Tag Archives: Refugees

Syrian refugees in America concerned about anti-Muslim sentiment

Posted December 13, 2015 13:22:12

The death of Linda’s seven-day-old infant boy changed everything.

He was killed in a hospital bombing in Damascus in 2012. He was the only boy among her six kids.

Linda, her husband and 5 daughters fled to Lebanon.

There, they lived on UN meals stamps for two years whilst undergoing the lengthy procedure of applying for asylum in the United States.

Sitting at a picnic table, watching her daughters run about in the playground of a mosque in Baltimore, she stated the process was difficult.

“What can I inform you? They asked concerns about your complete life since birth — what did you do?” she mentioned.

“Not only you — about your relatives, about your parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, all of your loved ones, the whole loved ones history.”

Linda and her household arrived in Baltimore in late 2014, amongst a handful of Syrian refugees to settle in the US city in the previous few years.

Her husband functions as a delivery driver, her five daughters are in college and, for the first time in her life, Linda has learned how to drive.

“Of course I’m satisfied,” she said, seeking at her eldest daughter, 16-year-old Faiyza sitting next to her listening to music on her telephone through headphones.

Although Linda has discovered close friends at the local mosque who have helped her navigate her new life, America does not yet feel like the excellent property.

“Half of the society is okay in welcoming us, the other half is not,” she said.

Muslim refugees greeted with resentment and fear

The Paris and California terror attacks unleashed a wave of anti-Muslim refugee sentiment in the United States.

Numerous Republican presidential candidates pounced on fears that Islamic extremists could infiltrate the United States to carry out attacks.

Frontrunner Donald Trump this week referred to as for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on”, whilst his rival Ben Carson likened Syrian refugees to “a rabid dog running around your neighbourhood”.

America’s peak Islamic physique, the Centre for American-Islamic Relations, stated attacks on Muslim’s have sharply enhanced in current weeks.

Earlier this week, their headquarters was evacuated soon after employees received white powder in the mail with a note reading “die a painful death, Muslims”.

Police had been investigating a number of anti-Muslim acts across the nation, which includes a pig’s head left at a mosque in Philadelphia and a bullet-riddled Koran left outside an Islamic clothing store in California.

The Home Safety Committee revealed this week that individuals tied to terrorist groups in Syria have attempted to enter the United States by way of its refugee plan.

US president Barack Obama stated last month that refugees who end up in the United States were the “most vetted, scrutinised, thoroughly investigated individuals that ever arrive on American shores”.

Mr Obama desires to settle ten,000 Syrian refugees by next September, but a number of states are attempting to block their entry.

Baltimore opens its door to Syrians fleeing persecution

Amid the backlash, one US city is opening its doors to those fleeing persecution in the Middle East.

The city of Baltimore’s population fell by a third since the 1950s and the mayor desires to boost it by welcoming a lot more migrants.

“They open enterprise, raise families and contribute to our neighborhood economy,” mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake Photo: Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has welcomed refugees from the Middle-East to her city with open arms. (ABC)

Mayor Rawlings-Blake mentioned she wants ten,000 families to migrate to the city in the next decade, and hopes many of them come from the war-torn Middle East.

“Regardless of what we’ve witnessed in Paris, my passionate assistance for welcoming new Americans to Baltimore remains unwavering,” she said.

“I hope that refugees from Syria and areas of conflict will appear to Baltimore as a potential place to contact property.”

The city has set up education, employment and economic help programs for refugees and they are currently producing success stories.

Two months ago, 58-year old Togolese refugee Adote Akwei used a special loan from the regional government to purchase a two-storey home in Baltimore’s suburbs.

“We have been here for the last two months, but until now it is a dream for me. I can’t think it,” he stated, sitting in his the neat, sparsely furnished lounge area.

“Sometimes if you see me rolling on the carpet here, [I] just like to feel like it is actual and it is accurate” he mentioned, looking down at the soft beige carpet beneath his chair.

Syrian refugee Linda worries what impact the anti-Muslim sentiment in the US will have on her daughters, but she hopes to remain in America and grow to be a contributing member of society.

She hopes other people like her will be offered the same chance.

“I am one particular mother out of millions of Syrian mothers who need to have aid, and those mothers want to guarantee their kids have a future too,” she stated.

Subjects: refugees, immigration, united-states, syrian-arab-republic

Agen Sabung Ayam

Trudeau welcomes first of 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada

Posted December 12, 2015 07:45:27

Canada's PM Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees Photo: Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau (L) greets a young Syrian refugee at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. (Reuters: Mark Blinch)
Associated Story: Donald Trump calls for ban on Muslims entering US
Map: Canada

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has personally welcomed the 1st of 25,000 Syrian refugees Canada hopes to resettle over the subsequent three months.

