Amid travel ban controversy, Bay Area refugees share their journeys to America


By TATIANA SANCHEZ | tsanchez@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: May 12, 2018 at 6:00 am |

Quy Lee talks to audience members after he told his story about leaving Vietnam for the program “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Stories of Escape and Refuge” at the Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

PALO ALTO — The Aleppo that Toukhig Arabian remembers was a peaceful place. It’s where kids spent summer days in swimming pools, where she sang in choir, took art and piano classes and eventually got a university degree in English literature.

But when the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, the once bustling city came crashing down, forcing millions like Arabian to flee without looking back.

 

Toukhig Arabian tells her story about leaving Syria for the program “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Stories of Escape and Refuge” at the Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

 

“If you would’ve told anyone from my generation or younger that Aleppo would become a place with bombs falling on our houses, helicopters hovering over our neighborhoods, car bombs exploding and snipers shooting from the rooftops — there’s no way,” said Arabian. “Aleppo was the safest place on earth.”

Like thousands before her, Arabian found refuge in America. But today, journeys like hers are becoming rare. Read More

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