On June 18th, CRP had the great pleasure of celebrating the life of Rosemary Nuri, a former CRP board member and, more importantly, my grandmother.

Rosemary saw CRP’s potential from the organization’s beginnings. Because of her dedication to assisting refugees, she was instrumental in helping CRP grow into what it is today.

Thanks to technology, the commemoration brought the CRP staff together in the Hashemi Al-Shamali Garden with Rosemary’s family and friends in America. Her far-flung family members had the opportunity to see and interact with the organization that Rosemary held so close to her heart.

The afternoon featured a speech from CRP Executive Director, Amanda Lane, who presented a plaque made in Rosemary’s memory. I was honored to accept the plaque on behalf of my grandmother and everyone else who is lucky enough to call her family.

Rosemary was born and raised in Black Mountain, North Carolina. She met her husband, Walid Nuri, at UNC Chapel Hill and the couple moved to his home country of Iraq soon after marrying.

She had no prior knowledge of the language, culture, or what life in Iraq would be like. Yet, after starting, and raising, a family in Baghdad for more than a decade, she was fluent in Arabic and used her love of Iraqi culture and language to help refugees years after moving back to the states.

The presentation of my grandmother’s plaque was followed by a music performance by CRP’s very own youth choir and accompanying instrumentalists–a group filled with talent and passion that Rosemary would have truly appreciated.

Their harmonies allowed for a time of reflection and remembrance for Rosemary Nuri and CRP’s growth over the last two decades.

I am thankful that I was able to not only receive the plaque on behalf of my grandmother, but also read the plaque in English and Arabic so everyone present at the ceremony could hear about Rosemary’s legacy.

After all, it was my grandmother who encouraged me to learn to read and write Arabic, and now I’m speaking it to talk about her halfway across the world.

I am grateful that I could be in Amman serving as a CRP summer intern to help plan, and participate, in this beautiful event for my grandmother, my family, and for all of our community.

Thank you grandma. I would not be here without you.

Grace Nuri
CRP Summer Intern