A Caring Community

By Massa Dunnaville

Since March 2016, when my husband and I moved to Burleith with our son, we’ve gotten to know and love our new community. As newbies, we wanted to explore our surroundings, and so we joined the BCA gardening and dining clubs. Folks shared a wealth of gardening and culinary knowledge and opened their homes, hearts, and minds to our family.

One of the reasons we chose a home in Burleith is because of the separate in-law-suite basement which makes for a great space to accommodate long-term guests. My parents visit us regularly in the summers from Damascus, Syria—a beautiful ancient city that is unfortunately more commonly known nowadays for the on-going war that has concealed much of its potential.

 My parents have been visiting DC regularly for over 10 years now, enjoying what Burleith and the city have to offer.

My parents have been visiting DC regularly for over 10 years now, enjoying what Burleith and the city have to offer.

Living in a war-torn country my parents seem to have little to look forward to these days. Their annual trip to DC has been a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to re-live their peaceful childhoods by being involved in their grandson’s life. If there was one word to describe the Damascus that my parents and I knew pre-2011 it would be “safe.” Our wishes will always be for safety to return one day—hopefully in our lifetime.

Around February of this year I received a flood of emails from concerned neighbors asking if they were impacted by the travel ban on Syrians. Luckily, they weren’t and made it safely to Burleith to spend another summer in DC. At the summer picnic, neighbors were stopping me to meet the parents and ask how everything went on their end. I was very touched and comforted that I live in a caring community. We couldn’t have picked a more perfect fit for our family.

Last month we had some time to bake cookies over the weekend. As a token of appreciation to all those who reached out to ask about my family, I sent out an email asking if/who would like to sample cookies. We went door to door with a list of those who responded and delivered treats to more than 17 caring neighbors. Thank you Burleith for making up such a compassionate community.