Hurricane “Irma”: How Bulgarians in America offer help to compatriots

Written by on September 11, 2017 in World - Comments Off on Hurricane “Irma”: How Bulgarians in America offer help to compatriots

The Bulgarian people is spread all over the world. Most Bulgarians abroad live in Germany, England and the United States. Around one million Bulgarians have chosen to live abroad since they were suddenly allowed to leave their home country after the fall of communism.

Within the U.S., there are large Bulgarian communities in Chicago and Boston, but also in Florida, where hurricane Irma just caused havoc. Hundreds of thousands of inhabitants had to flee, including Bulgarians.

While the Bulgarian embassy in Washington D.C. had set up a “crisis center”, Bulgarians in America helped each other. In online forums, they offered accommodation for those who were forced to evacuate. In some cases, there was room for four evacuees, in others a sofa for one person from the affected areas was offered.

In one of the three Facebook groups called “Bulgarians in USA” (without the article), Plamen Armutliev, who lives in Cleveland (Ohio) offered help. “We can pick up a family or four people”, he wrote in his post. “Send me a personal message. It’s free.”

Anni Krassimirova from Boston wanted to help those in need too. “For those who are still in the process of evacuating from Florida and Georgia, we have 2 rooms in Boston”, it said in her post, which included her contact data.

Rossen Doukov is yet another Bulgarian in America. “I have 2 free bedrooms for evacuees from Florida”, his post said. Doukov lives in Virginia.

Of course many Bulgarians in Florida may have contacted friends and relatives in other areas, in order to stay with them, while Irma, now a category 1 storm, was still dangerous. But it is unclear how many Bulgarians, who live at the Florida coast, actually travelled as far as Cleveland, Boston or Richmond, in order to be accommodated by kind compatriots.

But it seems Bulgarians abroad might stick together even more than Bulgarians in their home country. The danger posed by Irma and the kind gestures of the kind mentioned here must have made many feel a common bond.

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.