Syrian family reacts to U.S. military strike, temporary travel ban

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The recent events in Syria have many people coming together to support the Muslim community.

A chemical attack on Syrians killed dozens of people last week, including children. The U.S. responded with a military strike on the Syrian airbase officials said carried out that attack.

Maher Al Rahal fled Syria to Jordan in 2012. Then four months ago he came to Harrisburg. Adam Rahman translated for Rahal.

Rahal said, "We've been received with a lot of warmth and love. Especially for my daughter that was sick, Hershey is taking care of her with her situation and medications as well."

One of Rahal's daughters has a degenerative disease. He, his wife and their children came to this country as refugees.

Rahal said, "Because of my daughter's situation, the medical condition she has, the whole process took about a year and a half or so."

Now he is in America hearing about more horrors in his home country, like the recent chemical attack.

He and other people who attended a rally in Harrisburg Sunday said they what President Donald Trump decided to do in response to that attack.

Ejaz Sabir, the attorney for the Islamic Society of Chester County, said, "So definitely whatever happened there, the heinous crime took place, the children lost their lives. Any souls matter to us. Whatever decision the administration has made I hope it is well thought."

But what they don't agree with is the temporary travel ban the president put on refugees from six countries, including Syria.

Sabir said, "I personally believe as a practicing attorney for 13-and-a-half years, this nation is based on and built in immigrants and we should stand up for each other's rights."

Rahal said it's a disconnect between the airstrikes in retaliation for the chemical attack, and the ban that doesn't allow Syrians to leave the treacherous situation.

He said, "What his ban is doing is not going to last because it doesn't make sense, and if he has a human heart, he would realize that above all laws humanity is the most important."

He hopes other refugees can escape from Syria and begin a new life like him and his family.

Rahal said, "And really for the sake of starting again, there's no other better country to start with an opportunity like this. Especially for the kids to get into school and become educated."


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