Under the rule of President Bashar Assad, Syria was run as a secular government. This is in part why I don’t believe President Assad who’s been in power for fifteen years is leaving anytime soon. If he hasn’t buckled by now, after Sunnis terrorist groups promoting Sharia law have invaded his land and after the western imposed financial sanctions have devastated their economy, why do we think he is now going to succumb to outside pressures? This is especially true as Russia is financially and militarily supporting President Assad’s regime.
Would you believe that Saudi Arabia is not taking in Syrian refugees because their officials are convinced that those disaffected Syrians, living in fear for their lives within Syria, will become motivated to push President Assad to step down from power? I am hoping that the friendship that we have with Saudi Arabia is not why the USA is not welcoming more refugees then the goal of 10,000. There is a two year stringent vetting process. designed to check for any background in terrorism, before the U.S. government will grant approval for any Syrian to enter this country.
Before the civil war in 2011, the following is the Syrian population breakdown (Wikipedia):
“In 2011, Syria’s population was 72-74% Sunni Muslim (59-60% Arabs, 9-11% Kurds and 2-3% Turkmen), other Muslims (including Alawites, Shia and Ismaili) made up 16% of the population, various Christian denominations made up 10-12% and finally, there were a few Jewish communities in Aleppo and Damascus. 1,500 people of Greek descent lived in Syria at the time. The majority of them were Syrian citizens” Over 150,000 have lost their lives because of the civil arrest and anywhere from nine to twelve millions Iraqis have fled their country in search of peace and safety.
For U.S. businesses which cannot fill current jobs of a technical nature, such as computer engineering, and other professionals, hiring Syrian refugees could be an answer. Many of the Syrians who are fleeing are well educated, hard working, decent peoples who should be welcome in any country. Those educated in Syria are typically conversant in English, French as well as in their Arabic language. Jess McHugh confirms this fact in his 9/9/15 IBT times article, Europe Refugee Crisis Facts: “Wealthy, Educated Syrians Risking Lives To Leave War.” The following are some excerpts.
“Thousands of people have arrived in Europe in recent months in what experts have called the worst refugee crisis since World War II. The geographic, political and economic backgrounds of the arrivals has been the subject of much confusion and debate among scholars and European citizens alike, amid growing concerns over the cost of integrating so many foreigners. Recent figures from the U.N. and other aid organizations, however, have shown that the majority of people arriving in Europe often come from upper middle class, well-educated backgrounds.”
“Similar to ourselves, they have aspirations for university, for careers,” said Paul Donohoe, spokesman for the International Rescue Committee, an international nonprofit that assists in emergency aid situations.”
Families And Children Fleeing Syria
“More than half — 53 percent — of the 380,412 people who have arrived in Europe since January are from Syria, the United Nations reported Wednesday. Syrians are different from other refugees in that they are far more likely to come from professional backgrounds.”
“The Syrian civil war began in 2011 after protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad turned violent and eventually spiraled into a full-blown civil conflict. The violence in Syria has only grown over the past four years, as factions splintered along increasingly sectarian lines, and the Islamic State group (ISIS) capitalized on the chaos to take over vast swathes of Iraq and Syria in an attempt to impose extremist Islamic law. Over 220,000 people have died since 2011 in Syria, and 11 million have been displaced.”
“Children represent more than half of all Syrian refugees worldwide. Of those children, the majority are under 12 years old, and widely publicized images have circulated of babies as young as one-month-old crossing into Greece. At least 15 percent of the refugees that have arrived in Europe this year have been children, and 13 percent have been women, according to the United Nations.”
“We have certainly dealt with young men who were fleeing recruitment by ISIS, as well as by the government and any number of the insurgent groups,” said Judith Sunderland of the nonprofit Human Rights Watch.”
Smart Phones And Refugee Camps
“Donohoe said many of the refugees living in camps in Lesbos, Greece — one of the most popular arrival points for refugees and migrants — had smartphones. At least a few people could speak English on every boat arriving to Lesbos, meaning that many of them likely had a formal education or came from an upper middle-class background, he said.”
“Doctors, bankers and Syrians from other high-paying professions have been among the arrivals. Several of the refugees interviewed by the International Business Times had university educations, and one pair of brothers had worked in investment banking in Syria and were looking to do the same in Europe.”
“On the eve of the civil war in early 2011, Syrian GDP per capita was more than double what it was in neighboring Pakistan and Yemen, and five times as much as the average GDP per capita in Afghanistan. By 2013, Syria’s GDP dropped by 20.6 percent. World Bank authorities have not been able to collect economic data in Syria since 2014 because of the chaos in the region, and experts estimate that the GDP has continued to plummet.”
“For refugees like Doctor Ali, Europe’s strong economy and stable security are part of the lure that has seen so many risk their lives to leave Syria. Ali had successfully arrived in Germany by Wednesday and said he looked forward to building a life in his new home and contributing to his community by saving the lives of others through medicine.”
You may recognize the following famous Americans with Syrian ancestry:
1.) Steve Jobs of Apple Computer success was of partial Arab descent. His biological father’s name is Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian who was a political science graduate student when he met Steve Job’s Mom, an American named Joanne Simpson.
2.) Singer, dancer, choreographer and former American Idol judge Paula Abdul has a father of Syrian-Jewish descent from Aleppo, Syria. He eventually emigrated to Brazil and then the United States.
3.) Actress and American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth has a father of Syrian-Lebanese descent.
4.) Actress Teri Hatcher, famous for her work in Desperate Housewives, role in Seinfeld TV series and earlier in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, has a mother who is half-Syrian.
5.) Mitch Daniels, current president of Purdue University, former governor of the state of Indiana and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for two years under the Bush administration, is a second-generation Syrian-American.
6.) My teen age idol, singer- songwriter Paul Anka who was born in Canada, found fame in the United States in the 1950s. His family is of Syrian-Lebanese descent.
7.) Like many Americans, Prison Break star, Wentworth Miller is of various ethnic backgrounds which includes a Syrian ethnic ancestry.
8.) The mother of legendary comedian and ’90s sitcom icon Jerry Seinfeld is of Syrian-Jewish ancestry.
9.) Chicago Blackhawks #43 Brandan Saad is of Syrian descent.
10.)Queen Noor Shankbone is of Syrian descent.
11/12.) F. Murray Abraham was the first Syrian American to win an Oscar, for his role in Amadeus ; Frank Zappa was a well known rock musician.
UPDATE: THIS BLOG HAS BEEN UPDATED ON 9/13/15.