Syrian-American community in New Jersey divided on unrest in home country

Syrian-Americans living in New Jersey with deep connections to their home country are worried about their families and friends overseas.

Syrian-Americans living in New Jersey with deep connections to their home country are worried about their families and friends overseas.

Syrian-Americans living in New Jersey with deep connections to their home country are worried about their families and friends overseas. (8/30/13)

MONTVALE - Syrian-Americans living in New Jersey with deep connections to their home country are worried about their families and friends overseas.

Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah has travelled to Syria on a secret relief mission and says the situation there has worsened at the hands of President Bashar Assad.

"The regime was testing the will of the international community," says Khairullah. "We don't doubt that, as time goes further, they might kill even more people."

The mayor is part of the large Syrian-Muslim population living in and around Prospect Park. Khairullah has made three charity missions, and says he favors U.S. military intervention because of Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

However, not everyone agrees with Khairullah. Mike Ghassali is part of the local Syrian-Christian community, and says diplomacy must be the first priority. "It's a dire situation, but we think it's very rushed because the U.N. team is still on the ground," says Ghassali.

Ghassali adds that refugees have been coming to New Jersey in recent weeks as the violence intensifies. He fears U.S. strikes may exacerbate the situation.

New Jersey has one of the largest Syrian-American populations in the country.
 

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