LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — A suicide bomber, who French officials believe gained access to the country by posing as a refugee, has also managed to further muddy the trail for millions of displaced Syrians.
To understand the personal side of what has now become a global security conundrum, we sat down with Ayoub Jarrouj, an Arab Anti-discrimination activist who, since his departure from Syria, lived-out a successful career in the Allentown steel industry.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Jeremiahs Sanchez Charged In Park City Center Mall Shooting That Injured 3: Lancaster County DA
Ayoub helps run the Syrian Arabic American Charity Association in Lehigh County, which as far as counties go, is home to one of the largest Syrian populations in America.
“It’s founded for those reasons, to help newcomers get established” said Radwan Jarrouj another Syria-born founder of the group. He explained that at the time of our visit they were preparing to provide around 200 community members with large boxes of food. It’s a monthly gesture that extends beyond the refugees they assist.
Radwan adds that he had just recently met with Governor Tom Wolf and several other policy members to help form a plan regarding an estimated 10,000 refugees seeking asylum in the United States.READ MORE: Man Struck, Killed By Tractor-Trailer In North Philadelphia
“I understand. Look, there’s concern. There’s definitely concern. I don’t what to see what happened in France; we had our heartbreak with September 11th and we have to be very cautious,” said Radwan, speaking specifically to the need for proper checks and documentation.
Restrictions based on religion, a suggestion that has now become a larger part of the political discussion, is something that the SAACA largely disagrees with.
Mind you, the men we spoke with are Christians. Most Syrians are Muslim.
Arroub told Eyewitness news that his feelings are summed up by one photo shared globally back in September showing the body of a small Syrian boy, washed up on the shore after becoming separated from his refugee parents.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Is 90.7% Effective Against Symptomatic COVID-19 In Children Ages 5 To 11
“My wife started crying when she saw the baby. Is he Christian? Is he Muslim? Who cares!” said Arroub, “a human is a human.”