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Immigrant fashion show marks World Refugee Day in San Antonio

This year’s World Refugee Day dinner and fashion show showcased a variety of dresses made by women from Afghanistan who now live in San Antonio.

Forty-six refugee women were enrolled in a “Sewing for Success” course. As the class progressed, each assignment became more elaborate, explained Nadia Mavrakis, the chief executive officer for the organization Culturingua.

“One of their first assignments was to create a table runner. So, all of the tables tonight will have their table runners as the centerpiece. And then they made totes and aprons. Then their signature piece is creating an evening dress,” she said.

The evening dresses varied in color and length, and some models carried tote bags as they walked down the stage.

Parkha, one of the women enrolled in the sewing course, said she’s been sewing since she was a girl.

“I love the feeling of creating something with my own hands. It has also helped me to develop my creativity and my sense of my style. This was a good opportunity for me and other participants to better our skills,” she added.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg, District 7 Councilwoman-elect Marina Alderete Gavito, the City of San Antonio's immigration liaison, and members from the Census Bureau’s Population Division also attended the event.

“Take a look around. This is a picture of San Antonio worth remembering, isn’t it? I want to thank all of you for doing the hard work of making this city a welcoming one,” Nirenberg said.

Mavrakis added that the series of dresses showcased the contributions the Afghan community has made to San Antonio.

“Refugees bring with them an incredible skill set, an incredible culture, incredible artisanal abilities with them from their home countries. So we're excited that these women's dresses that they have spent hours preparing are going to be on display in tonight's fashion show."

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