PHOENIX (KSAZ) - For several Syrian refugees here in the valley, this new year means new surroundings and a new beginning. On New Year's Eve, three families of different faiths came together to ring in 2016.
As many around the world say goodbye to 2015, refugees who arrived in the valley just weeks ago joined a local rabbi to show that people of different faiths can get along.
"This is how we're going to transform the world together.. by building bridges, by having meals with people of different faiths and nationalities and breaking down these artificial boundaries, which is where the hate and fear begins," said Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz.
A Jewish family, a Christian family and a Muslim family, all enjoying music, food and even games for the kids.
This Muslim father is appreciative of his family's new start here in the U.S. and he's hoping something like this can help break the stereotype that they're faith makes them violent.
"I don't want people to think we're violent people or terrorists. On the contrary, we're the ones trying to escape that and that's why we ended up here, said Abdulouahed Mohamed through a translator.
For many in this room, the gathering symbolizes what can be accomplished when we all come together in peace.
"It gives me an idea of how America is really loving and open minded and big heart, if I can use this word and I am thankful, said Rabah Soufam.