Key points

  • Canada’s prime minister greets 1st of 25,000 Syrian refugees to arrive in the nation
  • 163 Syrians arrived by plane in Toronto
  • Canada is hoping to resettle 10,000 Syrians by the end of the year
  • Unlike the United States, there has been little opposition to the resettlement program

Government and opposition MPs joined Mr Trudeau in greeting the refugees when they landed in Toronto.

“This is a great night, where we get to show not just a planeload of new Canadians what Canada is all about, we get to show the planet how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult conditions,” the prime minister said.

Mr Trudeau’s Liberal government scaled back the quantity of Syrian migrants it will accept by year finish right after the attacks in Paris sparked concern that the election promise to bring in 25,000 by December 31 would not permit adequate time for security checks.

The plane carrying 163 Syrian refugees touched down in Toronto just just before midnight on Thursday (neighborhood time) and will be followed by a second military airlift to Montreal on Saturday.

Mr Trudeau has mentioned 10,000 will be resettled by the finish of the year and a additional 15,000 by the finish of February.

As he met the military aircraft amid tight safety at a special terminal, privately sponsored Syrian refugees have been arriving on industrial flights at Toronto’s principal terminal, greeted by sponsors and ordinary Canadians who had come to the airport to welcome the a lot-anticipated newcomers.

“They are very tired, but they are happy and hopeful,” stated Soriya Dasir, a worker with Abraham Festival, a group that sponsored a single mother and 3 youngsters who had been living in a camp in Jordan for two years, as she escorted them previous waiting media.

Warm reception contrasts with US response

Canada's prime minister helps young Syrian refugee with jacket Photo: Mr Trudeau (L) helped a young Syrian refugee attempt on a winter coat soon after she arrived with her loved ones from Beirut. (Reuters: Mark Blinch)

Toronto’s airport authority urged Canadians not to come to the airport to greet the refugees or drop off donations, saying: “We’re so proud that our community wants to support, but such a response would be really overwhelming for those arriving.”

The request did not deter Shai Reef, 20, who held up a sign that study: “Welcome to Canada” in Arabic.

“I’m here to show my solidarity for and support of the Syrian men and women going by way of genocide in Syria,” Mr Reef said.

“As Jews, we were also locked out, I know what it feels like.”

Toronto’s mayor tweeted a welcome, although the Toronto Star, the country’s biggest newspaper, covered its front web page with a “Welcome to Canada” banner headline in English and Arabic, along with an post explaining Canadian climate, ice hockey and slang.

The reception in Canada contrasted sharply with that of the neighbouring United States, where worry of Syrian refugees following the deadly November 13 Paris attacks spurred opposition to permitting them entry.

Some US governors stated their states would not accept Syrian refugees, even though Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump referred to as for a ban on Muslims getting into the nation.

With security concerns, immigration paperwork and the flight’s late-evening arrival, refugees on the military aircraft were to be place up at a nearby hotel for the night prior to meeting their sponsors and resettlement agencies on Friday.


Subjects: refugees, immigration, canada

Agen Sabung Ayam

Pope in Africa rails against corruption, appeals for refugees

Posted November 28, 2015 06:34:41

Pope Francis meets Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni Photo: Pope Francis (L) meets with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (C) upon his arrival in Entebbe. (AFP: Isaac Kasamani)

Pope Francis has urged young Kenyans not to yield to the sweet lure of corruption, and urged them to aid those tempted by “fanatical” ideologies.

The Pope created his appeal in unprepared remarks at his last occasion in the Kenyan capital just before flying to Uganda where he started the second leg of his very first trip to the continent.

Arriving in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Friday evening, he received a tumultuous welcome from ululating dancers and president Yoweri Musevini, wearing his trademark wide-brimmed hat.

The Pope spoke of the planet refugee crisis and mentioned how the world handles it will be “a test of our humanity, our respect for human dignity and above all our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in need”.

The higher point of the Pope’s third day on the continent came earlier in Nairobi, exactly where he scrapped a prepared script to address a packed stadium with the down-to-earth and spontaneous style that has endeared him to Catholics and other individuals about the planet.

“The spirit of evil requires us to a lack of unity. It takes to tribalism, corruption and drugs. It requires us to destruction out of fanaticism,” the Pope stated, urging young individuals not to give in to these vices.

“Let’s hold hands together, let’s stand up as a sign against poor tribalism,” he mentioned, grasping the hands of two young folks on stage.

