NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Shows What Shelter Means To Syrian Refugees

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In a series of photos capturing the life of a Syrian refugee family, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to show the world what refuge means to these people.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio

While more than half of U.S. governors oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, there are some mayors who are going the extra mile to make their resettlement easier.

One such example is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is offering a glimpse into the life of asylum-seekers living in the city to New Yorkers and other American citizens to help explain what shelter means to people forced out of their homeland.

On his official Facebook page, de Blasio posted an album depicting the daily life of the Ferdous family, who have lived in the city since 2012. He writes:

“In 2012, with the war escalating and under threat of arrest because her husband did not join the army, Eman fled her hometown of Latakia, Syria, with their three-year-old daughter, Souad. Upon arrival, mother and daughter were reunited with father, Abdullah, who had moved to New York City in 2010.”

Hassan Ferdous carries his grandson, also named Hassan, with Eman as they travel to Downtown Brooklyn to go shopping and visit the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

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“The family welcomed a second child, their son Hassan, two years later. In 2013, Abdullah’s parents also fled Syria, and now live in the family’s Brooklyn apartment.”

Souad, 6, plays in the hallway of her family's two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn while her mother and grandmother cook...

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

“The Ferdous family is living in the United States under temporary protected status. This allows Abdullah the freedom to provide for his family by working as an electrician.”

Abdullah Ferdous walks in Brooklyn on his way to a food market where he is installing appliances and lighting. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

Abdullah Ferdous, who works as an electrician, changes a lighting fixture at a food market in Brooklyn. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

“Souad, now 6, suffers from severe anxiety due to her exposure to the fighting in Syria. She receives counseling for her condition and is thriving at home and at school.”

Souad plays with classmates at school in Brooklyn. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

Souad and two-year-old Hassan play on mobile devices as they sit together on the living room sofa. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Posted by Mayor Bill de Blasio on  Monday, December 7, 2015

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This isn’t the first time de Blasio has voiced support for refugees and their rehabilitation in the U.S. At a synagogue in Brooklyn recently, he compared Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war to Jews escaping the Nazis.

“I know this community understands deeply the pain of any family that must leave a homeland they love because they were forced away by violence and discrimination,” the Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying to the congregation. “When it comes to saving children and families from one of the greatest crises of our times, I remind people to look at history.”

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