Local Syrian Family Reflects on Crisis in Aleppo

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WESLACO – The crisis in Syria is being monitored by a family in the Rio Grande Valley. Syrian activists said up to 3,000 people are left in eastern Aleppo awaiting evacuation.

The Daghestani family said the events in Aleppo go beyond religious beliefs. It’s about people suffering every day in Syria.

The family shares a strong bond with the Syrian people. They know what it’s like to be forced out of a home.

“For over five decades, the Assad regime has brutally and awfully just held their people in massive oppression,” Sumaya Daghestani said.

She was born in the United States after her parents were exiled from Syria. She reflected on the Syrian crisis from two perspectives.

Daghestani said she appreciates the freedom and privilege the U.S. gives her.

“It’s given us a different platform, just a sense of more freedom and more to be able to vocalize our thoughts and our feelings freely and just being able to share that. IT’s empowering being that we’re American,” she said.

She also aches thinking about the crisis in a country she never got to know.

“They always tell us that it was such a beautiful country and it was so gorgeous,” she said. “We just know Syria through stories and that’s really difficult for us because it’s a part of our identity, but at the same time we’ve been denied that identity.”

Daghestani said she wishes she could do more for victims in Aleppo. She said she finds comfort in doing what she can.

“If we spread the message and spread the awareness of what’s going on, something will be done to help the people because it’s happened before. It’s happened in Bosnia, it’s happened in Germany, people have been attacked and have been hurt because of who they are and what they want, and if we spread awareness of that, we can prevent it from happening ever again, and I mean that’s a little hopeful, but we have to have some sort of hope,” she said.

As the crisis in Syria continues, Daghestani said she holds on to hope and prayers as her way of helping.

She said her friends are constantly asking her what they can do to help.

She decided to do what she could during the holiday season. She, along with her family, planned a vigil at Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle Tuesday night to pray for peace.


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