Syrian refugees find new home in Pomona

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- As thousands of refugees migrate into Western Europe to escape war and poverty, one Syrian family has reached American soil.

The family of eight is staying at a hotel in Pomona. Fouad Wawieh, his wife and six children have been calling the hotel their home after narrowly escaping from Syria.

"We have lost everything in Syria, our homes, our businesses. Total destruction of Douma, the small town that I was born in," Fouad said through a translator. "I'm hoping that I will start a new life for my children where they can live in peace, seek education, seek brighter future."

Wawieh said he sees no future in Syria for him or his children, only more death and destruction. The family fled for their lives and left everything behind. They arrived in the states after a migration that took them through Lebanon and Egypt.

The Islamic Center of Claremont is helping the family with the difficult transition. But without knowing English, lacking a job and credit, and having little cash on hand, starting over is hard.

The biggest challenge is finding housing.

But until the family finds a permanent home, the focus is on education. The children recently enrolled in school and are ready to fulfill their American Dream.

Every one of the family members is grateful for a chance to start over in a safe place.

"I know that we will be struggling here, but there is no comparison to the situation that we were in in Syria," Omar Wawieh said. "I feel like things have turned from death to life."

The Islamic Center of Claremont is accepting donations on behalf of the family. To find out more information, you can visit the website at
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