KPBS: San Diego Groups Await Trump’s Executive Orders On Refugee Program
PANA leader Ammar Kawkab was quoted by by The San Diego Union-Tribune in the article "San Diego Groups Await Trump’s Executive Orders On Refugee Program", published on Jan 26, 2017 by Tarryn Mento.
Ammar Kawkab, a Syrian refugee of Kurdish origin, said he thinks the proposal comes because people don’t know enough about what it’s like to live in the war-torn country. Kawkab said he arrived in San Diego last June because he was a vocal opponent of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
"I want you to understand that the Syrian people are going through a very extremely harmful tragedy and the people of Syria are waiting for the world to wake up and to take action to save them from this tragedy," Kawkab said, speaking through translator Taha Hassane, an imam and director at the Islamic Center of San Diego.
Kawkab said he would like to share his experiences of living in a war-torn country with politicians, including those in Congress and even the president himself.
Before he and his family arrived to the U.S. and resettled in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood, Kawkab said he was detained by government forces for a month in Syria and endured horrific conditions.
"Torture is a soft term to use describing my experience inside the jail in Syria," Kawkab said. "The treatment that we have received in the jail makes you wish that you are an animal living in Europe or in the West. You will have as an animal more rights than human beings in the jails of the Syrian regime."
Kawkab's parents and two of his siblings are still in Syria. His three other siblings and their families are in Lebanon.