Audio Recording of Interview
A Syrian refugee, Waheed speaks about his experience migrating to Jordan and then the U.S. during the Syrian Revolution. He describes the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the concern he felt for his children’s future, and finding employment in the United States after resettlement.
Other interviews of this person can be found below:
Narrator: Waheed Saufour
Content Warning: Violence.
Summary: A Syrian refugee, Waheed speaks about his experience migrating to Jordan and then the U.S. during the Syrian Revolution. He describes the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the concern he felt for his children’s future, and finding employment in the United States after resettlement.
Topics: Family, Religion, Childhood, Politics, War, Discrimination, Financial Struggles, Cultural Adjustment, Career, Immigration Process
Section 1: (00:00-08:35)
Childhood - Born in Homs, Syria, where he “studied, learned, and played” as a child and designed decorations as an adult.
Religion, Childhood - Practiced Islam, and was taught by his parents to be respectful and friendly towards everyone.
Religion - Strong spiritual relationship, prays everyday.
Section 2: (08:35-25:02)
War, Politics - Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Assad began, and people had limited freedoms and were filled with fear.
Politics - People wanted a new government, but they were getting killed.
Immigration Process - Decided to leave to a neighboring country, Jordan, where he felt safer, but still feared for his children’s future.
Fatherhood - Worried for his oldest son, who was diagnosed with autism.
Immigration Process - UNHCR offered him the opportunity to resettle.
Section 3: (25:02-35:06)
Immigration Process - Went through interviews with the International Organization for Migration and the US government, then migrated a year later.
Religion - While in Jordan, he didn’t have time to read Qur’an due to work.
Cultural adjustment - The US felt very different, especially because of the different language.
Career - Closed case for social services so he could find a job and begin working.
Section 4: (35:06-)
Cultural adjustment - After living in the US for 4 years, his English is better, he had greater financial stability, and was able to help his children settle.
Cultural adjustment - Immigrating to Jordan was easier because the language was the same .
Religion - Continues to practice Islam in the US the same way he practiced in Syria and Jordan.