First 2016 Syrian Refugee Family Arrives… In Kansas City, USA


Refugee family was “surviving on food coupons” in Jordan… they are coming to America for a job opportunity, good education, and a good life…. something every homeless American dreams of as well.

Arriving in Kansas City, Missouri Wednesday night was the first of Obama’s promised 10,000 Syrian refugees he plans to “resettle” in America by September 30th of this year.   Ahmad al-Abboud, 45, his wife and five children are “excited for new opportunities,” said Judy McGonigle Akers, the executive vice president of Della Lamb Community Services, which is helping resettle the family.

“I’m happy. America is the country of freedom and democracy, there are jobs opportunities, there is good education, and we are looking forward to having a good life over there,” al-Abboud said.

 They have been living in Jordan for the past three years after fleeing Syria’s civil war, Al-Abboud was unable to find work, and the family was surviving on food coupons.   He said he wants to learn English and find a job to support his family.    “I am ready to integrate in the U.S. and start a new life,” he told The Associated Press in Amman’s airport before the family boarded a flight to Kansas City.

Gina Kassem, the regional refugee coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, said most Syrian refugees coming to America will be resettled from Jordan.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“The 10,000 (figure) is a floor and not a ceiling, and it is possible to increase the number,” Kassem told reporters.[/pullquote]

While the resettlement process usually takes 18 to 24 months, the surge operation will reduce the time to three months, Kassem said.   A resettlement surge center in Amman interviews some 600 Syrian refugees every day.   Priority is given to high-risk groups such as unaccompanied minors and victims of torture and gender-based violence. “We do not have exclusions or look for families with certain education background, language skills or other socio-economic factors, and we do not cut family sizes,” she said.


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