News report from WSBT. See the video here: http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/syrian-refugee-hopes-to-raise-awareness-on-humanitarian-crisis/36107230
SOUTH BEND - The Anti-government demonstrations started in March of 2011, but quickly escalated as the government started violently fighting back.
Syrian refugee Amin Ahmed was there as violence broke out. Years later he's still not comfortable showing his face on camera in order to keep his family safe, but that's not stopping him from telling his story.
Ahmed was a hospital general manager who started treating activists in secret locations to protect them from the government. He says it was a dangerous mission.
"So any treatment that was given to such people would put ourselves in danger and some of my colleagues we were captured and disappeared and we didn’t know some of them would turn out later with torture sign and being killed and thrown in ditches,” said Ahmed.
Finally, Ahmed and his crew were discovered so they fled the country for safety. On Wednesday, he shared his story with the Multifaith Alliance in hopes to find aid for his fellow Syrians back home.
"They always feel like they were abandoned by the whole world so whenever there is such a gathering with different religious groups coming to talk about Syria and how to aid the Syrians is always encouraging,” he said.
Multifaith Alliance Founder Georgette Bennett, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors, remembers fleeing with her parents from Hungary in 1948. She's using her own personal experience to help the millions of Syrians stuck in a war zone.
"This is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. And America is in the position to do something about it,” she said.
As Christians, Muslims and other religious faiths gather to hear Ahmed and Bennett's stories, they believe the people of South Bend will find a way to make a difference.
"When you bring together the voices of different religions and unite them then one is bringing an enormous moral authority and moral pressure to address a horrific crisis,” said Bennett.
Bennett says she's also hoping tonight's meeting will help raise money to support organizations on the ground that provide aid to refugees.
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