Please tell the president and Congress to stand up for Syrian refugees
This petition had 6,878 supporters
My family fled bombs and terror in Syria – Please tell the president and Congress to stand up for Syrian refugees
I came to the United States last year, just after my 14th birthday, with my mother and five brothers and sisters. Before the war started in my country, Syria, we had a happy life together as a family in the beautiful city of Homs. Then one day, about a year into the conflict, my father was killed by a sniper on his way home from work. Not long after, our house was destroyed in the fighting – we were caught in the crossfire.
My mother moved us all to the capital Damascus, where we thought we would be safe, but then one night a barrel bomb landed on our new home. My mother, brother, and I were struck by shrapnel but we were lucky to survive. So many others have died in these attacks. After this, we just didn’t feel safe anymore, so I fled with my family to Lebanon. It was very difficult there too. After a very long screening process, with lots of background checks and questions, we were told we would be granted asylum in the United States, where we would finally be safe.
My family and I are some of the very few lucky ones. But millions more Syrians just like me have lost their homes and had their lives destroyed by this conflict. Almost 5 million Syrians are living in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, where my family and I lived, one in four people were refugees like me. So far this year, the US has accepted just about 2,805 Syrian refugees, but President Obama has promised to welcome to 10,000 by October 2016. It takes a long time because the security process is so thorough.
But some members of Congress are trying to stop this lifeline for Syrian families like mine. Through calls for a pause or additional regulations that will effectively end the process. Our next president needs to stand strong to prevent this from happening. Resettlement to countries like the US is only possible for less than 1% of the world’s refugees who have nowhere else to turn. It is a matter of life and death.
Now that we are here, with the help of the Syrian Community Network, my oldest brother has a job, and my younger brothers and sisters and I are in school, and learning English. My dream is to be a doctor, specializing in women’s health. That’s what my father would have wanted for me. And now, living here in Chicago, I have that chance. Will you tell the president and Congress to keep this vital pathway open for people like me?
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