by, Lidia Hernández-Tapia
Medium, Jan 3, 2018
Issam Khoury, 40, has tried to remake his life since arriving in New York in 2014. He didn’t have plans to stay, but soon understood that it was impossible to return to Syria. After one year, he asked for political asylum.
His openly critical views towards Bashar Al Assad’s government and the reports about the revolution that began in 2011 made it difficult for him to enter Syria and stay there safely. Khoury alleges that he was persecuted and beaten by state security police.
In 2003 he founded the Center for Environmental and Social Development, a non-profit organization that brought together more than 200 journalists who report from different parts of the country about the Syrian Revolution. As part of his work for the organization, he trains journalists long-distance, and publishes many stories that would have otherwise remain buried in the ruins of war.
Khoury also could not find peace among the Syrian rebels, and of course not in areas dominated by the Islamic State, ISIS.
But Khoury’s story is different from those of many other refugees. Khoury has achieved success to a certain point in New York, despite the bureaucracy that also exists here.
He has much of Syria in his office in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. A good part of his work is published online. But as much as he speaks by telephone with his friends and family in Latakia, and keeps photos and memories of his country, New York is not Syria.
The red line is part of report Hernández-Tapia under name Refugees Of New York