Benefit concert held for Russian woman taking sanctuary in Northampton church

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Russian born woman fighting deportation received financial support Saturday night in her struggle to remain in Northampton.

Dozens attended the fundraising concert at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence Saturday evening.

Her friends and supporters helped raise money for the defense fund for 37-year-old Irida Kakhtiranova.

The mother of three has been living in sanctuary at the Unitarian Society in downtown Northampton for the past twenty months.

Irida spoke with 22News off-camera, explaining where she wants to settle if she wins the legal battle.

“I would love to stay in the Northampton area because I love the community,” she said. “I love the people around here, and my little children take it as a family, not just a community but a family.”

Irida said she dreams of one day becoming an American citizen and opening her own restaurant in Northampton.

In the meantime a musical event helped raise defense fund resources to help her remain in the country she’s called home for the past 16 years.

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