Photo by Laura Hayes
Photo by Laura Hayes

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This month Compass Rose joined a growing national initiative to support refugees, and more specifically those who have fled war-torn Syria. The 14th Street NW hotspot played host to a dinner last night that was a part of the Refugees Welcome campaign that launched in February. With the support of UNICEF, Refugees Welcome encourages people and restaurants in cities around the world to host dinners for refugees and non-refugees to break bread together.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are currently 65.3 million people displaced worldwide. At last night’s dinner, there was a refugee family of four from Afghanistan as well as Elshan, who came with Upwardly Global, an organization that helps new immigrants rebuild their careers. They were joined by two other women refugees, one from Afghanistan and one from Burundi.

Fresh off a research trip to Philadelphia’s Zahav, Chef Gerald Addison whipped up a Middle Eastern-inspired menu with falafel, lamb, hummus, and smoky eggplant. 

More Refugees Welcome dinners are expected in D.C. during the month of Ramadan (May 26-June 25), but there are other ways to get involved in the meantime. Compass Rose diners can reserve its Bedouin tent for private group dinners, and the restaurant is featuring some Syrian-inspired dishes throughout May.

Proceeds from the dinners will be sent to The Karam Foundation, which provides Syrians with education, sustainable development, and other forms of aid.

“It’s not lost on us that we have a Bedouin tent in an alley in D.C.,” Compass Rose owner Rose Previte says. “Why not use it to raise awareness and money for people who are forced to live in a tent in a refugee camp thousands of miles from here? We have so muchit’s the least we can do.” 

There are a limited number of reservations left for the tent this month. Dinner costs $70 per person before tax, tip, and alcohol. 

Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW, (202) 506-4765;