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ESET

When Syria Came to Fresno: Refugees Test Limits of Outstretched Hand

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FRESNO, Calif. — The police responded to a call about a loud party on East San Ramon Avenue, but it wasn’t just any party: A sheep was reportedly being slaughtered in a backyard.

“Muslim refugees were unaware that slaughtering sheep is not allowed in the city,” the police wrote afterward in their report, which also stated that those involved “were advised to clean up the blood and mess” and warned that in the future “they could be cited.”

The animal, actually a goat, was killed by a Syrian refugee who later skinned, roasted and shared it with his Syrian neighbors in the apartment complex where they all live.

Refugees are typically placed in towns and cities such as Buffalo, N.Y.; Boise, Idaho; and Fayetteville, Ark., where resettlement agencies ease their transition to life in a new country.

But they are free to move about the country like anybody else, and they sometimes land in places like Fresno that are not exactly prepared for their arrival.

Since late 2016, more than 200 Syrian refugees originally settled elsewhere in the United States have made a fresh start in Fresno, the largest city in California’s agricultural belt. They have been drawn there mainly by cheap housing.

But behind the low rent is a city struggling with high poverty and unemployment, making it more difficult for the refugees to secure jobs. And Fresno has no federally funded agency to help them find work, learn basics like bus routes and understand United States culture and rules, like with the practice of animal slaughter.

Syrian children turned up unexpectedly at Ahwahnee Middle School, needing vaccinations, trauma counseling, English-language instruction and academic support as a result of interrupted schooling. “It was a shock at first,” said Jose Guzman, the principal. “We never had to teach students who speak Arabic.”

He hired an Arabic-speaking teaching assistant, while some of his staff communicated with students with the aid of Google Translate.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/us/fresno-syrian-refugees.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

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47 minutes ago, ESET said:

But they are free to move about the country like anybody else, and they sometimes land in places like Fresno that are not exactly prepared for their arrival.

Funneled to Fresno. More like!

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