DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s 4 p.m. in the parking lot of a large Northeast Dallas apartment complex near Forest Lane and Abrams Road. A 9-year-old girl comes running when her name is called. “Israa!” yells Nabil Kalo. Kalo is guiding a tour of Dallas’ small Syrian refugee community, and the little girl is his first introduction. Her face is scarred from massive burns.READ MORE: Little Elm High School Students, Parents Asked To Attend Listening Session Following Protests About Sexual Assault Allegation
“She was hurt by a rocket attack. Doctors in Texas helped her,” Kalo explains. The child is part of five Syrian refugee families sponsored by resettlement agencies, all housed in the same complex.
Nabil arrived in 2013, living in Libya, Jordan and Turkey before gaining access to the U.S. He read the recent reports of Gov. Greg Abbott calling for a halt to any Syrian refugee resettlement in Texas, based on the terror attacks in Paris.
“We are running from the same terror,” Kalo said. He says millions fear the death and horror that has permeated his homeland, and doesn’t believe ISIS-supported individuals could access the resettlement system for families. “These are mothers and children who wait years. They have lived with the terror,” he says.READ MORE: Missing Dallas Man Jeffrey Nathan Lovell May Be 'Confused' And Need Help
DFW International released data Tuesday, indicating 102 Syrians from 24 families are resettled in Dallas, Richardson, Ft. Worth and Arlington. Anne Marie Weiss-Armush leads the organization. She says Homeland Security’s intensive investigations of each refugee family has caused an unprecedented delay in arrivals. No families have arrived from Turkey (where the largest number of Syrian refugees currently resides) in the past 9 months, according to Weiss-Armush.
The Council on American Islamic Relations and the Syrian Anerican Council condemned the Governor’s stand, calling it Islamophobia.
Nabil Kalo says fear of terrorism should never be discounted, but he believes North Texans need to know that Syrian refugees and those under political asylum status are living here now, and they pose no threat.
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