In the early hours of a February morning in 2008, Daoud Abudiab woke up to a call by the local fire department. The Muslim community leader was notified that there had been an attack on the Islamic Center of Columbia, the home of the Muslim community in Columbia, Tenn. The very mosque that he directed was defaced with racial slurs and burned to the ground. For Abudiab, his family, and the Columbia community, the attack was a reminder of how hate can devastate a community; but also, a lesson that strength and unity can overcome tragedy. Nearly four years later, his daughter reflects on the hate that she and her community experienced that day. This user-generated video is part of Nashville Public Television's award-winning Next Door Neighbors series, which views the Tennessee city through the lens of its newest residents.
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Known to most as the “Music City” of the United States, Nashville, Tenn., is the heart of a vibrant country music scene and a mecca for those who hope to break into the industry. In recent years, however, Nashville has also been known by a different name. Since early 1990, the Southern state has gained over 200,000 foreign-born residents. With almost half of this population settling into the Nashville area, the U.S. State Department has designated Nashville as a “Destination City” for refugees. Today, the city is home to a colorful mix of Kurdish, Somali, Ethiopian, Burmese, Sudanese, Iranian, Iraqi, and Bhutanese communities attempting to integrate into the traditional culture of Nashville.