When Yarra left Damascus it was the gloomiest day she had ever seen. “It was incredibly hard to look at the city while leaving. The sky was filled with smoke… the streets were empty,” she recalls.
That was four years ago. Yarra and her family – refugees from Syria’s civil war -were granted asylum by the U.S. They settled in Jersey City, New Jersey. Today Yarra and her family struggle to create a sense of home in a place where they didn’t choose to live and despite efforts by the Trump administration to impose a Muslim travel ban that includes visitors from Syria.
Yarra agreed to share her story with producer Mimi Everett. She also kept an audio diary, revealing her world of longing, memories and new beginnings.
Listen to our recent podcast, A Grandmother-Granddaughter Bond Helps Heal 50 Years of Family Separation.
This podcast is part of a series produced in the Telling Immigrant Stories course at The New School.
Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, an anonymous donor and readers like you.