“I was raised in a family where my father would refuse to sit at the dining table unless we have some needy person sitting with us. Even if there was nobody, he would call the guard outside or the one who takes care of the garden to come sit with us and eat. Every night our house was full, always full. He would tell my mother, we have 20 guests coming for dinner in two hours. We would prepare very nice food, no matter who they are – whether they are a businessman coming from France or Austria, or whether they are locals or very humble people. We set the table for them.”
I asked Raghad if her father knows what she is doing now. “A little bit,” she said. Hopefully I will meet him soon and tell him.”
Raghad’s parents are still in Damascus; her brother and sister are there too, and another sister is in Lebanon. The day we met, Damascus was being bombed. I ask about her family. “Alhumdulillah,” she says nervously. “They don’t want to leave,” she tells me. “I keep telling them I can apply for you for a green card, you can come. But they are attached to the land.”
It amazes me that Raghad’s own parents and siblings remain in Syria, and she has committed her life to helping those who escaped.
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Photo: George Kolotov
Please support Raghad’s efforts to care for the needs of refugee families by donating on Mozaic’s website: http://www.mozaicinc.org