I met a man today from Syria.
I’ve had a disastrous trip back to Michigan. If it could happen, it’s happened. Anyway I’m flying back to Orlando today, less than 24 hours later.
My hotel offered a shuttle service back to the airport so I took them up on the offer.
My driver was from Syria but he didn’t tell me, at least not at first.
As we were leaving the hotel parking lot, we saw a drag queen, in full drag getting into her car. My driver said, “God Bless America, land of the free.” His comment led to our conversation about how lucky we Americans are. I said how sad the CBS Evening News makes me daily, when I see the war images from Syria. My driver got real quiet and took a moment to collect himself.
He then said the words that gave me pause.
“I’m from Syria.”
We continued to talk about how he ended up here in the U.S. He’s been here for nearly 10 years himself but he’s the only one in his family to be here. All of them are still in Syria. He hasn’t spoken to his brother in three weeks now. He can’t get a hold of him and fears the worst. He’s family lived in Aleppo. They fled for safety from the city over a year ago but he’s unsure where he’s brother is. He doesn’t know if any of his family will live to see tomorrow. They’re in a camp on the outskirts of Aleppo.
This man who is in our country and is now legally a citizen of the United States, gave me insight on the war in Aleppo unlike anything the news has given me. And trust me the picture the news paints is horrible. Nightmare worthy. I cried with this man for his family and prayed with him for them. I prayed for him. I prayed for his home country. His birthplace. A place that some people in positions of power (cough cough, the president elect) says breeds terrorist. This man wasn’t a terrorist. He was kind, humble, not racist, open minded when it came to the drag queen, and thankful to be free.
As my ride was over and he handed me my suitcase, I hugged him and he hugged me back. He thanked ME for being so lovely. For praying for his family.
As I sit here waiting for my flight back to Florida, I can’t help but think of this man and his family. If you’re the praying sort, please pray for his country tonight. Pray that someday they find peace.