Local News

Syrian refugees find new home, hope in North Carolina

Posted September 30, 2016 4:44 p.m. EDT
Updated September 30, 2016 6:17 p.m. EDT

— 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.