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Buffalo Without Borders

Written By: Akram S.

On the night of October 17, 2013, Asbury Hall on Delaware avenue bore witness to one of the most colorful events in our local history. The International Institute of Buffalo was host to a rich celebration of cultural diversity known as Buffalo Without Borders, and they packed the hall with people of all races, faces, and places, ready to engage in dialogue and make new friends. The main focus of the event was something of universal value… food. Each lucky attendee was given a “passport” within their program booklet, and as they walked the perimeter of the hall they could collect stamps and sample savory dishes from all over the world. Places like India, Jamaica, Thailand, Jordan, Burma, Italy, Ethiopia and many others offered samples of their savory dishes, allowing us to traverse the globe in one night through the use of our taste buds.

On top of offering a plethora of delicious dishes there was entertainment in the form of cultural song and dance performances. One moment there was an electric display of West African drumming, the next a belly dancer moved across the stage in mesmerizing fashion.  There were also song and dance performances rooted in Burma, India and Iraq keeping the energy alive as we journeyed across the world without ever leaving our home town. To top it off there was a silent auction being held throughout the night whose prizes exceed $1,400 in value, including a ride on Lloyd’s taco truck with catering for 20, a private sunset sailing excursion for two, private fitness training lessons and many dinner and theater packages for people to enjoy more food and entertainment after the nights end.

All proceeds from the event went towards the International Institute of Buffalo which offers refugee and victim services to help those displaced by conflict or suffering trauma from human trafficking and domestic violence on the road to recovery. They also offer global education, international exchange and language services to help enrich our community and the diversity within it.

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