Syrian refugee family settles in the Inland Empire, welcomed by interfaith group

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A family of Syrian refugees was welcomed to the Inland Empire after spending months on the East Coast and years hiding in Jordan. (KABC)

It was a heartfelt welcome for a family of Syrian refugees at the Ontario Airport Wednesday.

As the Harfoush family arrived, they were greeted with signs, smiles and cheers. Volunteers with a Claremont interfaith group received them with open arms.

It's a stark contrast to what the family has escaped. Three years ago, they fled war-torn Syria and horrors of the civil war.

"After my daughter was shot with a sniper in Syria, we escaped to the border. We stayed about seven days in order to sneak through the border to Jordan," mother Razan Almasri said.

Her daughter Nadia now relies on a wheelchair. The 17-year-old and her three siblings are eager to start their new lives in California.

Volunteers with the Refugee Resettlement Team have adopted the family and will help them with housing, English classes and Nadia's medical therapy.

The Islamic Center of Claremont will also help the family settle into their new community.

"When they see people of other cultures, other faiths assisting them, they are extremely motivated, extremely happy," said Mahmoud Tarifi with the center.

After more than two years in a Jordan refugee camp and 10 months living on the East Coast, the Harfoush family is looking forward to what lies ahead.

The interfaith group is providing temporary housing, but it is not wheelchair accessible. Nadia's father will carry his daughter up two flights of stairs until they can get housing with better access.

If you would like to learn more about the Refugee Resettlement Team, you can click here.

Related Topics:
societysyriarefugeeswarfamilyreligioncommunityClaremontOntarioSan Bernardino CountyLos Angeles County
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