Story Highlights

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a story on Friday, February 2, 2017, about the family of Syrian refugees who arrived late Wednesday night. Read excerpts from the story below.

Syrian refugee family arrives in Fort Worth during pause in travel ban

Fahmi Mousa Al Kazma has been looking for a safe place to raise his six children since 2011, when militias forced the farmer out of his village near Aleppo, Syria.

The family’s new safe haven is a four-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth. They arrived Wednesday night during a window of opportunity thanks to a federal judge’s halt last week of President Donald Trump’s ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“We just wanted to arrive,” the-38-year-old father said in Arabic through an interpreter. “We were on the plane [with] our hearts in our hands.”

The family almost arrived Feb. 2, but Trump’s travel ban for Syrians and citizens of six other countries threw up a roadblock. Mousa’s family had been vetted before the order was signed. The family is the first group of refugees to arrive in Fort Worth since the ban was blocked. The countries covered under the ban are Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Yemen.

“We kind of look at this as our miracle family,” said Chris Kelley, a spokesman for Refugee Services of Texas in Dallas. . .

Refugee Services of Texas is working with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to help the family. Volunteers from St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, St. Christopher Episcopal Church and Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth are helping, too. They helped furnish the family’s apartment. The volunteer work follows a recent plea to aid refugees by several local faith leaders.

“We want to make sure everyone feels welcome and our tradition has a strong emphasis on welcoming the stranger and offering hospitality,” said the Rev. Tracie Middleton, who is on the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth staff.

The story also featured a quote from Bishop J. Scott Mayer.

Bishop Mayer quote