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Starting over in Michigan: After a year, Syrian refugee family finds some stability

Michigan Radio
Maan, Bayan, and their three children arrived in Dearborn in April. The family does not want their names or faces revealed because they fear any media attention could endanger their relatives still in Syria.

Michigan is a top destination in the U.S. for Syrian refugees. Just this year alone, more than 600 have settled here, according to the State Department.

Among the hundreds who have fled their homeland for Michigan is a young family of five that we introduced you to almost a year ago.

They came here in April of 2016, trading the violence and death in the Syrian city of Homs for a sparsely furnished, rented corner duplex in a modest neighborhood in Dearborn.

Maan is a carpenter. His wife Bayan was a teacher before the revolution broke out in 2012. They have three children – two daughters ages seven and three, and a five-year-old son.

They invited us back to Dearborn recently to see how they’ve been getting along after a year in their new home. With today being World Refugee Day, we thought it was a good time to share the conversation we had with the family’s matriarch, Bayan.

Listen above.

We will continue to bring you the story of this young family as they build their new lives in Michigan. For past installments of Starting over in Michiganclick here.

The family has asked us not to use their last name for fear that media attention could endanger family members who are still in Syria.

A special thanks to the Syrian American Rescue Network and to Reem Akkad and Samer Koujan for help with translation. 

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Cynthia Canty was the host of Stateside since the weekday show began in 2012. She retired in December 2019.
Joe Linstroth is the executive producer of Stateside, Michigan Radio's daily news magazine. Before joining the station, he was the founding senior producer of Current State, WKAR's daily show. Joe began his public radio career working on WBEZ's global affairs show, Worldview, and got his start in journalism writing film reviews and reporting for the Evanston RoundTable.
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