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Beyond the Courage

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Ohio History Connection

800 E. 17th Ave

Columbus, OH 43211

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Join Jewish Family Services on a photographic journey to a new life and home detailing the stories of the Central Ohio Bhutanese-Nepali community.

7:30 - 9:00 Hors d’oeuvres and Cash Bar

8:30 Short presentation by Tariq Tarey, Manager of Jewish Family Serivces' New Country New Job program, and photographer of the exhibit "Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors"

This event is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased in order to attend.


Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors - Photographs by Tariq Tarey

The history of the 20,000+ Bhutanese-Nepali people in Columbus is rapidly becoming the history of Ohio. Beginning in May 2017, the Ohio Historical Center will house a photographic exhibition of the Bhutanese-Nepali Community in Columbus Ohio. The show will consist of 30 photographs taken by Tariq Tarey. The photographs will be arranged in a manner that will emphasize the historical sequence of the Bhutanese-Nepali refugee experience, from living and working in Bhutan, to being forced to leave Bhutan, the experience of living in refugee camps in Nepal for 20 years or more, to resettlement in Columbus, to finding jobs, and buying homes, and to finally becoming American Citizens.

About the Photographer, Tariq Tarey

Tariq Tarey is an award winning documentary photographer and filmmaker, who specializes in refugee affairs. Tariq’s work has appeared at the Kiaca Gallery, Wright State University, and in 614 Magazine. Several of his images have been added to the Columbus Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Tariq’s film documentaries have received wide acclaim, airing on WOSU and at the 2nd United States Conference on African Immigrant and Refugee Health.

In his quest to capture the struggle of modern day refugees, Tariq’s work has taken him to Kenya, Somalia, and Central America. During the winter of 2016, Tariq traveled to Greece to document the living conditions of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war. With his powerful new exhibit, “Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors”, Tariq shares the stories of refugees and their brave journeys from Bhutan and Nepal to Central Ohio.

Since 1908 Jewish Family Services has supported the local refugee community. Over the last 15 years, Tariq has been integral to furthering our mission, by helping refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency and emotional stability. He began by assisting those fleeing persecution, including many Jewish refugees from the Former Soviet Union, start their own businesses. Now as the Program Manager of the New Country New Job Team, Tariq oversees one of our workforce programs which in 2016, helped more than 250 refugees find sustainable employment in Columbus.

Background on the Bhutanese-Nepali People

Nepal and Bhutan are two small countries sitting like pillows cushioning the difference between India and China. People of Nepali origin are recorded as living in Nepal as early as 1620. However, most of the Lhotshampas (the southerners of Nepali origin) were resettled into Bhutan during the 19th and 20th centuries. Nepali speaking people were brought to Bhutan to collect taxes, build roads, and to make productive previously fallow land. People of the north are largely Buddhist and speak Bhutanese. However, the southerners were largely Hindu and spoke Nepali. In the 1980s, differences began to be perceived as a threat. Southerners were forbidden to appear in public in their native dress. They were prevented from teaching their language or customs to their children. Protests were violently repressed, and a series of citizenship laws were passed. By the end of 1992, 80,000 Nepali speaking Bhutanese people were living in 3 refugee camps in Nepal. That number quickly grew to 100,000. For 20 years, these 100,000 people negotiated with the King of Bhutan to be allowed back into the country, to reclaim their homes and their lives, before finally agreeing to allow themselves to be resettled. Although many have been resettled to Australia and Europe, 70,000 of the original 100,000 have been resettled into the United States, with more than 20,000 Bhutanese people living in Columbus. They are now making Ohio history by buying homes, becoming American Citizens, voting, and starting businesses.

Bhutanese-Nepali people have a very close-knit, family oriented culture. Moreover, a history of prejudice in Bhutan and of survival in the refugee camp has encouraged them to stick together and to depend on each other. These experiences are resulting in a good deal of secondary migration to Columbus, which is to say that groups of Nepali speaking Bhutanese people have been resettled throughout the United States. However, their need to be near relatives and people who share the same language and culture has resulted in a constant flow of Bhutanese people moving to Columbus.






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Ohio History Connection

800 E. 17th Ave

Columbus, OH 43211

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