' “It’s a very close community, and it was not before the revolution,” said Salem, who grew up in Damascus and came to the United States in 1996. “After 2011, when it started, a lot of Syrians started looking for others.”
Like many others, Salem spends his days worrying about relatives who are unable to leave his homeland. Salem’s parents now live with him and his family in Sharon; his wife’s parents became homeless two years ago after a rocket destroyed their home in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city. He also has two sisters who still live in Damascus and suffer through bombardments and a lack of water and electricity.
“We’ve lost multiple family members, cousins mostly,” Salem said. “Some were detained and tortured to death in regime prisons and others [died] due to Syrian Air Force aerial bombing.” '