Syrian Student Shares His Story - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Syrian Student Shares His Story


As the conflict in Syria unfolds, several Syrian students are settling in for their first semester at Monmouth College.     

The students are only in their second week on U.S. soil, able to study here through a student amnesty program under the U.S. State Department.    

KWQC met with one student as he starts his new life at Monmouth, while keeping a close eye on what's happening back home. 

For millions of college freshmen starting school this year, adjusting to college life is hard enough with classes, roommates, and living away from home. But for Jad Freyha, it's also about getting used to his new life in America.  

"It's another culture, I'm loving it so far here," he says. 

Jad is from Damascus, the capital of Syria, now here at Monmouth College to study computer science.    

He tells TV6 the Syria he knows wasn't always what we see on TV today. 

"Damascus is great, it's the capital, it's an amazing place, it's my home," Freyha says. 

But now it's hard to connect his home to what's happening there now.  

"It's my country and now it's a war zone," he says, "Things have gone from bad to worse, people are dying, innocent people are dying and medical supplies, food supplies aren't reaching areas." 

Most of Jad's family is now seeking refuge in Algeria, but he still has a grandmother and an aunt in Syria.  

"All the people I've known, all the friends I have, they're all scattered everywhere," he says, "I just hope peace and harmony will come again to Syria. 

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Brenda Tooley says Jad is one of 11 Syrian students at Monmouth this year who've gone through a long process to get to where they are now.  

"They're fairly fortunate young people, some have been out of Syria for a time, for at least a year as Jad was," Tooley says. 

As for Jad, he's looking forward to what college has to bring, but hopes one day, he might be able to go back home.  

"Hopefully, we can always hope."

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