Tribal loyalties typically trump political allegiances in Kenya, and some other African nations, occasionally sparking violence.

Pope Francis with Kenyan youth Photo: Pope Francis holds hands with youth for the duration of a meeting at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi. (AFP: Osservatore Romano)

Soon after getting welcomed into the stadium with rapturous singing and dancing, like by Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, the initial lady and clergy, the Pope was cheered throughout his speech.

The president reshuffled his cabinet this week right after several ministers were embroiled in corruption allegations.

Corruption “is like sugar, sweet, we like, it’s effortless,” the Pope said. “Also in the Vatican there are instances of corruption.

“Please, never develop that taste for that sugar which is called corruption.”

In Kenya, the target of a spate of deadly attacks by Islamist militants, the pope has named for inter-faith dialogue, mentioned God’s name can in no way be invoked to justify violence, and urged globe leaders to tackle climate change.

“God is a lot stronger than any recruitment campaign,” he mentioned, adding youths should aid prospective victims by bringing them into groups or even asking them “to come and watch some football … Do not permit them to stay on their own.”

Earlier he addressed residents of a Nairobi slum of potholed roads, open sewers and rough shacks.

He told slum dwellers, charity workers and clergy in a modest church their situation was one of the “wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to energy and wealth, who selfishly squander even though a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries.”

Pope Francis will keep in Uganda until Sunday, when he is due to travel to the war-torn Central African Republic — his final quit in Africa.


Subjects: government-and-politics, religion-and-beliefs, neighborhood-and-society, uganda, kenya

Agen Sabung Ayam

Why It Takes Two Years for Syrian Refugees to Enter the U.S.

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Syrians have to pass through many measures of safety clearances prior to becoming admitted to the United States, and are topic to additional checks beyond refugees of other nationalities.

Bandar Sabung Ayam

Syrian Refugees Cling to a Longtime Haven in Michigan

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — In late 2011, as killings, kidnappings and sectarian strife crept across its battle-scarred city of Homs, Syria, the family members of four produced a sorrowful decision: to flee.

Radwan Mughrbel his wife, Sanaa Hammadeh and their two young sons packed their bags with only a single modify of garments per particular person. They took a bus to Damascus and hired a taxi to spirit them across the border into Jordan. For years, they patched with each other a meager life, barely making enough cash to eat and desperately seeking refugee status.

When the United Nations refugee agency asked where they wanted to go, the answer was obvious.

“America,” mentioned Mr. Mughrbel, a brief, wiry Muslim man of 52, his face lighting up in a smile as he sat in his bare-walled living space in this Detroit suburb last week. “They brought us here, and I really feel secure, like nothing negative can happen to us. Now we have a stunning life.”

But that stunning life has been shaken. Given that the terrorist attacks in Paris, a tide of anti-refugee, anti-Muslim sentiment has swept, angrily and inexorably, across the United States. Now Mr. Mughrbel and Ms. Hammadeh say Michigan is not as welcoming a spot as it was ahead of.

Gov. Rick Snyder, who in September publicly rhapsodized about the boon that refugees had been to Michigan’s economy, was among the first of more than two dozen Republican governors to vow final week that they would try to keep displaced Syrians out of their states to preserve the security of Americans from would-be terrorists.

Presidential candidates and elected officials about the nation have suggested closing mosques, collecting Syrian refugees currently in the country or making a registry for Muslims.

Sentiments like those are particularly jarring in Michigan, which has 1 of the largest and most vibrant Arab-American populations in the country and a vocal group of advocates for bringing far more Syrian refugees to the United States. In the Detroit suburbs, refugees have traded a harrowing war in the Middle East for cold winters, strip malls and neatly arranged subdivisions, with homes as uniform as Monopoly pieces.

The United States has accepted a lot more than 1,800 Syrian refugees since October 2014. Michigan has welcomed close to 200 — far more than any other state except California and Texas. The Obama administration has stated it desires to bring in at least 10,000 in the subsequent year.

These plans have been threatened by the sudden and contentious debate more than no matter whether these refugees, numerous of them young young children, are security threats. On Thursday, the Republican-led Residence voted overwhelmingly to impose new screening procedures on refugees from Syria. After Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, a Republican, said he did not want any more Syrian refugees in his state, a single Syrian household destined for Indianapolis was rerouted to Connecticut.

In explaining Mr. Snyder’s opposition to Syrians coming to Michigan, his spokesman, David Murray, stated the state remained “unwavering” in its commitment to helping refugees.

“But our initial priority is to hold Michiganders secure,” Mr. Murray said. “After tragedies such as we’ve noticed in France, Lebanon and in the skies above Egypt in current weeks, it is suitable to pause and overview background and security procedures with our partners in the federal government.”

