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Syrian Refugees' Story in the Boston Globe

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May 22, 2017

External News

A family of Syrian refugees assisted by HIAS’ network is featured at the heart of a moving feature that appeared this past weekend: Threads of New Life. It is the second installment in a series of articles by The Boston Globe chronicling the sights and sounds of refugee resettlement in Framingham, Massachusetts through JFS Metrowest, HIAS’ resettlement partner in the area.

Abdulkader Hayani and his wife, Asmaa, arrived with their four young children through the refugee resettlement program. They are beginning a new life in the United States with help from JFS Metrowest.

The story captures the family’s early days in the U.S. and shows the many rewards and challenges of starting a new life here—finding work, learning English and, for the older children, starting school.

The guidance counselor leading them around stopped in a bright hallway by an indoor garden. Panels of sunlight glazed the beige tiled floor, streaming over basking racks of potted plants. Their tour guide gestured at the slender shoots in the smallest pots.

“These plants are new,” he told the Syrian children, as he did each time he welcomed new immigrant students, 40 or 50 each year. “Those big plants, last year, were like these small ones.”

The children listened intently as their caseworker repeated his words in Arabic.

“This is your school, and you will grow here and become big plants,” the counselor continued. “You will speak English, you will learn, but just like these plants, it will take time.”

The boys looked thoughtful, their faces lit by the sun, wondering if the promise was one they could believe in.

Click here to read the full story on BostonGlobe.com.