Mohammad Abd Rabboh fled Syria with his wife and two daughters in 2012 — right as the nation’s civil war was heating up.
The refugee family spent the next three years in Jordan trying to get into the US. Abd Rabboh described the experience to Reuters as “years of suffering.”
But it still beat the horrors he saw that made him and his family flee their home in Homs, the third-largest city in Syria.
“We see weapons everywhere in the street,” he said. “We see war and fighting in every corner. We have witnessed things that are difficult to describe. We’d be walking in the street and suddenly see somebody shot in the head and fall dead right in front of you.”
Abd Rabboh and his family were relocated to Sacramento, California, in September. He knows there is nothing to return to in Homs, the site of some of the most brutal fighting in recent months.
“Whatever was left of our house was not livable anymore. One, because there was no electricity or running water, but also because the snipers would shoot at the house,” he explained. “They were targeting the water tanks and fuel tanks to make sure they were drained so that people could not come back to their homes.”
Abd Rabboh said he is thankful for his new home. It has given him and his family renewed hope.
“This is a beautiful country of civilisation,” he said.
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Kristen Griffin