Regardless, advocates for refugees say they have no intention to quit assisting them settle right here. Numerous far more Syrian households who have waited for refugee status for years are destined for Michigan in the coming months.

Mr. Mughrbel, who arrived with his family members in July, bristled at the suggestion that refugees like him could be a threat.

“We didn’t cross illegally,” he stated. He threw his hands in the air. “We went via hell to get here.”

Escape From War

Graphic | Paris Attacks Intensify Debate Over How Several Syrian Refugees to Let Into the U.S. A increasing quantity of governors mentioned they oppose the entry of Syrian refugees into their states.

That hell started in Homs much more than four years ago.

The government, beneath President Bashar al-Assad, had cracked down on the rebellious city, religious sects have been at war with one particular an additional, and the deadly mix of bombings, snipers and random violence forced several residents indoors. Ms. Hammadeh was afraid to leave their residence to shop for fresh food. On some days, the loved ones resorted to eating moldy bread.

The couple’s sons, Soubei and Ahmad, now 19 and 18, had been then in their early teens, and their parents started to worry they would be kidnapped.

“We got scared,” Ms. Hammadeh said. “The government would see children on the street and take them, beat them. We didn’t want them to kidnap our young children.”

In November 2011, they resolved to leave.

Everything had to be left behind: furniture, photographs, almost all of their garments. The only exception was Ms. Hammadeh’s gold wedding band and two bracelets that she slipped onto her wrist. When the family arrived in Jordan, she sold them all for about $ 230.

Life in their temporary country was expensive and hard. Mr. Mughrbel’s brother, who had also fled to Jordan, died of a heart attack. Mr. Mughrbel blamed tension.

After months of grueling trips to the United Nations refugee agency in Amman for repeated hourslong interviews as part of the refugee process, they located out they had been granted asylum.

“Our life was about to adjust,” Mr. Mughrbel said in Arabic through a translator. “We have been going to have a protected future for our youngsters, live a content life, be in a far better environment, be treated like a genuine person.”

Just before departing for the United States, he and his family attended four days of orientation, where they were instructed in the methods of American life. How to drive a vehicle. How to throw banana peels and other trash in a garbage can, not on the ground.

They were also schooled in what they must concentrate on when they arrived. Understand English, they were told. Find a job, since America is all about operate. The United States is a great place, they had been told. Individuals will respect you there.

On their first morning in their new Michigan apartment, they marveled at the lawns and trees. “We didn’t walk about because we had been afraid we would get lost,” Mr. Mughrbel said. “So we just looked out the window.”

“When I saw all the grass,” stated Ms. Hammadeh, 43, her large eyes widening, “I felt that I was reborn.”

She sheepishly recounted trivial missteps. A employed minivan, bought for $ 2,500, was accidentally filled with premium gas. An unfamiliar shampoo seemed to make her hair go temporarily thin.

But right after four months, the household says it is financially independent, living on the earnings of the two sons, who perform in a factory. Mr. Mughrbel, a cook and butcher in his native Syria, has located occasional operate in a restaurant and, after his English is greater, would like to open one of his own. At times the family piles into the van after dinner at residence and visits other Syrian families for coffee and gossip.

At home last week, family members members bustled about as a soccer game played on the television, their preferred option to CNN and all its bleak bulletins. The smell of eggplant and spices wafted from the galley kitchen. A glance through the sliding patio doors revealed other modest but properly-kept brick apartment buildings nearby.

They have kept their lives little, mainly going to work and back, and sometimes to the mosque. Mr. Mughrbel condemned the attacks in Paris. “These are criminals,” he said. “We are against this sort of stuff. You can not just walk and kill somebody in the street. God will not forgive you.”

Familiar Support

The process of maintaining an eye on the new refugees has fallen to numerous of the 3,000 Syrian-Americans who have settled near Detroit for generations, a group identified for its prosperity and devotion to greater education.

“There’s a significant quantity of Syrians here, so if the refugees do not have relatives, they’ll at least have a lot of cultural connections,” mentioned Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Our community in basic has been really welcoming to refugees, irrespective to their national origin.”

A lot of established Syrians have formed volunteer organizations to help in the resettlement approach supplied the refugees with furniture, clothing and meals and procured apartments, frequently at a discounted rent.

“We’re trying to assist them discover their way after they are right here,” mentioned Mahmoud Altattan, 65, the owner of Altas Greenfield Market place, an emporium of generate, jarred olives, nuts and pita breads in Southfield, a Detroit suburb. “They have some difficulty adjusting at first. We try to put them on the correct path.”

