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‘Bring the world closer’: Facebook’s Zuckerburg has iftar with Somali refugees

“You are a powerful reminder of why this country is so great,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to a group of Somali refugees.

world Updated: Jun 24, 2017 15:16 IST
Taru Bhatia
Taru Bhatia
Hindustan Times
Facebook,Mark Zukerberg,Ramzan
“You are a powerful reminder of why this country is so great,” Zuckerberg said to the group of Somali refugees.(Facebook/MarkZukerberg)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his first Iftar dinner with a group of Somali refugees in Minneapolis on Thursday in what was seen as a bid to foster his company’s new mission statement: to build communities and bring the world closer.

Zuckerberg shared a picture of the dinner in which he is seen interacting with hijab-clad women around a table and posted a brief message along with it on his Facebook wall about “our country that values freedom”.

“As a refugee, you often don’t get to choose which country you end up in. When I asked one man, who had spent 26 years in a refugee camp, whether America now felt like home, he gave a simple and profound answer: ‘Home is where you are free to do what you want. Yes, this feels like home’,” Zuckerberg recounted.

Thanking his hosts for the dinner, the 33-year-old social media giant founder said he was impressed by the refugees’ “strength and resilience to build a new life in an unfamiliar place”. “You are a powerful reminder of why this country is so great.”

Over 3.17 lakh people have reacted to his post while nearly 26,000 people shared it.

Facebook had earlier, on Thursday, changed its mission statement to, ‘To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together’, from its earlier one, “To make the world more open and connected’.

Explaining the reason behind the change, Zuckerberg had said, “For 10 years, we focused on doing everything around connecting people with their friends and family.”

“Now I think that there is a whole lot of similar work to be done around communities: Meeting new people, getting exposed to new perspectives, making it so that the communities that you join online can translate to the physical world, too,” he said.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 15:14 IST