Syrian refugees | St. Louis Public Radio

Syrian refugees

Nedim Ramic and Anna Crosslin discussed the issues refugees face today in light of World Refugee Day on June 20.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuesday marks World Refugee Day, a designation made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The number of refugees and displaced persons in the world is higher than it has ever been since World War II, with some 65.5 million people displaced throughout the world right now.

Faizan Syed, Jessica Mayo and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the local impact of President Trump's executive orders on immigration.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders that sent the lives of many into chaos — in St. Louis and across the world.

Faizan Sayed, executive director of Missouri’s branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, organized a news conference to speak out against current events in Syria.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Several of the 300 families of Syrian refugees who have settled in the St. Louis area this year are still afraid to publicly condemn their former government's attacks on Aleppo — even living so far away from their native country.

“They’re worried that someone’s going to see their picture or their [social media] feed on TV, they’re going to find out who [they are] and they’re going to hurt their family in Syria,” said Faizan Sayed, executive director of Missouri’s branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Sayed reached out to at least 20 Syrian families asking them to speak at CAIR press conference Thursday denouncing the bombardment of rebel-held neighborhoods in Aleppo. Every single one turned him down.

International Institute staff and volunteers serve a Thanksgiving meal to new refugees and immigrants to the St. Louis area on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.
Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 23 with corrected numbers – Thanksgiving came a little early for hundreds of refugees and immigrants who gathered for a meal with all the trimmings Tuesday afternoon at the International Institute in St. Louis.

The Institute, which serves as the region’s “Welcoming Center for New Americans,” said it has served more than 1,000 new refugees in the last year, from countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Iraq.

“We’re pleased that it’s an all-American holiday that has meaning all around the world,” said President and CEO Anna Crosslin.

Dzemal Bijedic and Adil Imdad started the non-profit House of Goods in 2015 in response to the needs they saw in the St. Louis community.
House of Goods | Facebook.com

When St. Louis city police chaplain Dzemal Bijedic responded to a call for help from a newly-arrived family of Syrian refugees last year, he couldn’t have imagined that it would lead to the creation of a non-profit organization called Bait Ulmal, which means “House of Goods” in Arabic, to provide supplies to those in need at no cost.

Jamie Stevens (center) unloads a mirror at the donation center with Ferid Keranovic (top).
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis police chaplain Dzemal Bijedic met a Syrian refugee family struggling to keep basic necessities in their home, he took to Facebook.

Ritter-Soronen wheat-paste outside Latino Americano Market.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Various St. Louis artists are voicing support for bringing Syrian refugees to the city. Chelsea Ritter-Soronen  said she believes positive experiences with refugees should shape the city’s approach to welcoming Syrian immigrants.

“I do believe in the #BringThemHere movement in St. Louis specifically, because of our brilliant example of our recent acceptance of Bosnian immigrants,” she said in an email.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers are questioning state agencies and charities that have any interaction with refugees and immigrants who settle in the Show-Me State.

Monday's joint meeting of the House Budget Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee is the first in a series called by Republican legislative leaders in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When Shatha Alshati had her first American Thanksgiving dinner, there was one particular item on her plate that gave her pause: the turkey. The former Iraqi refugee who arrived here in 2009, said that while there are turkeys in her home country, they aren’t frequently eaten. 

A U.S. citizen as of April 2015, Alshati has perfected the art of serving a golden roasted turkey at the Thanksgiving dinners she now hosts.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

From the first amendment discussions that came out of the University of Missouri protests, to governors’ attempts to block Syrian refugees, to the challenge of Missouri Senate Bill No. 5, it’s been a busy month for legal questions in the state of Missouri.

On Monday’s Legal Roundtable on “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh led a panel discussion about the most pressing legal questions of the day. Joining him for this monthly segment: 

Paul Curtman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back state Rep. Paul Curtman to the program.

The Republican, from Union in Franklin County, first burst onto the scene in 2010, when he pulled off an upset against then-state Rep. Michael Frame, D-Eureka. Curtman’s victory was often spotlighted as a sign of strength for the “Tea Party” movement in Missouri, especially since the Marine Corps veteran gained notoriety in speaking out against President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Richardson enters the House Lounge for an end-of-session press conference on Friday.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Although a special session is highly unlikely, Missouri lawmakers will meet at least once to discuss the possibility of Syrian refugees entering the Show-Me State and may try to look for ways to block that from happening.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, have scheduled a joint hearing of the House and Senate committees that oversee the annual state budget for Nov. 30, the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Nedim Ramic has a powerful personal connection to what he sees happening in the world today in regard to Syrian refugees.

“Being a refugee myself, coming to this country as a refugee and seeing how the Bosnian-American community has flourished and helped the St. Louis region in many ways, it would be a moral crime to go against admitting refugees from Syria into the United States,” said Ramic, now an attorney with Bajric & Ramic Law Office in south St. Louis.

“This is a moment in history that makes you as an individual; that makes you as a nation and allows you to follow those moral guidelines as humans that we’ve got to help other humans. That’s above religion, that’s above everything else.”

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner talks with reporters in O'Fallon, Illinois. Rauner expressed enthusastic support for bringing the NGA headquarters to the Metro East.
File photo | Katelyn Petrin I St. Louis Public Radio

Even as Republican lawmakers from Missouri, Illinois and elsewhere across the U.S., speak out against allowing Syrian refugees into their states, St. Louis is seen as a community that welcomes those most in need of finding a new home, according to Audrey Singer, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. “St. Louis is a place that definitely sees refugees and immigrants as assets and as members of the community, members of the work force, and members of the (city’s) future workforce.”

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The crisis in Syria is on everyone’s minds right now—whether for humanitarian concerns, worries over ISIS or Russian involvement. Here at home, several groups have made the call to accept more Syrian refugees to the St. Louis region. So far, 29 have arrived since the beginning of this year.

Kenyan immigrant Geoffrey Soyiantet on Oct. 6
Kameel Stanley | St. Louis Public Radio

Many organizations in St. Louis have made a concerted effort recently to be more welcoming to refugees and immigrants.

But that doesn’t mean that when people get here they have an easy adjustment.

That process should be made easier, some say, with a new effort called the Immigrant Service Providers Network.

(Flickr/MaximilianV)

Bring them here.

That’s the rallying cry of a march planned for this weekend in St. Louis asking the U.S. government to allow more Syrian refugees to resettle in the city.

The St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is organizing the event Sunday evening in the Delmar Loop. Executive director Faizan Syed said more than 1,000 people have indicated they will attend.