and infant daughter. "There was no hope for me to stay," he recalls. "I thought about the future of my kids. And in those days when the Soviet Union went to a country and invaded that country, they never left." Eventually, the Popals landed in America and rebuilt their lives. Today, the family owns several successful restaurants in Washington, D.C., including the acclaimed Lapis, which serves Afghan cuisine. On a recent evening, they opened up the restaurant to host a free dinner welcoming refugees in their city. "We came here exactly like these people – we had no place to stay," Zubair Popal recalls. He chokes up and takes a...

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