Local News

Syrian refugees find new home, hope in North Carolina

Posted September 30, 2016

— As war rages in Syria, some citizens are fleeing the country to seek refuge in other places around the world.

President Barack Obama is making plans to allow tens of thousands of refugees into the United States next year. Citing humanitarian concerns, he says as many as 110,000 people should be allowed in during 2017

So far this year, 587 Syrian refugees have come to North Carolina. Last year, the Tar Heel state welcomed just 16 refugees from the country.

Naser Awani is one of the refugees who came to the state this year. He and his family arrived in Raleigh a few months ago.

Speaking through a translator, Awani said he ended up in a refugee camp in Jordan after fleeing Syria. It took him two years to get the security clearance to come legally to the U.S. as a refugee.

Speaking through a translator, Awani said making the move to the U.S. meant a lot for his children's future and he was grateful for the opportunity.

Did he feel welcomed to the country?

"Very much, very much," Awani said on Friday during a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

In the past, however, many have expressed concerns over Syrian refugees.

Gov. Pat McCrory said he worries about sufficient background checks and asked the federal government to stop sending Syrian refugees to North Carolina.


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  • Andrew Stephenson Oct 1, 2016
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  • Jen Hilton Oct 1, 2016
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    Mr. Awani isn't going to feel as welcomed after he reads the comments here. I'm the descendant of Germans who left Germany during Hitler's rise, and Irish who left Ireland during the potato famine. Similar comments were made about my ancestors, yet here I am, thank God for those who were kind, faithful and fearless enough to give my family a chance.

  • Randall Lamm Oct 1, 2016
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    Oh, so they are touring the art museum while I am AT WORK paying for them to be here. Makes sense to me.

  • Justin Briller Sep 30, 2016
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    So the richest country in the middle east doesn't want them, but Obama does....HHMMM

    Sounds crazy they are resettling here when they could go to other countries who already speak their language and same faith. HHMMM again.

  • Robert Fotch Jr Sep 30, 2016
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    Can't even take care of our vets but want to take care of people who hate us and want to kill us. I say let them move into the white house.

  • Alex Stephens Sep 30, 2016
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    Hopefully Trump will resolve the security concerns related to this.