ISIS Refugees Gather for Thanksgiving Meal

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ARDEN ARCADE-

As the holidays approach, one group of refugees is especially thankful.

Dozens who fled their home countries in Iraq and Syria gathered at a church in Arden Arcade on Saturday night, getting the chance to experience Thanksgiving in America.

The Arab-American Center has been helping hundreds of refugees come to the US. Many left Iraq and Syria after ISIS fighters destabilized the region.

Muhammad Farajullah and his family arrived in the United States from Iraq 3 months ago. He was able to apply for a visa after working with the US Army, but still had to spend four years getting through red tape.

"It was like a very long journey to us. We suffered and struggled very much," said Farajullah.

On Saturday they ate a Thanksgiving feast with dozens of other families with similar stories.

Farajullah says the people there are the lucky ones, as hundreds of thousands have had to leave their homes in Iraq.

"ISIS just kept taking over," said Farajullah. "A lot of Iraqi people, they don't support them, but they don't have the power to stand against them."

The families who came to Northern California made it in large part because of help from the Arabic Church of Sacramento.

"Jesus said love your neighbor as you love yourself, and we want to show our love to them in practical ways," said Pastor Raed Awabdeh.

The church runs the Arap-American Center which puts on events like this one to help the refugee families adjust to their new lives.

The move to California and the help he has received has given Farajullah a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, something most Americans might take for granted.

"Having our car, the first car. The first apartment, our apartment... One of the most beautiful thing that we can do here is just walk outside of our apartment peacefully," said Farajullah.

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