Episode #11: Sani Rifati
Sani Rifati is Roma (Gypsy) from Kosovo. More than 20 years ago, he fled his country amid rampant violence including repeated attacks against Roma. After a few years in Italy, he came to the United States as a refugee. At this point, he has lived for many years in northern California, in the small city of Sebastopol where he is the director of a nonprofit called the "Voice of Roma."
Strongly motivated by a desire to see more attention brought to his community, he is acutely aware of the prejudice often directed towards Roma both in his native land and in the United States. The organization he runs not only helps support Roma refugees in Europe but also promotes Roma culture in the United States. Among other things, they organize an annual celebration of Roma culture which takes place each year in the spring. Some of the events are presented in Sebastopol and others, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The host of this episode is filmmaker Eve A. Ma.