What a Syrian refugee hears in Trump’s words

World Today

One Syrian refugee, now living in the United States for over a year is paying close attention to the new president’s plans on refugees. For him, Trump’s Executive Orders are personal.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has been covering Mohamad Sayadi’s transition since he first came to the U.S. and sent us this report.

What a Syrian refugee hears in Trump's words

What a Syrian refugee hears in Trump's words

One Syrian refugee, now living in the United States for over a year is paying close attention to the new president's plans on refugees. For him, Trump's Executive Orders are personal. CGTN's Roee Ruttenberg has been covering Mohamad Sayadi's transition since he first came to the U.S. and sent us this report.
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We first met Mohamad in Georgia in 2015. He had just arrived in the U.S., was working various jobs, and spoke little to no English.

We met him again last year, here in Louisville, Kentucky. He was living on his own, working in a liquor store, and said in very clear English that he sends most of his money back to his family.

His parents and his two younger sisters in Jordan, and are waiting to join him in the U.S. They’ve been approved to come, and have plane tickets for early February. And this week, they began orientation classes.

But under the new American administration, their arrival is now uncertain. And that has Mohamed worried.

“America for a long time has helped people.” said Sayadi. “It’s helped the person who needs help, and this is the land of dreams,

When asked about the language being used by the new president against Syrians refugees, Mohamad said all refugees are not the same.

“They just need help because they left their country. They only need to help them.”

With uncertainty about Trump’s plan on refugees, there’s a chance now that Mohamad’s family arrival may be delayed, or even canceled.

“I can’t think about that because all of my plans, all of my thinking, was about when they come in; what I would do at the airport; I will take them to a restaurant; I will make a small party for them,” he said. “If he signs that order, he will break all of my plans. I don’t know what I have to do. Because I am here, I am far, I can’t do anything for them. We are just supposed to wait… in the future maybe he [Trump] will change his mind.”

Mohamad tells us that, were he able to vote, he would actually vote for Donald Trump. He says he himself is a patriot, and would be the first to line up to defend America. A patriotism he hopes to pass on to this family if they eventually arrive.

Mohamad’s message for President Trump


More of Mohamad Sayadi’s story