Baylor professor from Syria weighs in on U.S. military strike - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Baylor professor from Syria weighs in on U.S. military strike

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Baylor Associate Professor of Arabic and Syriac Studies Abdul Saadi came to the United States nearly 30 years ago to further his education, but he keeps in close contact with his family members who are still in Syria.

"Half of my relatives or family are still in Syria. Some are in Aleppo, some are in other places in Syria," Saadi said.

When the fighting first started about 6 years ago, emotions across Syria were high.

"They were extremely sorrow. We were extremely sad. Everyday more and more and more to the degree that we got used to it."

Saadi said his family in Syria feels the same way.

"At the beginning they were frightened. They were hiding every time that they hear or even a rumor before they even hear the bullet. They were hiding and trying to protect themselves," Saadi said. "And they said now we came to the position that if the fighting is not in our city, then I'm fine. We'll go and do our daily life because we need to live."

Some of his family members, including his sister and her family, left everything behind in Syria to flee.

"Some of my family, they were threatened," Saadi said. "Overnight [my sister and her family] were warned, and they got to leave everything and they flee. They left to Lebanon and then they got to Europe."

He says people in Syria don't want any more destruction.

"No matter how much we try to comfort them, no matter how much any country can provide them with food, that's not the kind of life they want to live, or the kind of inspiration or alternative anybody can hope for," Saadi said. "Their aspiration is for peace, for settlement, for time to re-breathe fresh breath and to go for life again. The last thing they want to happen is another war, another fighting, another destruction," Saadi said.

Mary Gee, from Phoenix, Arizona, was visiting Waco Friday afternoon. Gee was recently in Amman, Jordan, working with Syrian refugees. She said within the last few days there had been talk around the area that something might happen so Thursday's airstrike was not much of a surprise to them.

"Everyone is really supportive over there. They want this conflict to stop, especially the refugees," Gee said. "Yes they're nervous. They're fearful because they've lived through so much already, but they're optimistic that maybe this time will be different."

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