New refugees have come to his retailer in search of familiar comforts: pumpkin seeds, sweets and coffees from their native country. Mr. Altattan, who arrived in the United States from Syria 27 years ago and speaks softly accented English, mentioned he advised the refugees that their most crucial task was to learn the language.

“Most of the Syrian community is educated men and women, physicians, lawyers,” mentioned Mr. Altattan, who proudly noted that he counts a doctor and lawyer amongst his 4 grown youngsters. “The new Syrians who are coming now are not so educated.”

Refugee resettlement officials say several of the new refugees have worked in blue-collar jobs in Syria, as carpenters, cooks, tailors and drivers. A lot of had been poor and vulnerable when they fled.

Case managers for the agencies that assist with resettlement commit the initial handful of months of refugees’ time in the United States in a sort of hand-holding: generating practically everyday visits to their homes, helping them book doctor’s appointments and register their children for school, and driving them to the grocery shop.

“When refugees arrive to the nation, they don’t know what to do,” mentioned Jewan Poulis, a program coordinator with Lutheran Social Solutions of Michigan, an agency that has received about one particular or two Syrian households every single week considering that June. “They have no clue what’s going on.”

Amer Sharaf, a 36-year-old Syrian refugee who arrived in Michigan in August, stated he and his household had been warmly embraced by the older Syrians, who helped them by donating furniture and translating bills. A property painter when he lived in Syria, he identified a job right here in an automotive factory, creating $ 9 an hour and functioning 50 hours a week.

But in his family’s apartment final week, as he and his wife, Marvat Mando, sipped Turkish coffee and watched their kids read e-books on iPads offered by their public college, he turned to a new and troubling subject: the terrorist attacks in Paris and the governor’s subsequent criticism of Syrian refugees.

“It’s incorrect,” Mr. Sharaf said. “Why is what occurred everybody’s fault?”

One more Arrival

Last Tuesday afternoon, refugee specialists have been gathered in a conference area at the suburban Detroit offices of Lutheran Social Services, discussing their final preparations for the arrival of a family members of Syrian refugees on Wednesday evening.

Hani Aziz, a refugee specialist who is an Iraqi refugee himself, was assigned to choose up the loved ones of three at 8 p.m., at the finish of a long journey flying from Jordan to Frankfurt to Chicago and, lastly, to Detroit.

Two days earlier, Mr. Snyder had proclaimed his opposition to new Syrian refugees entering the state. The specialists talked about his name defiantly.

“If Snyder’s at the airport tomorrow, pushing them back onto the plane, then we know he’s for real,” Sean de Four, the vice president of children and family services at the agency, said wryly.

But when Wednesday evening came, the family’s flight was delayed for almost four hours. Standing in the arrivals terminal beneath an massive Christmas wreath, Mr. Aziz scanned the crowds nervously, not knowing something about the household except for names.

Ultimately, just right after midnight, the family emerged, seeking remarkably unrumpled: Nayef Buteh, 45 his wife, Feryal Jabur, 41 and their 8-year-old son, Arab.

Ms. Jabur was poised and sophisticated but sank onto a bench close to the baggage claim.

“It was very tiring,” she stated through a translator, looking glassy-eyed and exhausted. The couple’s son, wearing a black bomber jacket and jeans, slumped wordlessly next to her and lowered his dark eyelashes.

Mr. Buteh was polite but agitated, his eyes darting toward the exit. It had been 10 hours given that his final cigarette. He stepped out into the mild November air and lit up.

“Thank God,” he mentioned in Arabic, taking a deep drag.

Worn down by the grinding war in Syria, the family members fled in March 2013 on the bed of a pickup, destined for a refugee camp in Jordan. But water was scarce there, and health-related care was poor. Arab kept receiving sick. The 3 sneaked out illegally, heading to a larger city and discovering an apartment with relatives.

Close to two years later, the family was granted refugee status. “They mentioned, ‘We’ll send you to Michigan,’” Mr. Buteh mentioned as the minivan driven by Mr. Aziz hurtled down the practically empty highway. “They told us it’s very lovely, with a large Middle Eastern neighborhood and jobs in automobile factories.”

About 2 a.m., the van delivered the household to its tiny motel, exactly where a spread of tea, chicken, rice, apples and pickles awaited on a evening stand.

Mr. Buteh stepped out into the deserted parking lot and rapidly smoked an additional cigarette. He patted the beige, puffy coat he was wearing and glanced upward.

“I was not expecting it to be warm,” he mentioned. “I came right here expecting snow.”

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Bandar Sabung Ayam