Canton Couple With Syrian Ties Anxiously Watching Developments
CANTON (CBS) – Their home is in Canton is a world away from the violence, but their hearts are with the people of Syria.
“We want the suffering to end soon,” said Zeina Sahloul.
Zeina Sahloul and her husband Omar Salem are watching every development, hoping the United States will now take action and help bring an end to the massacre, and to the dictatorship of President Assad.
“Nobody likes foreign intervention in this country, it’s kind of mixed feeling. But if this is going to end the Syrian suffering. then maybe it’s okay to accept it,” Zeina explained.
“We don’t want to see more blood,” Omar said. “We are not really into making this a bigger problem for the world, but the world has to stand for it’s values.”
Omar’s family is in Damascus, and he says the chemical weapon bombing is just five or six miles from where they are.
“If we let this go. I bet you he is going to do it again,” he said.
Both Zeina and Omar wish the world had done more before now to help the Syrians as they have struggled over the past two and a half years.
“I still prefer a political solution, but maybe this is the only thing left,” Zeina said.
“Syria had a non violent civil movement for more than a year, and the world abandoned that movement. They turned to weapons because of the atrocities Assad has used to crush it,” Omar said.
They’ve had relatives who have have been killed.
“A cousin of mine’s son died in an air raid, another son lost his leg, amputated,” Omar said.
Omar, who’s is an orthodontist, went to Syria this summer to help refugees with dental care. One quarter of the four million refugees are children.
“I saw devastation everywhere, but I saw people that are resilient,” Omar said.
Zeina’s parents are now living with them in Canton, because it is too dangerous in Syria. Their house was hit by a missile. They didn’t want to show their faces, but they hope to go back to Syria.
Omar says he hopes the United States can stop the air and chemical weapons attacks.
“I’ve seen the devastations from air raids. They don’t use smart bombs, They what they use is typical Russian made old bombs that just drop over civilian neighborhoods wiping everything in front of it,” he said. “They’re not hitting fighters they’re not hitting resistance, they’re hitting children and women.”
Despite the devastation, Omar and Zeina still have hope for peace for the people of Syria.
“The Syrian people are like any other people, they just in a way have been abandoned for too long,” Omar said.
Zeina says the solution is simple.
“Democracy, a new government that respects its own people, listens to their needs, it’s simple,” she explained. “I feel some hope, you can’t lose hope. You can’t live without hope. You always feel hope for your people. And this nightmare is going to end soon.”